Telecom Infra Project attracts optical communications companies

The Telecom Infra Project, an effort by Facebook, Intel, Deutsche Telekom, Nokia, and SK Telecom to apply the principles of the Open Compute Project to telecommunications networks, has announced three core projects as well as new members. Several of these new participants come from the optical communications industry.

The project aims to apply open source concepts and collaboration to the development of next-generation telecom architectures. The three initial focus areas include Access, Backhaul, and Core & Management. Telecom Infra Project members will focus on multiple initiatives in each area:

• The Access arena initially will focus on three initiatives. “System integration and site optimization,” chaired by SK Telecom, will look to further integration via cost-effective and efficient approaches that address how to serve challenging rural and urban regions profitably. “Unbundled solutions,” co-chaired by SK Telecom and Nokia, will seek low-power, low-maintenance approaches to access. “Media-friendly solutions,” with Intel as chair, will look to increase effective throughput and enhance mobile user experience by bringing compute and storage capacity closer to the network edge.

• Backhaul currently is the focus of two projects. Chaired by Facebook, the “high-frequency autonomic access” effort will define a thin and extensible software stack to autonomously coordinate routing, addressing, and security-related functions in packet-switched IPv6 networks. The “open optical packet transport” initiative, co-chaired by Facebook and Equinix, will define a DWDM open packet transport architecture focused on flexibility and avoiding implementation lock-ins.

• Core and Management will see a pair of projects. “Core network optimization,” chaired by Intel, will attempt to attempt to find ways to disaggregate traditional telecom core network functions by deconstructing traditionally bundled components. “Greenfield telecom networks,” under the leadership of Nokia, Facebook, and Deutsche Telekom, will pursue a “pure and efficient” IT-based network architecture via greenfield approaches.

Several of these projects potentially touch on optical networks, and optical technology vendors have emerged to join Nokia on such efforts. These companies include systems houses ADVA Optical Networking (which says it will focus on the DWDM open packet transport architecture initiative), Coriant, and Juniper Networks. At the module level, Acacia Communications and Lumentum have signed on as well.

Other newcomers to the Telecom Infra Project include telecom service providers Axiata Digital, Indosat, MTN Group, Telefonica, and Vodafone; professional services providers BlueStream and Deloitte; as well as Broadcom.

These companies join the 30 existing members of the project.