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Nokia along with Vodafone, Benu Networks, Casa Systems and Cisco have successfully tested a system that will facilitate faster delivery of broadband services to new and existing customers across Europe. The test used Control and User Plane Separation technologies defined by both the Broadband Forum and the global mobile standard 3GPP.

The vendors have applied a new open architecture to the Broadband Network Gateway (BNG) which is a critical component for connecting multiple users to the Internet, to enable it to work using separate software and hardware from multiple vendors. This development will open up the current single-supplier, monolithic broadband gateways to greater technological innovation from a more diverse supply chain.

The disaggregated BNG the technology is expected to change the way broadband networks are built. Using 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 whilst ensuring multi-vendor interoperability. Vodafone can then 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.

Commenting on the development, Johan Wibergh, chief technology officer for Vodafone, 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.”

“Cisco is committed to driving solutions to expand broadband penetration worldwide.” said Andy Schutz, product management senior director for Cisco.  “We believe the work being done in the Broadband Forum is fundamental to these efforts, especially in the area of creating greater flexibility and choice of control and user planes from different vendors leveraging the TR-459 standard.”

“As a leading BNG vendor, Nokia is pleased to demonstrate support for a wide range of BNG deployment models including Broadband Forum’s disaggregated BNG architecture,” said Vach Kompella, VP and GM of Nokia’s IP networks business division. “Nokia envisions a significant evolution in BNG architecture with the introduction of CUPS in fixed, wireless and 5G fixed wireless applications which will allow rapid feature introduction, optimal user plane placement and selection, as well as improved operations.”

Disaggregated BNG will also lower development costs for existing and new ecosystem partners and allow deeper integration with 5G.

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