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December 19, 2014

AT&T to virtualise 75% of network by 2020

The firm details specifics of software defined networking strategy.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

AT&T is looking to virtualise 75% of its network infrastructure by 2020, in a bid to accelerate its software defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualisation (NFV) strategy.

In a blog post this week, the telecoms giant hailed the launch of various virtual networking products, including Net Bond which helps businesses connect to their preferred cloud services, and its streaming cloud environment for mobile data network data centres.

"After a solid start earlier this year, we’re planning to kick our transition to a software-centric network into high gear in 2015," wrote John Donavan, SVP of technology and Innovations at AT&T.

"I’m putting a line in the sand…Our goal is to virtualise and control over 75% of our network using this new architecture by 2020."

It comes as AT&T is in the first year of a six-year plan to transform its traditional network to one that is more SDN and NFV based.

It also comes as the market for SDN is set to unlock more than $8bn in revenues for cloud service providers and enterprise customers within the next five years, according to research by IDC.

Donavan added: "We’re also looking to add people with unique skills to our team. People skilled in software, not afraid to test new ideas and open to being part of this exciting journey. Check out some of our job openings here."

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In November, Ericsson and AT&T detailed more specifics of their SDN partnership after demonstrating mobile multimedia control functions operating in a virtualised environment.

The companies jointly displayed a virtualised IMS (IP multimedia subsystem) node call session control function (CSCF) on OpenStack using Ericsson’s cloud execution and management platform.

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