The Stack Archive

SK Telecom eyes SDN for next-gen wireless and data centres

Mon 16 Feb 2015


Korean network provider SK Telecom may deploy On.Lab’s ONOS operating system to redefine its provision of next-generation wireless technologies – and the company is already experimenting with software-defined-networking (SDN) via Linux’s OpenDaylight initative for its data centre environments.

Speaking to Light Reading, senior VP of R&D for SK Telecom Kang Won Lee said: “A large part of radio access will be cloud-based in next-generation wireless, and we want ONOS, if it becomes successful, to be the main component to control that part of the network.”

ONOS, built using Floodlight for the OpenFlow controller Cassandra, was released to preview in 2013 before an open source RTM last December, and vaunts performance, scalable design and high-availability as features suiting it for large-scale vendor provisioning.

SK Telecom is South Korea’s largest network provider, holding more than 50% of market share, and is in the planning stage to roll out 5G networks to its customers.

The company is more than usually interested in SDN, having already employed the Linux OpenDaylight SDN framework experimentally into its data centre operations. Lee sees ONOS and OpenDaylight as complementary rather than opposing solutions, with ONOS providing disruptive availability on demand – crucial for WAN operations – and OpenDaylight providing a solid frame for development and evolution in the data centre environment. Lee comments: “We are closely watching both of them.”

The deal with ON.labs obliges SK Telecom to deep involvement with the future of ONOS, including a $500,000 (£325,000) annual stipend, board participation on the technical side of development, the provision of two software engineers and co-operation in the building of communities around ONOS.

Formed in 1984, SK Telecom is part of the SK Group, the second-largest chaebol (conglomerate) in South Korea. SKT provides the highly-used instant messenger service NateOn, and its services cover more than 27 million subscribers in the south.


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