AT&T on track to virtualize 30 percent of its network functions by end of 2016

AT&T (NYSE: T) continues to move down the virtualization path by transforming more of its hardware-based network functions into software by leveraging a mix of SDN and NFV.

Speaking to investors during the Jefferies Communications Conference, Scott Mair, senior vice president of technology planning and engineering for AT&T, said that the service provider is on track to hit a major milestone by the end of the year.

"We set a goal last year to have 5 percent of our network virtualized and we hit that," Mair said. "This year we set a goal that that 30 percent of our functions are going to be virtualized."

Mair added that "the more we get on commodity hardware, the more the cost structure is better for us."

AT&T is on track to virtualize 200 functions in its network, which allows the telco to create a new set of services like its Network On Demand Ethernet service and NetBond, for example.

By using SDN, AT&T will be able provide a better customer experience, while also helping to drive costs out of the business.

"If you start to virtualize the functions in a network, and we said we'll virtualize 200, you can stitch or orchestrate those into products and services in a way that scales, that allows you to add feature functionality and gives you a good cost curve because you're running it on commodity hardware," Mair said.

NetBond, which provides a secure connection and allows integration into AT&T's network, has continued to attract a number of cloud providers partners like CSC and plays into the fact that enterprises want flexibility in how they want to use cloud services.

"With Net Bond, a business can establish a secure connection right into the cloud all the way to the actual server," Mair said. "It gives them security and peace of mind that they can interact with their software without a problem."

For more:
- hear the webcast (reg. req.)

Related articles:
AT&T's $10B enterprise spending plan will deepen its SDN-based on-demand, cloud service footprints
AT&T extends fiber to over 950K business locations, enhances on-demand Ethernet reach
AT&T shifts 130K employees to focus on software networking transition

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