According to AT&T, upgrading its network over the next few years in order to expand mobile capacity will involve the installation of over 60,000 “white box” routers on their towers. Andre Fuetsch, President, AT&T Labs and Chief Technology Officer, outlined plans during the Open Networking Foundation’s Connect Conference in California.
“Traditionally, we bought these
routers from a handful of vendors, and the equipment was highly
specialized and came with specialized software,” said Fuetsch.
“The hardware and software functioned
as a single unit. Being dependent on a single vendor makes upgrades
slower, increases cost, and hampers innovation.”
So, rather than buying a single,
closed package, the carrier is designing their own hardware specs for
routers and encouraging any manufacturer to build to those
specifications. This is known as the “white box” model.
“In addition, we’re
writing our own software for these machines, and we’ll release parts of
it into open source, so any other service provider can use it,” added
Fuetsch. Continue Reading