AT&T agreed to sell its Vyatta routing and switching unit to US equipment vendor Ciena for an undisclosed sum, preparing to exit the business barely four years after acquiring it from Brocade.

Ciena stated the acquisition will help it address 5G and edge compute market opportunities by expanding its Adaptive IP range, which it claims simplifies code by removing unecessary internet protocols.

The deal also gives Ciena a steady forward revenue stream from AT&T covering continued Vyatta routing in the operator’s mobile network.

AT&T is already one of Ciena’s biggest customers.

Vyatta’s engineering team will join Ciena’s routing and switching R&D unit.

Andre Fuetsch, CTO of network services at AT&T, explained the operator eagerly anticipated “the development of new use cases as a result of this transaction”. He credited Vyatta with helping the operator develop the first operator-grade “open-source network operating system”.

AT&T purchased Vyatta to help with the virtualisation of its network, work which culminated recently with a decision to move its 5G core network to the Microsoft Azure cloud.