AT&T launches user-defined cloud strategy

AT&T (NYSE: T) has unveiled its new user-defined network cloud concept, which it says will give customers more control and the ability to add services on-demand.

Initial vendors chosen to provide platforms and services for its strategy include Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERIC), Tail-F Systems AB and Metaswitch Networks LTD. It also named Affirmed Networks to work on developing a virtualized Evolved Packet Core (EPC). Ericsson also will provide AT&T related integration and transformation services.

It will announce other vendor selections through the end of the year.

At the core of this strategy is the implementation of Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networks (SDN).

The telco said it plans to simplify and scale its network through three activities: separating hardware and software functionality; separating network control plane and forwarding planes; and improving management of functionality in the software layer.   

AT&T said this plan does not affect its previously announced capex guidance, adding that over the next five years it expects its Domain 2.0 program to reflect a downward bias toward capital spending. 

Driving more software and cloud-based capabilities has been an ongoing initiative for the telco.

It is applying great use of cloud for both its customers and its own internal operations. In 2013, AT&T put nearly 20 percent of its internal apps into the cloud. Over the next three to five years, it will be an entirely cloud-based enterprise.

John Donovan, senior executive vice president, AT&T Technology and Network Operations, said during the Citi Internet Media & Telecommunications Conference in January that it plans to "have over 90 percent of our apps in the cloud."

For more:
- see the release

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