Verizon became the second major US operator to join the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP), participating alongside rival AT&T as well as a host of major operators and vendors.
In a statement, Verizon’s SVP and chief technology architect Ed Chan said the operator is “working together with partners to accelerate virtualisation and automation across the industry”. He added: “Future experiences powered by intelligent and automated networks is one of the biggest opportunity areas for carrier networks.”
Verizon EVP John Stratton said at an investor conference in November 2017 virtualisation will help the operator slash $10 billion in costs by 2020.
Through its participation, ONAP reported Verizon will be able to simplify and speed up onboarding of network functions, expand interoperability with other software-defined network ecosystems, gain greater network agility and drive reference standards for vendors and partners.
ONAP was formed in February 2017 when AT&T combined its Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy (ECOMP) platform with The Linux Foundation’s Open Orchestrator Project (OPEN-O). The group features vendor members including ARM, Cisco, Ericsson, Intel, Nokia, Samsung, TechMahindra and ZTE, along with operator partners China Mobile, China Telecom, Orange, Vodafone Group, Reliance Jio and Turk Telekom.
In November 2017, ONAP issued its first release, an end-to-end platform for closed-loop network automation which will allow operators to rapidly deploy new services. The project plans to address scale, stability, security and performance enhancements, additional use cases, 5G features and inter-cloud connectivity in a second release scheduled for the middle of this year.