AT&T leverages Domain 2.0 open network to white box 5G, fiber broadband

March 17, 2023
Domain 2.0 was created to help AT&T operate its networks more like the cloud-enabled infrastructures of hyperscale data center operators and internet content providers.
Photo 181843953 / 5g Fiber © Dashark |
Dreamstime S 181843953

By STEPHEN HARDY -- AT&T Vice President, Network Core Infrastructure Services Mike Satterlee recently penned a blog that appeared on the company’s website January 26, 2023, in which he described the successes the service provider has seen from its Domain 2.0 vision and the open and disaggregated network and white box concepts that underpin it.

The company has leveraged the strategy to achieve improvements in its 5G and fiber broadband infrastructure, Satterlee asserted. The service provider released a whitepaper that outlined the Domain 2.0 initiative in November 2013.

Domain 2.0 was created to help AT&T operate its networks more like the cloud-enabled infrastructures of hyperscale data center operators and internet content providers.

Such networks, as AT&T envisioned them, would feature a library of APIs that manage, manipulate, and consume services on-demand and in near real time.

Common infrastructure would be used as much as possible. Software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) would be key enablers, enabling the use of white box hardware and best-of-breed technology and platforms from multiple vendors.

Following on, AT&T announced a white box strategy in 2019, which included development of white box routers and switches. The company also revealed a commitment to 400G deployment at the same time. Deployment of next-gen open disaggregated core routing and next-gen open disaggregated IP edge routing platforms followed in 2020.

Today, Satterlee writes, AT&T is reaping the benefits for both 5G and fixed broadband infrastructure. For example, AT&T now carries more than 52% of all production traffic over its next-gen core routers.

The platforms are based on the Broadcom Jericho2, Ramon chips and use the Distributed Dis-Aggregated Chassis (DDC) design powered by DriveNets Network Cloud DNOS software. The service provider is investigating how to scale the system to first 500 Tbps and then to 900 Tbps via what Satterlee described as “next-gen chipset.”

Satterlee also described four other open platforms that are playing important roles in AT&T’s network, including: an advanced edge router for enterprise services, Ethernet, broadband, mobility, and internet gateway purposes; a cell site gateway router, which supports up to 100 Gbps of transport to support 5G services; an Ethernet Mux that enables aggregation of 1- and 10-Gbps access ports to 100-Gbps transport in AT&T’s metro Ethernet and fiber networks; and Universal CPE that supports delivery of dedicated internet and enterprise SD-WAN services.

Read on at Lightwave.

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