Broadband Forum standardises software defined fibre access

Created July 18, 2022
News and Business

The Broadband Forum has published two new standards which it says will help operators reduce the time and cost associated with onboarding new Optical Network Unit (ONU) vendors, roll-out services faster, and more easily migrate and evolve their networks by applying new innovations and flexibility.

The TR-451 vOMCI and MR-451 ONU Management using Virtualised OMCI specifications will give operators more choice in how they create, activate, and maintain services associated with ONUs. Previously, says the Forum, the management cycle of the ONU was tied to a specific vendor’s Optical Line Terminal (OLT). The latest specification enables operators to de-couple the ONU and OLT from control and management purposes, with the Virtualised ONU Management (vOMCI) being introduced as a solution to centralise operations without relying on each OLT to act as a management entity.

This, it says, means operators’ OLT vendors no longer needed to be intimately involved in the roll-out of the management services and features provided by the ONU. TR-451 also increases the number of potential ONU vendors, allowing operators to better negotiate the best prices for ONUs. The specification enables easier interoperability testing and on-boarding of ONUs within an operator’s ecosystem and cloud-based network. It supports various deployment models where virtualised functions can be deployed to the cloud or within existing management system solutions.

“The latest specification can be used in the evolution of the management of ONUs, not as a replacement for the management processes and data models already in use by operators but to future-proof their infrastructure while maintaining their investment in existing ONU devices,” said Bruno Cornaglia, co-director of the SDN/NFV Work Area at Broadband Forum. “Ultimately, ONU management will be more adaptive to changes in operators’ processes and services, as well as less costly to maintain.”

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This article was written
by Peter Dykes

Peter Dykes is a independent telecoms and technology journalist who has over that last 30 years written for a wide range of B2B publications and companies. A former BT engineer, he specialises in networks and associated support systems. He is currently Editor of Optical Connections.