US operator Verizon’s venture capital arm provided the bulk of a $10 million Series A funding round in open-source networking company Lumina Networks, an investment the company said highlights the importance of software-defined networking (SDN).
Verizon Ventures contributed $8 million to the round, in which AT&T and data centre infrastructure company Rahi Systems also participated. Alexander Khalin, a director at the venture capital company, explained SDN “has emerged as a key architectural model in delivering the promised goals of next generation wireless networks” including 5G.
Lumina Networks, which spun off from Brocade Communication in August 2017, said it will use the money to build new products around its SDN Controller network control product, and expand its business in Europe and Japan.
CEO Andrew Coward stated the operator backing shows they recognise the importance of open-source “to the automation and digitisation of their networks”.
In the nine months since it began operations, Lumina said it has seen strong uptake of its SDN Controller among operators, allowing it to more than double revenues from the level before the spin-off.
AT&T’s backing fits with its strategy to virtualise 75 per cent of its network functions by 2020. The operator also contributed to the formation of the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP).
Though Verizon is less vocal about its work on SDN and open source, the company is a member of ONAP as well as the Open Network Operating System initiative.