Verizon becomes ONAP platinum member

Verizon announced it has joined the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) project as a platinum member, underscoring the service providers efforts to propel network virtualization and automation.

ONAP is an open source community consisting of global carriers and vendors focused on the lifecycle management of virtual network functions (VNFs). The project is a collaboration between AT&T’s Open ECOMP and the Linux Foundation’s Open-O, which merged together in 2017. With Verizon jumping on board the ONAP bandwagon with an estimated 110 million mobile subscribers, the project enables almost 60% of the world’s mobile subscribers.

Verizon is one among many service providers that have made strives toward virtualizing its network. In 2016, for example, the company delivered on its SDN and NFV strategy with the launch of its Virtual Network Services. More recently, Verizon has made headway in expanding its SDN platform by incorporating Versa Networks Software Defined Secure Branch (SD-Branch) managed service into it last August.

“Future experiences powered by intelligent and automated networks is one of the biggest opportunity areas for carrier networks,” said Ed Chan, senior vice president and chief technology architect at Verizon. “Verizon is working together with partners to accelerate virtualization and automation across the industry through ONAP.”

A platinum membership to ONAP usually costs $250,000. By becoming a platinum member, Verizon aims to meet many goals, including simplifying and accelerating network functions, expanding interoperability with other SDN ecosystems, gain greater agility in network management, service creation and provisioning, as well as standardize network elements.

“We are thrilled Verizon is joining ONAP,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager of networking and orchestration, The Linux Foundation. “By participating in ONAP development, the world’s most influential carriers will greatly accelerate SDN/NFV services, virtual functions, and edge computing and 5G applications. Open standards and technologies like ONAP are advancing data networking faster and more economically than ever before.”

With respect to ONAP’s ambitions, the open source community recently released an architecture for closed-loop, end-to-end network automation called Amsterdam, which combines the contributed code of both Open ECOMP and Open-O. According to ONAP, Amsterdam is already being used by AT&T and China Mobile. The second release, called Beijing, is slated for this summer.

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