Major telcos join Facebook-led Open Compute Project

Staff writer
17 Feb 2016

Telecoms operators are signing up to the Facebook-led Open Compute Project (OCP) to build low-cost computing hardware.

Operators including EE, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, SK Telecom and Verizon are joining a new OCP Telco Project, which will work as an open forum to help the OCP more effectively serve the telecoms industry.

The open forum will aim to communicate the technical requirements of telcos effectively to the OCP community.

It will also work to strengthen the OCP ecosystem to address telcos' deployment and operational needs, as well as bring OCP innovations to telco's data center infrastructure.

For example, Nokia has announced that they will incorporate OCP designs into its AirFrame Data Center Portfolio. Equinix and Nexius have joined OCP, making it easier for telcos to find efficiency and flexibility benefits through open hardware, the group said.

“OCP community momentum is strong, and we get closer to our vision of better and more open hardware development each time a new industry embraces the principles of openness and customization,” said Jason Taylor, president and chairman of the OCP board and VP of infrastructure at Facebook.

“Leaders in telecommunications embracing OCP signifies the start of a new and exciting chapter as we work together to enable better designs, easier adoption, and efficiency gains across the board.”

Andre Fuetsch, SVP of architecture and design at AT&T said the company aims to virtualize 75% of its network functions by 2020.

“To do that, we need to move to a model of sophisticated software running on commodity hardware. We’re becoming a software and networking company. As a result, our central offices are going to look a lot more like data centers as we evolve our networking infrastructure,” Fuetsch said.

“The Open Compute Project is innovating rapidly in this area, and we’re thrilled to be collaborating with the community of engineers and developers that are driving the evolution. We look forward to our vendors and other industry players supporting this initiative, as well,” he added.

The OCP further said it is optimistic about the potential of open hardware to bring large-scale gains to the telecommunications industry, and that starts with increased participation.

Alex Choi, CTO of SK Telecom, added that “5G, with its diverse use cases, will open up a whole new ecosystem for telecom operators.”

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