Edgecore and Adva tee up TIP white box gateway device for mobile cell sites

TIP members Vodafone, Orange, Telefónica and TIM Brazil contributed to the specification for TIP's white box gateway device for mobile cell sites. (Pixabay)

Edgecore Networks and Adva announced Tuesday that they were developing a white box gateway for mobile cell sites as part of Facebook's Telecom Infra Project (TIP).

The gateway was designed under the auspices of TIP's Disaggregated Cell Site Gateway (DCSG) specification, which included input from TIP members Vodafone, Orange, Telefónica and TIM Brazil.

TIP's white box gateway specification allows the software to be split, or disaggregated, away from the hardware, which in turns allows service providers to pick and choose the best combinations of hardware and software that suit their need. White box deployments also speed up the time-to-market and come with a lower price tag. In order to lower capex, the white box gateways need to be interoperable, open and disaggregated.

Edgecore Networks said it would contribute the hardware design of the cell site gateway, which is called Odyssey-DSG, to TIP that will be part of Adva's integrated solution. Both Adva and Edgecore expect to have the white box gateway available in the third quarter of next year.

"What we're developing with the team at Adva has the potential to dramatically change the whole nature of cell site gateways," said Facebook's Luis MartinGarcia, co-chair, DCSG project group, TIP, and manager, network technologies, in a prepared statement. "By moving away from a closed proprietary system to an open, disaggregated and vendor-neutral infrastructure, mobile network operators have a genuine opportunity to increase network efficiencies."

Adva and Edgecore announced the joint white box gateway device at the TIP Summit in London.

RELATED: AT&T kicks off major white box router deployment

The telecom industry as a whole has been hard at work developing white box routers, switches and gateways to break the chains of proprietary systems. Earlier this month, AT&T announced it had released its white box specifications into the Open Compute Project in order to further kickstart white box efforts.

AT&T's white box blueprints are a reference design that provides guidelines to any hardware vendor that wants to build a white box gateway router. AT&T uses the DANOS operating system software, which stems from last year's acquisition of Vyatta, to control and manage the white box hardware.

Back in March, AT&T said it would install more than 60,000 open source, software-designed white boxes at its cell tower locations over the next several years. Like TIP's white box gateway project, AT&T is speeding up the development of white boxes ahead of its planned launch of 5G services.

In May, Verizon announced it was working with Juniper Networks and Cisco to decouple those vendors' software from hardware to create a multiservice edge platform.

The Verizon edge router use case had Cisco and Juniper pulling their software from their routers and then putting them onto the common compute x86 boxes, which would speed up deployment times while also lowering capex and opex, according to Verizon.