The Broadband Forum recently announced that Altice Labs is among the first broadband providers to pass the interoperability tests for the vOMCI (TR-451) standard, alongside MT2, Nokia, and the Radisys Corporation.

Eight products, along with the Broadband Forum’s open-source project OB-BAA (Open Broadband: Broadband Access Abstraction), successfully passed interoperability tests conducted at the University of New Hampshire’s Interoperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) between June and September 2023. The goal is to increase network flexibility and agility, as well as interoperability. This helps operators to reduce operating costs and to streamline new service availability, which ultimately benefits the consumer as well.

“We are very pleased to see broadband providers coming together for the industry’s first vOMCI Plugfest and providing feedback to help the Broadband Forum’s working groups and the OB-BAA project improve the vOMCI software to enable faster and more flexible network deployments for network operators,” said Lincoln Lavoie, Technical Chair of the Broadband Forum.

The OMCI protocol is used by OLTs (central equipment) to configure ONTs (customer equipment). However, to support new types/vendors of ONT, software updates to the OLT (OMCI stack) are often required, necessitating operator approvals/tests and the mass deployment of these updates on a large number of devices. The TR-451 standard (vOMCI Specification) defines a set of interfaces that allow the virtualization of the OMCI stack, streamlining support for new types of ONT without requiring changes to the OLT software. Additionally, the software can run in a cloud environment and be shared by multiple OLTs, facilitating the update process. “The vOMCI specification enables operators to increase flexibility and interoperability in both greenfield and brownfield deployments. This specification allows coexistence between different vendors and different generations of devices”, explains André Domingos Brízido, from the Network Systems Development (DSR) department at Altice Labs and co-editor of the WT-451a1 standard. “For example, vOMCI can be deployed with whiteboxes and chassis-based OLTs, as demonstrated during the plugfest and Network X. This aspect is crucial to safeguard operator investments,” he emphasizes.

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