The Linux Foundation's OPNFV project won a significant endorsement this week from China-based ZTE Corporation, which stands to increase the global reach of the open source network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN) initiative.

Based in Shenzen, China, ZTE is a major manufacturer of telecommunications equipment and software for several global markets, with a purview that includes optical data transmission devices, wireless communications and smartphones, among other niches.

That makes the company, which joins OPNFV as a platinum member, an important addition for expanding the global reach of the project, which aims to bring together industry partners and open source developers to build open NFV and SDN solutions, technologies that are emerging as a key part of data centers and the cloud.

ZTE said its membership in OPNFV will promote development of open standards for NFV and SDN. "Industry-wide collaboration on an open NFV platform will allow us to address critical concerns upfront and build a common reference platform," said Xianming Zhao, CTO, ZTE. "This will establish an open ecosystem for NFV solutions based on open standards and open source software."

OPNFV, which launched in September under the direction of the Linux Foundation, now has 40 platinum and silver members representing a variety of OEMs, telecommunications companies and software vendors specializing in open source, cloud and communications technology.