"Industry has agreed on the technical direction for NGN" (next generation networks), said Keith Dickerson, BT head of standards and co-leader of ITU-T Focus Group on Next Generation Networks (FGNGN) Working Group 7 on future packet-based networks. "We shouldn't have interoperability problems when the NGN is deployed," he said.
FGNGN's job is to define network architecture and requirements to support fixed-mobile convergence, letting a fixed-line operator provide the same services as a network operator offering 3GPP defined services, for example, using IMS, said Dick Knight of BT vice chairman of FGNGN: "Thus equipment can be connected to either a fixed or mobile network [and] receive the same services, and a dedicated device, such as a phone, may roam between a 3GPP or 3GPP2 network and a fixed line network."
Fixed-mobile convergence will be enabled by extending the 3GPP IMS to provide the same services over the fixed network, said Dickerson: "BT is pushing for emulation of PSTN services to meet the 2009 deadline, when we'll be closing down PSTN... BT plans to move all its customers to its 21st Century Network," BT's version of the NGN, by 2009.
"FGNGN has given strategic and technical direction to industry, and enables a network operator to offer new services in new markets: Presence, IM, maybe in the future broadcast digital TV and video on demand. The design of a flexible service platform enables the networks to innovate to provide almost any capabilities and services we can imagine," Knight said.
FGNGN's main product will be Release 1, which "is a set of capabilities," said Keith Mainwaring of Cisco, co- leader of the FGNGN Working Group on Quality fo Service (QoS) and member of ITU Study Group 11, "one that specifies the mechanisms to provide NGN services. Defining the mechanisms will be assigned back to ITU Study Groups." With most standards "quite stable," the group is getting ready for final comments, "expected to be mostly of an editorial nature," said Chae-Sub Lee of Korea's Electronics Telecom Research Institute (ETRI), FGNGN chairman. QoS documents will comprise about 40% of Release 1. Among the group's 6 or so expected independent releases may be 12-14 QoS documents, said Lee.
Release 1 is due to be completed Nov. 18 in London, and a day later Cisco, Motorola, BT and Siemens will sponsor an industry event at which CTOs plan to speak on how firms will use the NGN standards.
The full text can be accessed through Warren's Washington Internet Daily.
For more information on the topics above, see the ITU FGNGN website.