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 Thursday, April 16, 2009

Over 150 delegates from 25 countries met last week in Colombo, Sri Lanka to discuss standardization and regulatory issues relating to next generation networks (NGN).

The event, jointly-organised by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO), and hosted by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) of Sri Lanka, constitutes a major step in engaging with industry stakeholders in the region and beyond on NGN standardization issues.

Participants at the event agreed to invite the ITU to establish a web-based NGN Gateway, linking NGN activities in the three ITU sectors (standardization, radiocommunication and development).

The NGN Gateway would act as an NGN information sharing point particularly aimed at developing countries and give resources such as:

  • NGN Tutorials
  • Standardization pointers
  • Governmental issue guidelines
  • Regulatory guidelines
  • Case studies on migration to NGN
  • Conformance and interoperability guidelines

NGNs are packet-based networks able to make use of multiple broadband, transport technologies, and in which service-related functions are independent from underlying transport-related technologies. Networks built on NGN technology have the potential to offer significantly lower service delivery costs, deliver a greater range of services and applications, and at the same time, support seamless and generalised mobility which will allow consistent and ubiquitous provision of services to end-users.

Various operators in the region have started the migration of their networks to NGN, however there is a pressing need to agree on a set of global standards on a range of issues, including interconnection and interoperability between networks, QoS, mobility, and IPv6.

The ITU and CTO joined forces to ensure the widest participation from Asia and beyond. Present at the event were leading operators, regulators and manufacturers including NTT, BT, Ericsson, Motorola, and ZTE.

“This is a historic event. Not only is it the first ITU-T event in Sri Lanka, it is the first joint event between ITU and CTO”, said Malcolm Johnson, Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU during his welcome address.

“Sri Lanka was pleased to host this event. We are committed to such collaborative arrangements with the ITU and the CTO, as we see the ICT sector as a driving force of our economy”, Priyantha Kariyapperuma, Director-General of Sri Lanka TRC added.

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