In mid-June, I had the great pleasure to share the stage during the keynote at OPNFV Summit held in Beijing with OPNFV director Heather Kirksey, Lingli Deng, a project manager with China Mobile, NEC engineer Carlos Gonçalves, and Azhar Sayeed, chief architect for the service provider/telco group at Red Hat. On this event, we showcased how the Virtual Central Office (VCO) project could deliver residential and business services.
As the last physical interface with the end customer for service delivery, the central office plays a critical role for communication service providers (CSPs), as it is where the network subscriber’s connectivity is terminated. It used to be the copper termination point before becoming the home for mobile gateways, Radio Access Network (RAN) and fiber optic termination (FTTx). In the future, the central office will be the foyer for access-agnostic applications and services considering the evolution of Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) technologies.
Previous attempts to virtualize the central office have resulted in proprietary or limited approaches by building components from scratch to address specific issues. With the latest developments in orchestration tools and newest features in OpenDaylight SDN controller, in-built capabilities for a virtualized central office are now available.
The VCO project aims to build an “OpenDaylight-based reference architecture” which could be combined with other projects (such as OpenStack for NFV) to create solutions that support the delivery of residential, business and mobile services.
The relevance of the VCO architecture is weighted by the need of delivering services as close as possible to the customers by leveraging computing capabilities at the edge. In this new era of networks programmability and software-defined infrastructure, the redesign of central offices has become a key competitive advantage for CSPs on their digital transformation journey, an unexpected value from longtime acquired assets.
About the author
Hanen Garcia is Global Telco Solutions Manager at Red Hat, with more than 20 years of experience in the telecommunications industry building network solutions and value-added services for large telecom operators. In his current role, he is driving solutions to support telecommunications service providers during their network transformation journey. Prior to joining Red Hat, he worked at Ericsson as an innovation specialist designing cutting-edge solutions for mobile networks. Garcia holds an M. Eng. in innovation management from the ÉTS in Canada and an M.Eng. in telecommunications from Polytech in France.