Transparent services needed when NGNs arrive

12 Jun 2008

Every communications provider intending to deploy services to consumers via next-generation networks (NGNs) must strive to reach a standard of transparent services, regardless of what devices are being used, a Telecommunications Internet Federation (TIF) working group has decided.

TIF’s quarterly technology group meeting, which focused on the topic of high-speed Ethernet access in the deployment of next-generation networks, reached a consensus in terms of what these services will mean for both operators and consumers.

“Ultimately, the goal of every major communications provider is to make telecommunications transparent, giving consumers the ability to access any application they need, using any device, no matter where they are,” Gary Keogh, managing director of COLT Telecom Ireland and chairman of the TIF technology group said.

“Ethernet technology is increasingly recognised as a vital enabler in the evolution towards this goal of converged services.”

Keogh said while Ethernet is a simple and well-established technology for connecting local area networks in the business community, it is fast developing into an effective wide area technology, with application beyond the business environment.

“For instance, many residential apartment blocks use Ethernet as a means of delivering telephony and internet services. As the vision of extending fibre-optic infrastructure to wider residential areas becomes realised, Ethernet will become a vital transport layer for the delivery of voice, data and video services,” Keogh said.

The TIF technology group meetings have representation from companies involved in fixed, mobile, wireless, fixed-wireless, satellite and cable-based service provision.

Tommy McCabe, director of TIF, reiterated the potential of Ethernet in the delivery of next-generation services.

“Ethernet will be as universal in its application in the future of telecommunications as analogue telephony has been in the past. The onus is on industry to work together to ensure that the power of Ethernet is exploited in an appropriate manner in order to deliver converged voice, data and video services to residential and business customers alike.”

By John Kennedy

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