AT&T (NYSE: T) added Nokia (NYSE:NOK) to the Domain 2.0 supplier program to help develop its software-centric network.
AT&T did not specify exactly what Nokia will be providing as part of the program, and an AT&T spokesman declined further comment. In its announcement, the operator emphasized that a software-centric approach is the only way to stay ahead of demand while adding new services for its customers.
The company has managed to make progress in its goal of virtualizing and controlling 5 percent of its target network this year, with plans to virtualize 75 percent of its network by 2020.
"As a global player, Nokia will help us toward our software-centric network goals," said Susan A. Johnson, senior vice presiden of AT&T Global Supply Chain, in a release. "We're constantly looking for agile and innovative companies to join our Domain 2.0 supplier program. And Nokia is one of them."
Nokia President and CEO Rajeev Suri, who will lead the combined Nokia/Alcatel-Lucent after the merger closes next year, said Nokia is proud to support AT&T's mission to connect its customers with a "best-in-class, software-centric" network. "Our innovative companies share a vision of leveraging cloud technologies to transform the network, providing simplicity, speed and scalability today while laying the foundation for the connected world of tomorrow," he said.
AT&T says its work with telecom vendors, startups and open source communities in the Domain 2.0 vendor ecosystem provides evidence that the industry is gaining momentum for the software-centric model. One of the key benefits of the Domain 2.0 program is the ability to deliver new products and services faster.
The first software-defined networking thing the company did was the mobile packet core. John Donovan, senior EVP of AT&T's (NYSE: T) technology and operations, said in August that the company was starting to move large amounts of traffic on its mobile network onto a software-defined architecture.
AT&T announced its "User-Defined Network Cloud" vision in February 2014 with partners Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERIC), Tail-F Systems and MetaSwitch Networks, with Affirmed Networks providing a virtualized Evolved Packet Core (EPC). Later, AT&T added Amdocs and Juniper Networks, Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Fujitsu Network Communications, Brocade Communications Systems, Ciena and Cisco Systems to its list of suppliers on Domain 2.0.
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