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International Telecommunication Union
For immediate release
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Agreement on BICC protocols:
a historic step for evolution towards next-generation server-based networks

Geneva, 3 July 2001 — The International Telecommunication Union announced today the completion of the second set of Bearer Independent Call Control (BICC) protocols. This agreement enables the transition of today’s networks from general public switching systems to next-generation server based networks. Utilizing the latest techniques in network design, built on a server, proxy and media gateway network architecture, BICC supports all currently deployed services on circuit switched, ATM and IP, including third generation wireless, yet not limiting the future introduction of innovative multimedia, multi-mode services and applications. The agreement was reached yesterday at a special half-day meeting of Study Group 11 of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T SG 11) which is responsible for signalling requirements and protocols.

"The completion of BICC protocols is a historic step because it allows network operators to seamlessly migrate their current circuit (TDM) switched networks to high-capacity broadband multi-media networks" said Yukio Hiramatsu, Chairman of the Study Group. "BICC is a vital step in the evolution towards integrated multi-service platforms, which can offer both voice and data services that are IP (Internet Protocol) enabled" he also said.

The BICC protocol allows network operators to offer the complete set of PSTN/ISDN services, including all supplementary services, over a variety of data transport networks. The PSTN/ISDN services will have the required operator-grade quality. Given the chosen architecture, BICC-based networks are highly scalable. All protocols offer seamless interconnection and interoperability because they are designed to operate on high speed IP or ATM-based networks as well as with existing network signalling links.

In addition, BICC Capability Set 2 (CS 2) provides the network signalling protocols for third-generation wireless networks, enabling a transcoder-free call to be established ultimately leading to reduced cost while maintaining all the call’s features.

Widespread acceptance in the market place is already occurring with both fixed access and mobile network communities and the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) has already included these protocols and associated network architecture in the UMTS release 4 – one of IMT-2000 family member for third-generation wireless. 3GPP2 is expected to soon follow the same approach.

The next phase of the BICC specification activities in ITU-T, for which an aggressive work-plan has been established, will address advanced service support and the involvement of more proxies, such as the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) proxy.

Technical note to Editors

This new generation network architecture can be realized via the implementation of various protocols of the BICC protocol suite:

  • BICC protocol for Session control, operating between Call Servers and Proxies
  • CBC protocol for Media Gateway control, operating between Call Servers and Media Gateways
  • Bearer control protocols for IP, ATM (AAL type 1 and 2), operating between Media Gateways

For further information, please contact:

Mr Yukio Hiramatsu
Chairman, ITU-T Study Group 11
Tel. +81 3 52 05 53 50
Fax: +81 3 525 5329

Mr Greg Ratta
Chairman, Working Party 2/11
Tel: +1 732 332 5174
Fax: +1 732 949 1196

Mr Alain Le Roux
Chairman, Working Party 3/11
Tel : +33 2 96 05 26 32
Fax : +33 2 96 05 18 49

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Updated : 2002-12-18