Deutsche Telekom Unveils Access 4.0 Platform

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Deutsche Telekom

With the Access 4.0 (A4) platform, Deutsche Telekom is breaking new ground in the construction and provision of networks: conventional hard-wired systems are being replaced by open, disaggregated, highly automated and microservice-based technologies.

Deutsche Telekom is now celebrating an important success: Just before Christmas, the first customer started using an FTTH line in Stuttgart via the new 4.0 platform. As a result, Deutsche Telekom kept its promise to go live with its A4 platform before the end of 2020.

Deutsche Telekom is reaching an important milestone in its transformation into a software-based telecommunications provider,” explains Walter Goldenits, CTO Telekom Deutschland, adding, “We are thus consistently shaping the path taken by the industry toward solutions based on open and disaggregated components in the fixed network area as well.”

Abdurazak Mudesir, head of Services & Platforms and Access Disaggregation at Deutsche Telekom Technik, adds: “Disaggregation is now a reality. For the first time we’re producing a BNG on Whitebox hardware and are using software-defined networking technology to control that gateway. That’s a hugely important step toward our broadband network’s future structure. With the software-defined approach of Access 4.0 we’re driving forward automation and can implement lean processes ourselves in combination with our OSS platforms.”

Access 4.0 is primarily tailored to Deutsche Telekom’s broadband internet access for FTTH/B. This use case marks, however, just the start of the transformation. The underlying A4 platform technology should in future be able to support other applications at the network edge, especially in the 5G and Open RAN environment. The next step will see the project team focus on honing the platform for rollout in other regions.

Disaggregated networks for greater flexibility and efficiency
Vendor-specific closed systems are being replaced on the A4 platform with open, disaggregated, and microservice-based technologies. A4 is based on open source principles in many aspects and shares any resulting insights with open source communities. The open software promotes competition among suppliers and cuts investment costs for network operators.

The A4 team holds key roles in international collaborative projects such as the Broadband Forum (BBF), the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), the Open Compute Project (OC), and the Telecom Infrastructure Project (TIP). This active involvement helps prevent island solutions and leverage synergies not just within Deutsche Telekom, but in the sector as a whole.

Disaggregation with strong partners

A strong team at Deutsche Telekom together with their partners, RtBrick, Reply, Broadcom, Adtran, Siticom, BISDN, Radisys, OneIT, Fibre Industries, and the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), are driving the philosophy of disaggregation and softwarization. The combination of open interfaces and innovative microservices creates more flexibility allowing Deutsche Telekom to roll out services faster on their customers’ premises.


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