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  • Satellite Evolution Group

Deutsche Telekom goes cloud-native with a disaggregated, open BNG

Deutsche Telekom has connected the first live customer to its disaggregated broadband network, using routing software from RtBrick running on bare-metal switch hardware, to deliver up to 1000Mbps of internet connectivity.

“Disaggregation represents a new era for our network, and RtBrick joins us in providing full stack BNG (Broadband Network Gateway) running on the Access 4.0 spine/leaf fabric connected to our IP core production network,” said Hans-Joerg Kolbe, Chief Product Owner Access4.0 at Deutsche Telekom. “We wanted to embrace a new cloud-native approach to building and running our network. Disaggregation allows us to independently select the best hardware and software for any job, it’s simpler to automate and it’s more flexible and open than using traditional systems. That’s why we are one of several operators who have recently highlighted the benefits of open BNG software, like that provided by RtBrick, in the Open BNG white paper and further pursue this path as part of the TIP (the Telecom Infra Project) community.”

The first subscriber was connected to an exchange in Stuttgart, Germany, with a wider roll-out being planned. This followed an extensive period of testing and a pilot that included comprehensive integration into operational support systems.

“Connecting real customers over a disaggregated network of this scale is a significant milestone for the whole industry,” said Hannes Gredler, founder and chief technology officer at RtBrick. “The shift to building networks using open software, rather than proprietary systems, is probably the most important development the industry has seen since the arrival of the Internet, and this deployment is proof that cloud-native networks are ready for the mainstream.”

The RtBrick routing software acts as the BNG in Deutsche Telekom’s network, which terminates broadband subscriber traffic, along with providing other functions, such as quality of service, lawful intercept and IPTV. The software runs in a Linux container on bare-metal-switches, configured using ZTP (Zero-Touch-Provisioning) and programmed through RtBrick’s open APIs. It replaces traditional chassis-based routing systems.

RtBrick’s open BNG is the first use-case of its FullStack IP/MPLS routing software, which brings the benefits of cloud-native infrastructure to carrier access networks.

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