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Adtran initiates software-defined access network project, advances the smart home experience

Partnerships with Orange and Plume will evaluate and test SDN-based programming for next-gen fibre access networks, and boost customer experience management of Wi-Fi-enabled services

In a flurry of activity to boost the new world of networking, with millions more working at home, next-generation open networking and subscriber experience technology provider Adtran has formed a number of key alliances to extend the reach of networks and improve the experience in using them at home.

Principally, the company has signed a joint development project with Orange as part of its Access Renewal and Evolution Strategy (ARES) programme, focused on the application of software-defined networking (SDN) technology to fixed fibre access networks.

The ultimate goal of the partnership is to investigate, test and propose solutions that enable global operators to improve performance, shorten time to market for new services while reducing energy consumption in the network, and ultimately reduce costs. The partners are confident that their work will result in “comprehensive” architecture studies, technical requirements for the next generation of network nodes, cost models, prototype evaluations, field trials and preparation for potential field roll-out within the Orange network.

With the aim of building the best network to support Orange’s fibre access network expansion, the companies will focus on three basic aims – to create a roadmap for Orange’s possible introduction of a software-defined management architecture; to ensure network elements can integrate with third-party management, control and/or orchestration platforms and with other network devices; and to secure conformity to Orange’s current and future engineering rules for GPON and XGS-PON architecture.

“The evolution of our fixed access optical network represents a challenge and opportunity as we look to extend the range and reach of our networks,” said Christian Gacon, Orange vice-president, wireline networks & infrastructure. “We are delighted to begin this development with Adtran. This work will ensure that Orange can maximise the fibre broadband opportunity, create new business models and deliver an enriched service experience for our customers.”

In its second project, Adtran is collaborating with smart home services firm Plume in a scheme designed to improve, personalise and secure the home network and streamline connectivity within the rapidly developing smart home market.

The two companies are working to create a mechanism to monetise smart home services while elevating the in-home subscriber experience. Plume’s suite of consumer and ISP services will be combined with Adtran’s portfolio of broadband gateways, optical network terminals (ONTs) and cloud management tools will enable service providers to deliver smart home services, including Plume Adaptive Wi-Fi, advanced parental controls, AI-based security and Wi-Fi motion detection.

As part of the collaboration, Adtran will also integrate Plume’s customer experience management platform via its Mosaic Subscriber Suite, offering ISPs a single pane view of their access and smart home network. OpenSync, a component in delivering Plume’s services, provides an open-source interface between Adtran’s Mosaic and the customer CPE, permitting cloud-based applications to access data and management control of the CPE.

“At a time when there is increased impetus to provide consumers with flawless and secure smart home experiences through self-install solutions, our services will complement Adtran’s product portfolio and expand their service offering to their customers,” said Tyson Marian, chief commercial officer at Plume.

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