The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) debuted a new shared edge platform it said enables operators to provide services to residential, mobile and enterprise subscribers from a single hub.

Named Central Office Re-architected as a Datacentre (CORD) 4.1, the update includes 25 bundled virtualised network functions (VNFs) spanning residential broadband subscriber management, disaggregated mobile core and enterprise VPN services, among others. ONF stated this provides operators with a single distribution platform capable of supporting all subscriber types.

Before the upgrade, CORD was offered as a base distribution platform for residential services (R-CORD) only, with separate VNFs available to add compatibility for mobile (M-CORD) and enterprise (E-CORD) subscribers.

ONF, a not-for-profit operator-led consortium, added the upgrade enables easier customisation via a better build process and new service definition tools. Additionally, version 4.1 offers real-time control of disaggregated RAN and PON networks, along with XOS (which ONF describes as a model-based platform for assembling, controlling, and composing services) for edge service orchestration and SDN control.

Robert Soukup, senior project manager for Access 4.1 at Deutsche Telekom, noted the operator was the first to test the integrated setup with merged residential and mobile service VNFs in a single platform. He said the CORD 4.1 multi-access platform “enables operators to create custom distributions with optimisations targeting their specific market and customer base.”

ONF reported CORD makes it possible for operators to transform their edge infrastructure into an edge cloud by providing a platform which knits together peripheral hardware using SDN, NFV and cloud methodologies.

Heavy Reading forecast a majority of service providers will use CORD by 2020, with nearly 40 per cent of end customers across residential, wireless and enterprise served by CORD technologies by 2021. All told, ONF estimated operators will spend some $300 billion in capex on the edge annually.

ONF currently boasts more than 160 members, including board members AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, Deutsche Telekom, China Unicom, NTT Group, Google, and Telefonica.