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Press Release -- April 2nd, 2019
Source: AT&T

AT&T Demoing White Box Cell Site Gateway Router at Open Networking Summit 2019

UfiSpace router running AT&T Vyatta network operating system demonstrates specifications recently submitted to Open Compute Project

AT&T is providing a live demo of our white box cell site gateway router at the Open Networking Summit (ONS) being held from April 3-5 in San Jose, California. We have previously announced our plan to use white box technology to support the high bandwidth requirements needed for 5G cell site backhaul.

The white box design disaggregates the underlying hardware from the network operating system software, giving a service provider the flexibility to select a software supplier of their choice. The AT&T demo comprises a white box router from UfiSpace along with our internally developed Vyatta network operating system providing control and management features. The UfiSpace white box is fully compliant with the detailed specifications that AT&T submitted to the Open Compute Project last fall.

Some of the key attributes of the white box cell site gateway router on display at ONS:

Supports a wide range of speeds on the client side including 100M/1G needed for legacy Baseband Unit systems and next generation 5G Baseband Unit systems operating at 10G/25G and backhaul speeds up to 100G.
Designed to operate at industrial temperature ranges (-40C to +65C).
Features the Broadcom Qumran-AX switching chip with deep buffers to support advanced features and QOS.
Includes a baseboard management controller (BMC) for platform health status monitoring and recovery, a powerful CPU for network operating software, and timing circuitry that supports a variety of inputs and outputs to meet the evolving timing requirements and implementations in the 5G technology evolution.
“The UfiSpace design has been future-proofed to include critical features needed to support our 5G RAN deployments” said Janet Peng, director of White Box Development at AT&T Labs. “It has 100G uplinks to support high bandwidth transport needs, sophisticated IEEE 1588-compliant timing features, a powerful processor to support control and management plane features, and diagnostics and network management features designed to meet our rigorous reliability requirements. This powerful hardware design is complemented by our internally developed Vyatta network operating system software that provides a rich portfolio of networking features.

“I am very pleased and honored to collaborate with AT&T on their exciting journey to develop white box technologies” said Vincent Ho, general manager of UfiSpace. “They are pioneers in the industry and I am confident that their success will move the industry to this new paradigm. UfiSpace has submitted our detailed design to the OCP and we are 100% committed to opening our design and moving the industry to standards-based white box solutions.”

After rigorous testing in our lab environments, AT&T conducted a First Field Application (FFA) of the first white box cell site gateway router in December 2018 in our production network carrying live customer traffic. The field experience has been extremely positive and AT&T will begin to expand the deployment cadence starting this summer. The eventual goal is to deploy 60,000+ of the white box cell site gateway routers.

Janet Peng in front of a rack of white box cell site gateway routers in AT&T’s Certification Lab in Middletown, New Jersey.

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