Study from Arthur D. Little, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom and Telefónica explains new Central Office Pod approach to transform operations

Madrid, September 10, 2019

Arthur D. Little, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom and Telefónica today released a major new study outlining the vital importance of the telecoms industry moving to a more virtualized, converged and cloud-based architecture for its access networks. This will enable it to meet three current challenges – demand growing faster than revenues, technology convergence and the increasing value delivered by third parties within their ecosystems.

Based on their experience and expertise, the Who Dares Wins! report argues that operators need to move to modular Central Office pod (“CO pod”) architectures, replacing traditional access network technologies. This cloud-based approach disaggregates proprietary equipment into general-purpose hardware and reproduces the relevant functions in software managed by standard IT automation tools. This increases efficiency, widens up the range of equipment suppliers, enables greater innovation and allows greater convergence.

The report argues that the new CO pod architecture can be used to catapult the telecom fixed and mobile access industry production model into a cloud-like future. Moreover, the architecture provides a safe place for each operator to innovate and explore new services, and, going at their own pace, to transform skills, operations, and business processes to benefit from improved agility.

However, the report recognizes that there is still more work to be done. Telecom ecosystems are not yet on a par with IT and web scale data centers, so the industry must work together as a community, in order to move into the future.

Tom Anschutz, Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at AT&T says: “AT&T is trailblazing automation and cloudification, but a trail is not for a single traveler – we realize the strong benefits of working toward these goals with open community collaboration. I hope that this paper attracts more like-minded companies to participate with us.” 

Dr. Hans-Jörg Kolbe, Head of Deutsche Telekom’s Access 4.0 DevOps organization notes: “It is important for us to further develop the disaggregated Central Office and cloud technology to broaden our partner community, in order to attract the best technology and thinking into building our future networks based on the Access 4.0 design.”

David del Val, Director of Core Innovation at Telefónica states: “The Who Dares Wins! study leverages our learnings and provides useful references to support the sector in addressing common challenges in its quest to create an environment that can accelerate the creation of new services and revenues.”

Salman Ali, Principal at Arthur D. Little concludes: “More than ever, the challenges facing the industry require fresh thinking. In order to stay competitive in the short term and remain relevant in the long term, the industry must differentiate itself and drive innovation. To achieve this, operators should build new capabilities and regenerate their ecosystems through step out approaches like the Central Office pod architecture.”

Through the report, the joint team has openly shared their current thinking, details of what they are doing and how they have organized their operations around CO pod architectures. The aim is to encourage wider debate and adoption of the concept at both a business and technology level. The team also stresses that the timing is right to move to this new model, given greater focus on convergence and the impending deployment of FTTx and 5G.

About Arthur D. Little

Arthur D. Little has been at the forefront of innovation since 1886.  We are an acknowledged thought leader in linking strategy, innovation and transformation in technology-intensive and converging industries.  We navigate our clients through changing business ecosystems to uncover new growth opportunities.  We enable our clients to build innovation capabilities and transform their organizations.

Our consultants have strong practical industry experience combined with excellent knowledge of key trends and dynamics.  Arthur D. Little is present in the most important business centers around the world.  We are proud to serve most of the Fortune 1000 companies, in addition to other leading firms and public sector organizations.

About AT&T Communications

We help family, friends and neighbors connect in meaningful ways every day. From the first phone call 140+ years ago to mobile video streaming, we innovate to improve lives. We have the nation’s fastest wireless network.** And according to America’s biggest test, we have the nation’s best wireless network.*** We’re building FirstNet just for first responders and creating next-generation mobile 5G. With a range of TV and video products, we deliver entertainment people love to talk about. Our smart, highly secure solutions serve nearly 3 million global businesses – nearly all of the Fortune 1000. And worldwide, our spirit of service drives employees to give back to their communities.

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Deutsche Telekom

Deutsche Telekom is one of the world’s leading integrated telecommunications companies, with some 178 million mobile customers, 28 million fixed-network lines, and 20 million broadband lines, across more than 50 countries. With a staff of some 216,000 employees throughout the world, Deutsche Telekom generated revenue of 75,7 billion Euros in the 2018 financial year.

Telefónica

Telefónica is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world by market capitalization and number of customers, with a comprehensive offering of world-class fixed, mobile and broadband connectivity services. The company has a significant presence in 21 countries, with strong presence in Spain, Europe and Latin America. In 2017 Telefónica had consolidated revenues of 52 billion euros, consisting of 272 million mobile phone subscribers, 21.4 million Internet and data lines, and 8.5 million pay-TV customers. Telefónica is a 100 percent listed company, with more than 1.5 million direct shareholders. Its shares are traded on the Spanish Stock Market and on those in London, New York, Lima, and Buenos Aires.