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Open Broadband Network Gateway (OpenBNG)

Babu_Peddu
Employee
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Open Broadband Network Gateway (OpenBNG) 

 

Author: Babu Peddu 

Co-Author: Miguel Lopez 

 

In today’s world, we are generating data traffic at a faster rate than our ability to interpret and analyze in real-time. This is happening due to the advent of 5G, A/ML, IoT, AR/VR and video streaming workloads.   Network bandwidth needs to increase to handle this growth and avoid latency, network congestion and other performance issues. Moreover, The COVID-19 Pandemic placed significant challenges on the world. One of these challenges was how people would interact and work to keep mission-critical services operating. We saw the proliferation in services like telemedicine, distance learning, and shift to a work from home model for many businesses. In essence, this led to the increase of online users and augmented the complexity of existing broadband connectivity.  Throughout this process, traditional fixed services through BNG were increasingly found to be not innovative enough to address these challenges.  

For a fixed operator, the BNG acts as a gateway to inbound and outbound traffic. The gateway processes simple functions like routing and switching, but there's also much more complicated things like policy control, hierarchical QoS, and all the interfaces northbound towards the IT stack. However, operators require greater innovation and cost efficiency that current proprietary BNG solutions cannot provide. This has caused several major problems currently facing the broadband market.  

 The strategies for inclusion of programmability, intelligence and SDN methodologies for better service chaining will also impact future BNG specifications.  Lastly, the broadband segment is also dealing with complexity in operations. Given the number of deployment models that exist, this implies significant efforts in installation and operations. This comes with the possibility of misconfiguration and a lot of risk in network operations.   

OpenBNG, based on open software where operators have the choice in which hardware and software combinations they want to use, addresses these issues by fostering flexibility to innovate and the ability to scale at lower operational costs.  OpenBNG helps address these major issues through three domains. The first is hardware and software disaggregation which allows for an increase in competition from new entrants; greater innovation due greater competition; and more flexibility as hardware and software can be swapped when a better alternative is available in the market. Second, openness to APIs helps allow for automation of the subscribers and services which helps reduce operational and network upgrade costs.   

 

Lastly, control plane and user plane disaggregation will optimize network resources in conjunction with the cloud.  What results in a vibrant and competitive broadband market where operators benefit from these new innovations. It enables operators to deliver new and innovative services to their customers, which in turn improves the economics of their network, creates a more competitive marketplace, and with equipment and devices that are most cost-effective and operationally efficient. OpenBNG is currently being developed through the collaboration of partner organizations within the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) ecosystem.  TIP is a global community of ecosystem players, who are collaborating to develop a new generation of open technology through different initiatives.  The OpenBNG initiative has been in development since 2020 and is currently working to bring supplier solutions into operator labs with the eventual aim of commercial deployments.    

  

Intel®'s goal is to develop a BNG solution that overcomes some of the most relevant issues operators presently face when deploying access services for fixed broadband customers (e.g., residential, SOHO). Intel is collaborating across the different network elements – processors, switches, Infrastructure Processing Units (IPUs), Ethernet adapters, FPGAs, and optical connectivity - from both a hardware and software perspective to provide innovations to the OpenBNG architecture. Intel® Intelligent Fabric delivers intelligence, performance, along with network visibility and control to meet the needs of the Data Center of the Future 

The Intel Tofino Expandable Architecture compliments the OpenBNG implementation with massive performance scale, and flexibility while reducing the Total Cost of Ownership for your expanding broadband network demands.  

Furthermore, our Ethernet IPUs and network adapters help accelerate programmable infrastructure for demanding data growth. Intel CPUs and Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors also provide fabric-enabled endpoints aligned to accelerators and software pipelines. Working in tandem, these elements provide full programmability with unyielding performance and optimized power consumption compared to fixed-function alternatives. 

 At the FYUZ event, you will learn -   

  • How operators can overcome challenges when deploying access services for fixed broadband customers (residential, SOHO, SME) with continuous traffic growth 
  • Real-world use cases that are addressed by OpenBNG, the operational and commercial challenges OpenBNG solves, and the unique value it brings for operators  
  • What the OpenBNG project is doing to develop solutions addressing these use cases, improving supply chain diversity, and accelerating innovation within the fixed broadband ecosystem   

Conclusion  

With the explosion of network traffic across the globe, disaggregated solutions are gaining Programmability and intelligence to process terabytes of data.  

We invite you to join us at FYUZ conference at IFEMA Palacio Municipal in Madrid, Spain from 25th-27th of October 2022. Intel and its partner eco system will be providing more updates on OpenBNG technologies. 

  

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