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Vodafone and partners first to test disaggregated broadband

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The operator, Benu Networks, Casa Systems, Cisco and Nokia say test paves the way for faster, open broadband.

Vodafone and four vendors have tested a system that they claim will make it quicker and easier to deliver faster fixed broadband services to new and existing customers across Europe.
 
In a world first, the companies applied a new open architecture to the Broadband Network Gateway (BNG) and demonstrated that it worked across separate software and hardware from multiple vendors.

Moving away from the monolith

Currently single-supplier, monolithic broadband gateways are in wide use and the team hopes this multi-vendor approach will drive more technological innovation from a more diverse supply chain.
 
The new technology is called Disaggregated BNG, based on the global TR-459 standard devised by the Broadband Forum.

The test allowed the core control functions of the gateway, such as authenticating a user and increasing bandwidth to support streaming services, to be separated and managed efficiently in the cloud with multi-vendor interoperability. 

This means Vodafone can separately upgrade, scale and deploy new features and add more capacity, enabling greater agility and faster time to market when making enhancements across its pan-European broadband network.

Greater diversity

Johan Wibergh (pictured), Chief Technology Officer for Vodafone Group, said: “We are already driving a more diverse and open mobile ecosystem with Open RAN, and now we are targeting fixed broadband.

"As an industry, and with government support, we owe it to people with no or slow internet access to quicken the rollout of new capabilities on fast, fixed broadband.”
 
Disaggregated BNG will also lower development costs for existing and new ecosystem partners and allow deeper integration with 5G.