AT&T Launches Supplier Domain Program 2.0

Next-generation Supplier Program Facilitates AT&T's Rapid Transformation to an Open, Cloud-based Network; New Vendor Relationships to be Added

Dallas, Texas, September 23, 2013

AT&T* today launched the next generation of its Supplier Domain Program – Domain 2.0 – triggering a swift and broad move to a modern, cloud-based architecture that is expected to significantly reduce the time required to pivot to this target architecture while accelerating time-to-market with technologically advanced products and services. 

Domain 2.0 is a transformative initiative.  Integrated through AT&T’s Wide Area Network (WAN) and utilizing Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and Software Defined Networks (SDN), as well as modern architectural and operational approaches, AT&T plans to simplify and scale its network by:

  • Separating hardware and software functionality;  
  • Separating network control plane and forwarding planes; and
  • Improving management of functionality in the software layer.   

Delivering this will require some of AT&T’s current providers, but also will require some new providers with different skills and capabilities. 

AT&T plans to begin selecting vendors and awarding business beginning in late 2013 and through 2014.  AT&T is not revising its previously announced capital expenditure guidance for 2014-15 as a result of this announcement.  However, in the next five years, AT&T expects this program to reflect a downward bias toward capital spending. 

“Our goal is to ensure that each investment accelerates our move towards an advanced all-IP broadband, all-wireless, and all-cloud infrastructure, delivers on the full promise of game-changing technologies, provides an industry leading customer experience, and maintains focus on a capital-efficient network,” said Tim Harden, President, AT&T Supply Chain.

“The Supplier Domain program has a proven track record of delivering cost performance and modern technologies, while dramatically reducing the time to market with our products and services,” Harden said. “We fully expect Domain 2.0 to hasten our pivot.”

With these advances, AT&T plans to increase the value of its network by:

  • Driving improved time-to-revenue;
  • Providing cost-performance leadership;
  • Enabling new growth services and apps;
  • Ensuring world-class, industry leading security, performance and reliability; and
  • Facilitating new business and revenue models.

These capabilities build off the principles of SDN and NFV.  SDN is an architectural framework for creating intelligent networks that are open, programmable and application aware.  NFV is the process of decoupling hardware from software that transforms dedicated network functions into software-based virtualized network functions that can operate in a common, standard, execution environment, supporting a large variety of services.  This modern architecture will simplify and scale AT&T’s network to help support the continued growth of Internet traffic, as well as provide industry leading security, performance and reliability.

In 2009, AT&T established the Supplier Domain approach (Domain 1.0) to facilitate faster product-to-market timelines, to target R&D by the suppliers, and to foster a more collaborative relationship with a few select equipment and software suppliers in eight network “domains.”  AT&T defines domains as “areas of the future network bounded by a particular technology set, such as wireless access.”

Through this collaborative approach, AT&T successfully reduced time to market by 50% since the inception of the Domain 1.0 program and, in the process, ensured that the best technologies and designs were in place to serve our customers.  The Supplier Domain program has allowed AT&T to strengthen its network supply chain and to focus capital spend more rapidly on target architectures, both internally and with the vendors. 

AT&T’s innovation and investment have resulted in a nationwide network, with ultra-fast speeds and a consistent user experience. AT&T has the fastest and now most reliable 4G LTE network,  according to independent third-party data.**  AT&T’s network performance has also been validated by third-party testing.

  • Our 4G LTE service was recognized as having faster average download and upload speeds than any of our competitors in PCWorld/TechHive’s most recent 20-market speed tests — the second consecutive year that AT&T has ranked first overall. PCWorld/TechHive also ranked AT&T’s as the fastest combination of 3G and 4G services in the 20 cities it tested.***
  • And AT&T was named America’s fastest 4G LTE network in PC Magazine’s 2013 Fastest Mobile Networks 30-market study — and also swept the top rankings in all six U.S. regions from coast to coast: Northeast, Southeast, North-Central, South-Central, Northwest and Southwest.****

In addition, RootMetrics® has awarded AT&T for strongest overall call, text, and data performance in multiple markets from January through June of this year.*****