Joined by Altice Labs, MT2, Nokia and Radisys Corporation were the first three vendors to have completed interoperability testing for the Broadband Forum’s vOMCI standard (TR-451) at a plugfest held at the University of New Hampshire’s InterOperability Lab (UNH-IOL) between June and September 2023.
The group took part in the Virtualized ONU Management and Control Interface (vOMCI) Plugfest and remotely tested the interoperability of their products.
It was confirmed that eight products, along with the Broadband Forum’s Open Broadband BAA project, participated in the interoperability test with the standard. This lays the foundations for network operators to deliver new services more easily inside customer homes and have more freedom to work with vendors with products that have been certified and tested.
vOMCI addresses how service providers use the OMCI protocol to provision services like data, video and voice onto the Optical Network Unit (ONU), which is the device or piece of equipment for fiber deployments that convert an optical connection into a more conventional Ethernet connection that customers’ routers usually support. The Optical Line Terminal (OLT) is the operator’s equipment that connects with the ONUs and helps to manage the end-user connections.
The TR-451 standard de-couples the ONU and OLT by virtualizing the OMCI software and allows operators to deploy new services or ONU devices more easily. Likewise, the vOMCI solution enables easier interoperability testing and onboarding of the ONUs within the Operator’s ecosystem and network.
The UNH-IOL hosted the vendors’ physical equipment as well as vOMCI software in an on-premises cloud and provided an anonymous report of the plugfest to the Broadband Forum to help the industry assess the state of vOMCI interoperability and plan for future work and testing.
“The interoperability between the combinations of the vOMCI stack, OLT equipment, and ONU devices demonstrate the flexibility and promise of vOMCI-based systems,” said Lincoln Lavoie, Broadband Forum Technical Chair.
André Domingos Brízido, Altice Labs Senior Engineer and TR-451 editor said the vOMCI standard (TR-451) promises to drive greater interoperability. “This specification allows for co-existence between different vendors and different generations of devices,” he said. “For example, voice can be deployed with white boxes and chassis-based OLTs, as demonstrated during the plugfest and Network X. This is key for safeguarding operators’ investments.”