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News recap: Data center model could be new telecom central office

In telecom news, AT&T and ONOS Project held the first CORD proof-of-concept demo at Open Networking Summit, while Los Angeles may deploy municipal Wi-Fi.

In telecom news this week, the first Central Office Re-architectured as Data Center (CORD) proof-of-concept demonstration took place at the Open Networking Summit (ONS2015), and virtual routers are on track for growth next year, analysts predict.

In other news, Los Angeles may deploy citywide Wi-Fi through its CityLinkLA initiative, and other U.S. cities consider the pros and cons.

CORD demo could lead to telecom central office transformation

The first public proof-of-concept (CORD) demonstration of Central Office Re-architected as Data Center took place at the Open Networking Summit in Santa Clara, Calif., this week. The goal of the demo was to show telecom and cable providers how they could use software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) as the basis for a next-generation architecture for central offices (COs). The idea is that carrier workloads could be hosted on commodity infrastructure, Open Networking Lab (ON.Lab), a non-profit organization focusing on SDN growth, said.

The ON.Lab team offering the CORD demo at ONS included AT&T, Open Network Operating System Project (ONOS) Project, PMC-Sierra and Sckipio.

CORD combines SDN, NFV and cloud with commodity infrastructure and open building blocks to bring in data center economies of scale, ON.Lab said in a statement. CORD is an approach that provides infrastructure as a service, which makes providers' networks more flexible. "These technologies create systems that do not need new standards to function and enable new behaviors in software, which decreases development time," said Tom Anschutz, distinguished member of technical staff at AT&T, in a statement.

As one of the newest telecom acronyms, CORD enables service providers to build an underlying common infrastructure with white boxes using ONOS, OpenStack and ExtremeXOS. CORD would replace traditional central office potentially consisting of more than 300 individually deployed appliances requiring physical installation and management, according to ON.Lab.

Los Angeles looks at municipal Wi-Fi

More U.S. cities are considering whether to deploy municipal Wi-Fi, which offers free or low-cost Internet access across large or all areas of the city. Los Angeles may be the next major city to take on public Wi-Fi, according to CBS Los Angeles.

As part of the CityLinkLA program, the Los Angeles City Council recently voted to solicit bids from companies interested in taking part in the effort to provide free or affordable Internet citywide, CBS LA reported.

The city is looking for service providers to offer reduced-rate wired service for low-income communities and free service to one of four city zones. In return, service providers would benefit from things like bulk lease rates to LA's power and water department's fiber network, and faster city permit processing, CBS said. In 2013, 57 U.S. cities had some level of municipal Wi-Fi, and more have deployed it since then. Seattle is also looking to expand to municipal-owned broadband Internet, but according to King5 News, the project is too expensive right now.

In Council Bluffs, Iowa, a citywide initiative to provide Wi-Fi access is underway, with Wi-Fi access expanding to most residential areas and schools, Omaha.com reported. The city is starting to install the base network components and will get help from SmartWave Technologies, a systems integrator that specializes in planning, design and wireless network integration primarily in the municipal, education, healthcare and enterprise markets.

Virtual router market to see growth

The compound annual growth rate of the global service provider router and switch market will be held to 2.1 percent from 2014-2019 due to virtualization and packet-optical transport changes, according to IHS Infonetics. The global virtual router market is the early stages of development and adoption, and the IHS projects the market to grow 125% from 2015 to 2016, IHS reported.

With carriers moving to virtualization, router and switch spending won't see a significant decrease; rather, revenue will grow slowly, according to Michael Howard, senior research director of carrier networks at IHS. The global service provider router and switch market totaled $3.3 billion in Q1 of this year -- down 13% from the previous quarter, but up 3% from last year.

Next Steps

Alcatel-Lucent introduces virtual edge router for service providers

Data growth is pushing IT to the cloud

The benefits of SDN and NFV for telecom providers

How to make virtual routers work for you

Dig Deeper on Next-Generation Network Architecture

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