BT to test ‘liquid bandwidth’ cloud developed by Irish firms

20 May 2011

Telecoms giant BT will be the first telecoms firm to test the Exemplar Dynamic Desktop, a cloud solution to enable firms to deliver bandwidth on demand, developed by Intune Networks, Openet and Amartus.

The project will be showcased during TM Forum Management World, a global telecoms exhibition, taking place in Dublin next week. The TM forum serves a specialised niche in the telecoms world, the systems end of telecoms, or as one industry person says: “where the network meets the dollars.”

The Liquid Bandwidth solution created as part of the Catalyst Project by Intune Networks, Openet and Amartus (a company created by ex-Ericsson and Marconi workers in Ireland) allows operators to increase a customer’s bandwidth remotely from a desktop.

The Catalyst project is based on Intune Networks’ Optical Packet Switch and Transport (OPST) technology, Amartus Service Commander and Openet’s Policy Charging and Control (PCC). The project is a pre-cursor to developing the toolset needed to create a distributed data centre based upon cloud services.

The battle for bandwidth

Bandwidth demands on carriers’ networks are growing exponentially while revenues and profits are decoupled from the cost of delivering the network. Carriers are able to respond to this challenge through service innovation and new revenue generating products.

The demonstration next week will show how carriers can offer innovation and network monetisation via a programmable network API linked to the TM Forum MTOSI Services standards.

“Liquid bandwidth services will empower customers to purchase bandwidth when needed in a cost-effective and timely manner that closely tracks their real hour-by-hour and day-by-day bandwidth requirements with the comfort that the network can ‘flex’ to meet any unanticipated demands,” said Peter Willis, chief data network strategist from BT Innovate & Design.

“It allows network operators to monetise these services and optimises revenues from its network investments. This Exemplar Catalyst illustrates technology that can achieve these aims, allowing more creative commercial relationships with customers that better meets the vicissitudes of emerging traffic patterns and customer expectations.”

Intune Networks co-founder John Dunne said that BT, which is one of Europe’s largest telecoms carriers, will be looking at the technology in terms of how it will help operators generate more revenue and how the technology can scale within networks.

“If a user isn’t happy with their quality of service for video, for example, operators can use the interface to increase the quality of that video. They can also take a calendar-based approach to deploying bandwidth quality based on certain times of the day.”

The coming together of three Irish technology companies to create a product that will be showcased in front of some of the world’s most senior telecoms executives has been praised by Enterprise Ireland’s head of research and innovation, Fearghal Ó Móráin.

“Openet, InTune and Amartus are three of Ireland’s most dynamic and innovative companies. It is an exciting development to see such leading technology firms collaborating on this ground-breaking technology.

“Showcasing this cutting-edge technology at the international TM forum is important for the companies themselves but it will also highlight Ireland’s significant technological capabilities on a global stage.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years