Light Reading
Key 21CN figure Mick Reeve identifies major obstacles to broadband wireless, interconnect, MPLS, and Ethernet

BT Guru Picks Holes in NGNs

Ray Le Maistre
11/18/2005
50%
50%

LONDON -- (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) group technology officer Mick Reeve says the world's telecom standards groups are, at last, all singing from the same song sheet with their work on next-generation network (NGN) standards.

Addressing an International Telecommunication Union meeting in London today, Reeve, a key figure in the development of BT's 21st Century Network (21CN), praised the ITU for its role in bringing together the work of many different groups around the world and delivering a unified vision of what an NGN should look like and deliver. (See BT Unveils 21CN Suppliers, Bross: More to Come on 21CN, and Wales to Get 21CN First.)

"The ITU has done a great job in finding a global agreement on NGNs. There's a high level of agreement globally about NGN principles" that has helped deliver an "overall architecture for next generation networks and systems, something that has been unheard of before now," says the BT man. He cited the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), TeleManagement Forum, and Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) as organizations that have helped in the ITU's work.

His praise came as Houlin Zhao, director of the ITU's telecom standards body, the International Telecommunication Union, Standardization Sector (ITU-T), revealed the ITU's Release 1 of NGN Standards specifications -- a whopping 900-page document -- at a presentation near London today.

But while the ITU is making headway in delivering specifications that, says Reeve, are practical and applicable to telecom network operators, he says there are still a number of major NGN hurdles that need to be addressed, most specifically in terms of interconnection, wireless, MPLS, and Ethernet.

Interconnecting NGNs
Interconnection is becoming "a fundamental issue for NGNs," Reeve says. "At the moment there are various interconnect models for different services, but how do you interconnect MPLS-based NGNs? MPLS doesn't support interconnect at the moment -- there isn't enough information in the header, and that's a major challenge."

Reeve says the issue can be addressed by the IPsphere Forum, the industry body (of which BT is a member) formed to continue the work started by 's (Nasdaq: JNPR) Infranet initiative. (See Infranet Becomes IPsphere.) But, "it needs to do things fast, and it needs to feed its work into the ITU."

Next-gen wireless broadband
Reeve says while there are many debates and arguments about wireless technologies, there is common agreement by telecom technologists that OFDMA (orthogonal frequency division multiple access) is the best technology to deploy for broadband wireless in the future. (See All Hail OFDMA!.)

However, he notes, there are a number of different camps arguing about the best route to OFDMA deployment. The 3G mobile infrastructure players see it as an extension of what they have developed, the WiMax brigade believe they're best placed to deliver, and "then there are proprietary solutions such as the Flarion option from Qualcomm. I just wish we could find one way to get to the technology we want," says a frustrated Reeve, who admits he doesn't know which industry body is best placed to deliver a consensus approach.

MPLS and Ethernet frustrations
As he mentioned recently at Light Reading's Future of Telecom Europe 2005 event in London, Reeve has issues with MPLS and Ethernet, believing there is work to be done before either can be regarded as truly carrier class. (See Aggregation Aggravation.)

"It's not possible to trace an MPLS route end-to-end in a standard way. You have to jump through hoops to achieve that sort of visibility, and that doesn't meet our needs for operations and maintenance. It's good to see that the ITU's NGN Working Group 7 is addressing this issue."

Ethernet also still poses too many O&M issues due to the technology's lack of carrier-class management features. This problem is recognized within the Ethernet community, though, which is working on standard specifications. (See Ethernet Growing Pains .)

Reeve also noted the ongoing dilemma carriers face with new fiber deployments -- "bandwidth demands will eventually necessitate fiber-to-the-home or fiber-to-the-cabinet, but it's a difficult economic case" -- and touched on the need for standards focused on IPTV developments. "There are multiple approaches and different architectures, but wherever the IPTV standards work starts, it should end up as an ITU standard."

Reeve and many of his BT colleagues have been heavily involved in ITU standards work, including representation in the Focus Group on NGNs. Now, with Release 1 concluded, the ITU will focus its attention, in its NGN Global Standards Initiative (NGN GSI), on the detailed protocols necessary to deliver multiple services over NGNs.

But where does that leave the U.K. carrier? BT is determined that 21CN, its NGN, will be built using standards-based systems, but the rollout has begun using technology that isn't based on a set of global NGN specifications. (See Wales to Get 21CN First.)

Reeve says BT would "rather have waited for the standards and worked to those," but the carrier has had to forge ahead to meet its business objectives and has had to work around the ongoing standards work. "We've been trying to convince the standards world that the architecture we have for the 21CN is the right one. If you look at what we're doing, there's nothing new in there from a technology viewpoint. We have based 21CN on existing, popular technologies, such as MPLS in the core and IMS. The plan to shut down the PSTN -- that's new."

