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Next Generation Network Standards to be
Defined at ITU
Urgent standards need addressed at leading body
Geneva, 6 May 2004 — Work
on next generation network (NGN) standards has found a home at ITU following
intense industry debate. ITU’s standardization arm — ITU-T — is to create
a Focus Group that will produce global standards for NGN. The worId’s leading
ICT standardization body has responded to industry calls for specifications with
the first results expected one year from now.
The fundamental difference between NGN and today’s network
is the switch from current ‘circuit-switched’ networks to ‘packet-based’
systems such as those using Internet Protocol (IP). The need for global
standards is critical as most operators expect to move to an IP infrastructure.
One area to be addressed is the concept dubbed ‘nomadicity’, which will give
fixed line and mobile users completely seamless communication. Simply put this
means the underlying technology will be invisible to the user regardless of a
multi-service, multi-protocol, multi-vendor environment.
"Industry sought a quick solution on NGN and we
responded," says Houlin Zhao, Director of the ITU Telecommunication
Standardization Bureau. "In this case, the Focus Group concept has given us
the means to act with the level of immediacy required. There is no faster and
more efficient place for the development of this work."
Herb Bertine, Director of Standards, Lucent Technologies
agrees. "Through this initiative ITU-T is bringing all players together in
an environment where they can create truly global specifications for the
service-aware network of the future, to deliver dynamic, customized services on
a massive scale."
NGN will offer a richer set of applications to the end user.
The work of the new group will build on existing fixed/mobile convergence
architecture (eg 3GPP/3GPP2 IP multimedia subsystem (IMS)) to provide
transparency between fixed and mobile networks. Keith Dickerson, Head of
Standards, BT: "Service providers will benefit from specifications that
will allow them to move quickly to a packet-based infrastructure. And,
manufacturers will be able to offer NGN equipment to a global market, customized
to user needs but interoperable."
Leading industry players have long sought an efficient body
for the development of standards that will define services, network and systems
architecture in the next generation of IP enabled communication systems. ITU was
seen by all — operators and manufacturers alike — as the most flexible and
efficient platform for the work.
The ITU-T Focus Group concept is a means to move quickly to
meet urgent needs such as this, and consolidate work under the umbrella of one
entity. In addition to allowing for ‘nomadicity’, other objectives of the
Focus Group will be to develop specifications in the areas of Quality of Service
in DSL, authentication, security and signalling.
A core group of experts from telecommunication service
providers and manufacturers will lead different work areas. The exact structure
of the group will be agreed following its first meeting June 2004.
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