AT&T Wraps Open Source XGS-PON Trials

Created January 19, 2018
News and Business

AT&T has announced that it recently trialed a 10 Gbits/s XGS-PON virtualised network using Open Source Access Manager Hardware Abstraction (OSAM-HA) software. OSAM-HA was formerly Virtual Optical Line Termination Hardware Abstraction (VOLTHA).

The field trials, conducted in the cities of Atlanta and Dallas, were one element of AT&T’s efforts to provide ultra-fast Internet speeds for homes and businesses.

XGS-PON is a fixed wavelength symmetrical 10 Gbits/s passive optic network technology.  It’s part of AT&T’s plan to virtualise access functions within the last mile network.

In these field trials, the XGS-PON system tested multi-Gigabit high-speed Internet traffic and provided a seamless AT&T DIRECTV NOW video experience to trial participants.  The telco used a virtualised Broadband Network Gateway (BNG) function to manage subscribers.

For this technology to work within existing GPON networks, AT&T used a coexistence element. In the trials, it was found that GPON and XGS wavelengths could both exist across a single fibre interface.

“Our network is constantly evolving. We’ll continue to execute our software-based network strategy to technologies like 5G, virtualised RAN, and over time,” comments Eddy Barker, Assistant Vice President, Access Architecture and Design, AT&T. “Ultimately, instead of deploying islands of technology that have SDN control, we want to orchestrate the entire end-to-end network through ONAP.”

ONAP, or the Open Network Automation Platform, is AT&T’s virtual access project within the Linux Foundation and will use the first iteration of OSAM-HA technology.

OSAM is a vendor agnostic operational suite for managing consumer and business broadband access network elements and capabilities, separate from vendor-specific access Element Management Systems (EMS).

In October of last year AT&T reported that it had reached a major milestone by releasing VOLTHA 1.0 into the Open Networking Foundation (ONF). That development was billed as the first major open-source software release that provided the “brain” for XGS-PON technology. It also emphasised AT&T’s commitment to move toward open source software and SDN/NFV frameworks.


John Williamson

This article was written
by John Williamson

John Williamson is a freelance telecommunications, IT and military communications journalist. He has also written for national and international media, and been a telecoms advisor to the World Bank.