Software is eating the mobile network, too, as AT&T begins its journey into the cloud


AT&T(s t) has decided its time to remodel its network, tossing out old legacy telecom gear and replacing it with shiny new servers. At Mobile World Congress this week, AT&T SVP of Technology and Network Operations John Donovan outlined a broad plan for Ma Bell to transform its network into a data center.

John Donovan John Donovan

Last I week I wrote about the emerging trend of the mobile-network cloud, how carriers may one day rip out all of the expensive base stations in their networks and virtualize their functions as software on off-the-shelf servers. AT&T isn’t going that far — and no carrier really can for several years — but it did announce some pretty bold plans to overhaul the fundamental makeup of its network.

First off, AT&T is working with a little-known software-defined networking startup called Affirmed Networks to replace its LTE mobile core — a byzantine collection…

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