AT&T has said that it is hoping to make its ECOMP platform a de facto standard in the design of future, software-defined wireless and wired networks, and along those lines the company last month released the platform as an open source offering available through the Linux Foundation.
However, Verizon said it isn’t interested.
“Verizon is a strong supporter of open source, but at this time we have no plans to use this technology in our network,” Verizon spokesperson Lynn Staggs told FierceWirelessTech in response to questions on the topic.
Verizon’s statement isn’t a total surprise: Verizon and AT&T remain heated competitors in the U.S. telecommunications market, battling each other across industries including enterprise, wireless, IoT and advertising. However, the lack of support from Verizon clearly represents a setback to AT&T, which has said it hopes to make its ECOMP the telecom industry's standard automation platform for managing virtual network functions and other software-centric network capabilities.
Indeed, AT&T's John Donovan laid out the operator’s hopes for ECOMP in the operator’s announcement that it would release ECOMP as open source software via the Linus Foundation: "We want to build a community -- where people contribute to the code base and advance the platform. And, we want this to help align the global industry," Donovan said in an AT&T release. "We've engaged a third-party company to be the integrator and provide support in the industry for the ECOMP platform. And we've received positive feedback from major global telecom companies. We're excited to share more on that front very soon."
AT&T’s Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy (ECOMP) platform comprises 8.5 million lines of code and enables the automation of service delivery, service assurance, performance management, fault management and SDN tasks. What's more, ECOMP is designed to work with OpenStack but can be extended to other cloud and compute environments.
“This is basically the network operating system of the future,” Andre Fuetsch, president of AT&T Labs and the operator’s CTO, explained during a recent appearance at an investor conference. He said that ECOMP can also enable “a lot of interoperability” among operators that use the platform, even if they differ on the types of services they offer to their respective customers. “We believe it will be a game changer for the industry,” he added.
ECOMP is an element of AT&T's wider goal of virtualizing 75 percent of its network by 2020; the company has said ECOMP is the glue that ties together much of its virtualization efforts. AT&T said that it virtualized 5.7 percent of its network at the end of last year, and this year the company hopes to migrate 30 percent of its applications into a private cloud by the end of 2016.