Nokia Multivendor ONU Connect leverages virtual OMCI

Nokia says it can ensure interoperability between its PON optical line terminals (OLTs) and optical network units (ONUs) from any vendor with its newly launched Multivendor ONU Connect. The capability leverages a virtual ONU Management Control Interface (OMCI) to approach OLT/ONU interoperability in a manner similar to loading a driver on a PC.

Nokia says it can ensure interoperability between its PON optical line terminals (OLTs) and optical network units (ONUs) from any vendor with its newly launched Multivendor ONU Connect. The capability leverages a virtual ONU Management Control Interface (OMCI) to approach OLT/ONU interoperability in a manner similar to loading a driver on a PC.

Network operators frequently purchase the PON OLT from one vendor and their ONUs from another (or several others) as a way of decreasing fiber to the home (FTTH) capex. ONU specialists often offer prices lower than the main OLT houses, and operators can pit multiple ONU vendors against each other to negotiate better prices. However, the ONU and OLT must be interoperable, which can be a challenge depending upon the vendors involved. If the vendors have not already conducted OMCI compatibility exercises, the operator can find itself facing both test costs and a delay in fielding.

Nokia says its Multivendor ONU Connect solves this problem. The open, cloud-based software approach, based on the company’s Altiplano software platform, enables the OMCI to be virtualized and have multiple versions running in parallel. Upgrades and other changes can be handled easily, Nokia adds.

"Nokia's Multivendor ONU Connect brings operators the true benefits of SDN and NFV,” opined Julie Kunstler, principal analyst at Ovum, via a Nokia press release. “It enables operators to onboard multi-vendor ONUs quickly, providing their subscribers with best-in-class CPEs for supporting new services while significantly reducing testing and resource costs. While several operators share their respective OMCIs, Nokia's Multivendor ONU Connect streamlines interoperability by virtualizing ONU management. Furthermore, operators can easily manage existing ONUs and their updates, along with new ONUs, solving numerous operational challenges."

Nokia unveiled a fixed access network slicing capability, also based on the Altiplano platform, early this week as well (see “Nokia offers network slicing for fixed broadband networks”).

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