Key standards (ITU-T Recommendations) on a technology (MPLS-TP) required by telecoms operators to increase network efficiency while also reducing capex and opex costs have been approved (or attained first level approval) at a recent ITU meeting.
MPLS-TP refers to extensions to the IETF's MPLS protocol developed in cooperation with the IETF. MPLS can carry packets of different types, allowing telecom operators to offer private connections as well as IP services. Many network operators expect MPLS-TP to work under the same principles as longstanding ITU transport network technologies like SDH and OTN. MPLS-TP provides network operators with a reliable packet-based technology the operation of which aligns with current organizational processes and large-scale work procedures. Its deployment may reduce the need for layer 3 routing in an operator’s network.
Another important draft standard in the field has been forwarded to ITU’s quadrennial World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-12) in Dubai next year. This provides an Ethernet based protocol for operations, administration and management (OAM) for Transport MPLS (MPLS-TP). The delay in approval follows the breakdown of a deal brokered by the Japanese administration in November. The compromise proposed was intended to address concerns expressed by IETF, following a series of previous setbacks, detailed here
. Unfortunately the IETF were unable to deliver one key element of the proposal, the ACh codepoint which contributed to four national delegations vetoing the standard.
Malcolm Johnson, Director, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU: “I would like to thank Japan for its great effort as a neutral party to find a compromise that took into account IETF’s concerns. It is clear that the majority of the world’s ICT industry and governments supports this standard. It is a practical solution demanded by operators around the globe. I am hopeful that IETF will be able to assign the ACh codepoint before WTSA-12 which should allow the standard to be approved by consensus. ITU has a tradition of working by consensus but this is dependent on delegations being willing to compromise.”
At the close of its December meeting Study Group 15 repeated its request to the IETF to provide an ACh codepoint for the Ethernet based OAM protocols. This request is in line with ITU’s continued commitment to a collegial working environment for ICT standards development.