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Look out, Cisco: Major telcos join Facebook's open hardware push

James Niccolai | Jan. 28, 2016
Verizon and AT&T are among those looking to speed innovation and cut costs.

He expects Verizon to buy equipment from "a mix of traditional and non-traditional" suppliers, he said.

Facebook has already developed a pair of powerful OCP switches for cloud and enterprise use, and the new telco equipment could add to the pressure on traditional vendors.

Those companies aren't standing still. Nokia, which just bought Alcatel-Lucent, was among the new OCP members announced on Wednesday, and says it will incorporate OCP designs into future telco products.

Cisco noted that it's been a member of OCP since 2014. "We don’t view it as a threat," spokesman David McCulloch said via email. "Open standards, open source, and open-ness initiatives are only becoming more important to Cisco."

The OCP equipment takes time to design and manufacture, and it will need to be tested thoroughly for compatibility before it can be dropped into a telco infrastructure.

Still, a move toward wider use of commodity hardware can't be good for traditional vendors, and the cash-strapped telcos are clearly looking for a way to cut costs.

 

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