Smart moves closer to adopting transport network disaggregation

Smart moves closer to adopting transport network disaggregation

Philippine mobile operator Smart Communications says it has successfully tested transport network disaggregation tech that it hopes to use to make its network more efficient, flexible and scalable.

Smart and its parent company PLDT carried out the test in the PLDT-Smart Technolab in Makati in collaboration with various hardware and software platform vendors.

PLDT and Smart see disaggregated networks – which decouple hardware and software – as a ticket to greater flexibility, cost efficiency, and agility that allows them to adapt to fast-changing market conditions, deploy new services and meet the growing demands of customers and businesses.

Disaggregation also potentially enables operators to break out of the old model of proprietary hardware and software from a single vendor – which is costly, rigid, and difficult to upgrade or modify – towards open, interoperable, and standardized hardware and software components from different vendors that can be added or replaced without disrupting the entire network.

“The virtualization of routing function and its disaggregation from the hardware platform is a positive step towards the overall transformation of the transport network architecture, which promises to bring more flexibility, agility, and cost efficiency to our backbone infrastructure,” said Arvin L. Siena, VP and head of Network Strategy and Transformation Office at PLDT and Smart.

Siena added that the successful functionality and interoperability test in Technolab “indicates that the solution is approaching the maturity stage.”

Eric Santiago, FVP and network head at PLDT and Smart, said disaggregated network technology will play a key role in the operator’s digital transformation plan to fully virtualize and containerize its end-to-end network, including core, access and transport.

"It is a game-changing approach to network infrastructure, and its benefits will, in turn, allow PLDT and Smart to provide better, innovative and affordable services, and pave the way for future innovation and transformation of the transport network," Santiago said.

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