Broadband Forum Releases OB-BAA 4.0

  • Broadband Forum

FREMONT, CA — Broadband Forum has published Release 4.0 of its Open Broadband – Broadband Access Abstraction (OB-BAA) open-source project, that will provide operators worldwide with greater networking flexibility for how they plan and build their networks and enable the delivery of faster services to their customers.


Building on previous releases, Release 4.0 offers enhanced functionalities to disaggregate the management of the Optical Network Unit (ONU) into the cloud using virtualized OMCI message capabilities. Thereby de-coupling ONU management from the software upgrades and release cycles of the OLT, where traditionally it has been embedded. This reduces operators’ costs for on-boarding and upgrading new features in an ONU as well as eases the deployment of new ONU brands and models. The additional flexibility addresses the big engineering and operations problem of having embedded functions in both ONUs and OLTs.


“As network automation continues to emerge at an accelerated pace, operators will need to think about how they make upgrades compatible with their currently deployed architecture to avoid the costly and disruptive practice of starting from scratch,” said Tim Carey, OB-BAA project lead at Broadband Forum. “That’s where OB-BAA Release 4.0 will help, by creating a network which delivers on the promise of next-generation broadband, while reducing service providers’ costs and protecting their investments.”


Moving Control Plane Functions into the Cloud


Release 4.0 also brings another notable benefit as it disaggregates the control plane functions and moves them into the cloud, therefore unlocking the control plane from the data plane of the OLT. This enables the ability for SDN Management and Control elements to dynamically steer traffic which is needed to deploy new services in an accelerated timeframe and dynamically optimize them. The relay of user and control plane packets can be done via standard and/or vendor proprietary control adapters.


Using features that existed in previous releases along with its virtualized ONU management and control relay capabilities, a key accomplishment of the latest release of OB-BAA is the full support of OLT capabilities for white box solutions in the OB-BAA framework. This builds upon the ability of these devices to natively support standard interfaces. In turn this allows OB-BAA to seamlessly connect to any standard compliant Access Node design via the portfolio of standard device adapters available in the public distribution which are key to an operator’s coexistence and migration strategy for their access networks.


Broadband Forum members directly involved in developing Release 4.0 included Nokia, China Mobile, TIM, BT, Altice Labs, Altran, DZS and Broadcom. Release 4.0 of OB-BAA can be downloaded directly from Broadband Forum’s website and can be found here:




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