Broadband Forum unveils new ground-breaking CloudCO capabilities

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A Broadband Forum demonstration has showcased how operators can utilise industry standards and existing investments to achieve a virtualised infrastructure that enables zero touch provisioning, service activation and session steering within a multi-vendor and white box environment.

Bringing together leading service providers, vendors and interoperability labs at this year’s Broadband World Forum, the Cloud Central Office (CloudCO) project enables dynamic use cases, including multi-vendor service creation and activation and a truly virtualised disaggregated multi-vendor network.

In a world-first, the demonstration also presented a new gaming session steering application, demonstrating how operators can use CloudCO to detect a change in user traffic type, check network conditions against defined service levels and reprogram session steering to meet them and preserve the user experience.

“Dynamic session steering brings numerous benefits to a service provider’s business, allowing them to provide new and competitive service offerings with assurance capabilities that can seamlessly act on the network in a timely manner to ensure the assurance objectives of the service being offered," said Tim Carey, Chairman of the Broadband Forum's OB-BAA open source project. 

The CloudCO project recasts the Central Office hosting infrastructure to utilize Software Defined Networking (SDN), Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and cloud technologies. Key components include disaggregated control plane functions in the Access and Edge networks, dynamic session steering as well as subscriber session steering, a Broadband Access Abstraction (BAA) layer with disaggregated control and management plane functions. The flagship architecture brings network and services agility, automation and orchestration and a unified vision of interoperable and streamlined service deployments.

Supporting this year’s CloudCO demonstration was consulting and system integrator Reply, and service providers BT, TIM, and Vodafone, alongside engineers from Altice Labs, Capgemini Engineering, Broadcom, EANTC, Nokia, ufiSpace, VMware, and the University of New Hampshire – InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL).  

“This year’s CloudCO demonstration continues to highlight the great work across many of the Broadband Forum working groups, including Access and Transport Architecture (ATA) as well as the formidable work within the OB-BAA,” said Craig Thomas, Vice President Strategic Marketing and Business Development at Broadband Forum. “The demonstration emphasizes the importance of a truly virtualized disaggregated multi-vendor network, and how operators can take full advantage of all of the open source benefits by leveraging specification standards.” 

The CloudCO framework is built from the ground up with components from the vendor community. To ensure full accessibility for participants, the demonstration was hosted both virtually and in-person to encourage safe participation during the Coronavirus pandemic. 

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