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Broadband Forum releases specification to aid multi-vendor ONU interoperability

Industry open standards development organisation, Broadband Forum has published two documents aimed to help operators reduce the time and cost associated with onboarding new optical network unit (ONU) vendors. 

The new TR-451 ‘vOMCI Specification’ and MR-451 ‘ONU Management using Virtualized OMCI’ are designed to arm operators with more choice in how they create, activate, and maintain services associated with ONUs. This, in turn, should help them roll out services faster, and more easily migrate and evolve their networks by applying new innovations and flexibility.

Previously, the management cycle of the ONU was tied to a specific vendor’s optical line terminal (OLT). The latest specification enables operators to de-couple the ONU and OLT from control and management purposes, with the Virtualized ONU Management (vOMCI) being introduced as a solution to centralise operations without relying on each OLT to act as a management entity.

This means operators’ OLT vendors no longer need to be so closely involved in the roll-out of the management services and features provided by the ONU. TR-451 also increases the number of potential ONU vendors, allowing operators to better negotiate the best prices for ONUs. The specification enables easier interoperability testing and on-boarding of ONUs within an operator’s ecosystem and cloud-based network. It supports various deployment models where virtualised functions can be deployed to the cloud or within existing management system solutions. 



Bruno Cornaglia, co-director of the SDN/NFV work area at Broadband Forumsaid: ‘The latest specification can be used in the evolution of the management of ONUs, not as a replacement for the management processes and data models already in use by operators but to future-proof their infrastructure while maintaining their investment in existing ONU devices. Ultimately, ONU management will be more adaptive to changes in operators’ processes and services, as well as less costly to maintain.’

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