HomeAccessVodafone chooses Nokia for SDN controller trials in fixed access network

    Vodafone chooses Nokia for SDN controller trials in fixed access network


    First steps are proof-of-concept trials to progress massive automation and Network-as-a-Platform (NaaP)

    Vodafone has an exclusive agreement with Nokia to work on the evolution of software defined network manager and controller (SDN-M&C) services for multi-access, fixed network technology.

    The companies will conduct proof-of-concept trials in Europe. If they are successful, the plan is to deploy the technology more widely this year. 

    Vodafone is one of the largest fixed access providers in Europe having passed 143 million homes and has a big cable element after acquiring Liberty Global’s cable network assets in Czechia [formerly known as the Czech Republic], Germany, Hungary and Romania in July 2019 for €18.4 billion.

    Disaggregated gateway

    Last September, Vodafone announced it was testing a new Broadband Forum specification with Benu Networks, Casa Networks, Cisco and Nokia.

    The Broadband Network Gateway (BNG) was developed to connect multiple users to the internet using hardware and software from several vendors.

    The tests used the new Forum standard to run Disaggregated BNG tests which separated the core control functions of the gateway – such as authenticating a user and increasing bandwidth to support streaming services – and managed them in the cloud while ensuring interoperability.  

    Vodafone established it can separately upgrade, scale and deploy new features and add more capacity, enabling greater agility and faster time to market when upgrading its pan-European broadband network, the Forum said.

    Simplification and automation

    The SDN management and control functions will be used to simplify, automate, visualise, optimise and improve Vodafone’s broadband networks, and support its NaaP strategy and other customisable services.

    Vodafone is using the Altiplano SDN-M&C to build a single-pane-of-glass controller to automate its network operations. Vodafone selected Altiplano because it works across its multi-generational, multi-technology and multi-vendor access networks.

    Gavin Young, Head of Fixed Access Centre of Excellence at Vodafone, said,“We are driving simplification and automation throughout our network and IT systems across Europe and Africa to further improve the customer experience and support the growing number of connected devices.

    “The last few years have proven that the resilience of economies depend on our ability to quickly respond to changing societal needs. Nokia’s Altiplano solution will enable us to help our customers adapt to new developments even quicker.”

    Sandy Motley, President, Fixed Networks at Nokia, added,“Our Altiplano Access Controller can manage and control any SDN-native, disaggregated, legacy and third-party equipment and is highly customisable to suit operator needs…our customers can add their own or third-party applications to customise and further automate the network.”