Verizon has enlisted Alcatel Lucent, Cisco, Ericsson, Juniper Networks and Nokia to transform its network by implementing a software-defined network (SDN) architecture.
It is hoped this will lay the groundwork for new innovative services and applications.
The SDN-based architecture is designed to introduce new operational efficiencies and allow for the enablement of rapid and flexible service delivery to Verizon's customers.
SDN is a relatively new approach to designing, building and managing communications networks. it enables network programmability by leveraging a centralized controller and orchestrator to program network flows.
This centralised network control will drive a number of key customer facing benefits, including: Elastic, scaleable, network-wide service creation and near real-time service delivery. Verizon and its technology vendors have co-authored a comprehensive SDN Network Architecture document, which includes all interface specifications and reference architectures plus requirements for both control layer and forwarding box functions.
The document will enable key technology partners to develop solutions to achieve the business and technical benefits of an SDN-enabled network.
Much of the foundational work required to deliver on Verizon's next-generation network has been underway for several years.
The telco has created live lab environments in San Jose, California; Tampa, Florida; and Waltham, Massachusetts. It has commercial datacentre environments on both the East and West Coast of the US. Verizon chief information officer, Roger Gurnani, said the company and its key technology partners had always focused on providing high-performance networks for customers.
"With SDN architecture we will continue to ensure our network and services meet the needs of our customers, today and in the future."
Cisco chairman and chief executive, John Chambers, said Verizon and Cisco had a long-standing technology and business relationship.
"We are pleased to play a key role in Verizon's next-generation, software-defined network architecture," he said. "This will become the foundation for innovative, new Verizon services and applications.
"Both companies share a vision to transform the entirety of the network architecture to achieve the speed and operational efficiency required to meet the needs of today, as well as capture the growth opportunities to monetize with the Internet of Everything over the next decade and beyond."
Alcatel-Lucent president of Bell Labs and chief technology officer, Marcus Weldon, said Verizon shared his company's vision of a future network that provided seemingly limitless capacity and that was able to instantly adapt to the needs of businesses and consumers.
"We know this can be possible with virtualisation, SDN technology and the ability to tap into the power of a strong, tightly paired IP and optical backbone network capable of handling people's insatiable appetite to connect, share and consume content," he said.
Juniper Networks chief executive officer, Rami Rahim, said network innovation was fundamental to deploying highly scalable, secure and efficient cloud environments that adapt in real time.
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