Nokia kicks off open source Broadband Access Abstraction project

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Nokia announced it is spearheading the new open source Broadband Access Abstraction (BAA) project as part of the Broadband Forum’s effort to spark fixed access network innovation.

The initiative seeks to drive the adoption of software-defined access networks through the contribution of open source software, uniting vendors and operators to ensure they are aligned with industry specifications to meet the needs of operators globally.

The project seeks to define a software reference implementation for an open BAA layer, which would eliminate dependencies on vendor-specific equipment and proprietary software functions by providing standardized interfaces and decoupling implementation from the underlying hardware.

Nokia says it is the first vendor partner to contribute open source code under the BAA project. Aligned with BBF standard data models, the open source code delivers common management functionality, making it easier to operate multi-vendor, multi-technology access networks and letting operators and vendors focus on developing new innovative cloud capabilities instead.

The project is created within the Broadband Forum under the Open Broadband (OB) program. Developing both the specifications and reference codes under a single organizational umbrella will shorten feedback loops and reduce the development efforts and testing cycles required, said forum CEO Robin Mersh.

“This will help reduce the time and efforts needed to achieve interoperability and help operators to develop a framework for cloud infrastructure in the central office,” he said. “By aligning open source code to industry specifications, the forum can effectively collaborate with the open source community to aid in development and testing.”

“Open source software is a powerful tool that can make us more efficient as an industry. However, one of the biggest hurdles is simply getting started,” said Federico Guillén, president of Nokia’s Fixed Networks business group. “By opening and standardizing the common, generic part of the network software, we avoid the need to rewrite that same software for every technology, every vendor and every node. In turn, we can now focus our efforts on developing new applications and capabilities that make the network faster, better, and smarter: for example, converging fixed and mobile networks; fronthauling 5G over fiber-access networks, automating operations and building self-healing and self-optimizing networks.”

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