BT is spending £10 billion (US$17.2 billion) on its new network, which it plans to have up and running nationwide in 2010. (See BT Moves Ahead With Mega Project.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

(8)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
deanfro
50%
50%
deanfro,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:10:11 AM
re: BT Guru Picks Holes in NGNs
You are right in that the whole point is that no one will offer various levels of QoS/SLAs at interconnect points unless they can charge for it. This is why BT and others are looking for the IPsphere forum to solve "business layer" problems such as service signaling and reconcilliation.
light-headed
50%
50%
light-headed,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 2:53:33 AM
re: BT Guru Picks Holes in NGNs
Of course if it is not done the way that BT wants to do it then it must be wrong!

There could not possibly be any other ways of providing convergence, NGN, et. al.
raid
50%
50%
raid,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 2:53:31 AM
re: BT Guru Picks Holes in NGNs
MPLS doesn't support interconnect at the moment -- there isn't enough information in the header

--------------------------------------------
Can anybody clarify what the issue is here ? Thanks in advance.

-raid
krbabu
50%
50%
krbabu,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 2:53:31 AM
re: BT Guru Picks Holes in NGNs
What is being implied here is the interconnection between carriers, at peering points if you will. Preservation of QoS, in particular, across carriers is what is at issue here.
alchemy
50%
50%
alchemy,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 2:53:28 AM
re: BT Guru Picks Holes in NGNs
krbabu writes:
What is being implied here is the interconnection between carriers, at peering points if you will. Preservation of QoS, in particular, across carriers is what is at issue here.

Once you strip out all the hype, the only value-add for "NGN networks" is the extended address space of IPv6 and yet another way of providing QoS at peering points. It ignores the reality that nobody is going to offer different levels of QoS at a peering point unless they can charge for it. If it's free, every packet will end up being marked to use the best possible QoS.
netboarder
50%
50%
netboarder,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 2:53:26 AM
re: BT Guru Picks Holes in NGNs
Why praise the ITU? What exactly have they contributed to IP/MPLS/Ethernet/Packet networks?!

IETF, as well as other pragmatic bodies (IEEE, MFA) are rapidly progressing NGNs as we speak, as opposed to ITU which always starts by setting an architecture and model everything to death. Who's going to read 900 pages of NGN architecture by the ITU?...

I think that professional network architects and carriers with a business to win are already deep into their "NGN" (are you waiting for ITU to start a VoIP service, or IPTV? or anything else..).

By the time ITU finish their specifications phase, it will be renamed to PGN (P=Previous):-)
netboarder
50%
50%
netboarder,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 2:53:26 AM
re: BT Guru Picks Holes in NGNs
The main issue is how to signal and maintain inter-provider TE, multi-hop LSPs, as well as pseudowires. These are all being addressed by the IETF, very quickly.
jmbieee
50%
50%
jmbieee,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 2:53:23 AM
re: BT Guru Picks Holes in NGNs
I think the only solution to the NGN is to simplify things, like the proposal described in the paper published in IEEE CommMag/GCN, October 2005:

From "Computer Networks" to the "Computer on Net"
The Convergence of Internet, Broadband, and
Telephone Networks in the IEEE 802 Standards

available [on-line]:

http://www.comsoc.org/pubs/gcn...

Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Custom TV
Advantech Accelerates 100G Traffic Handling

10|17|14   |   7:56   |   (0) comments


Paul Stevens from Advantech explains why handling 100GbE needs a whole new platform design approach and how Advantech is addressing the needs of equipment providers and carriers to give them the flexibility and performance they will need for SDN and NFV deployment.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Holland's Imtech Traffic & Infra Discusses Huawei's ICT Solution and Services

10|16|14   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Dimitry Theebe is from the business unit at Imtech Traffic & Infra which delivers communications solutions for transportations. His partnershp with Huawei began about a years ago. In this video, Theebe speaks more about this partnership and what he hopes to accomplish with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Comprehensive Storage Solutions Vital for SVR

10|16|14   |   6:16   |   (0) comments


SVR Information Technology provides cloud services for academic and special sectors. With Huawei's support, SVR and Yildiz Technical University has established Turkey's largest and most advanced High Performance Computing system. CSO Ismail Cem Aslan talks about what he hopes Huawei's OceanStor storage system will bring for him.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mexico's Servitron's Impression of Huawei at CCW 2014

10|16|14   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Servitron is a network operator in Mexico that has been in the trunking industry for the past 20 years. Its COO, Ing. Ragnar Trillo O., explains at Critical Communications World 2014 that his company has been interested in the long-term evolution of LTE technology and its adoption for TETRA.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Better Dubai

10|16|14   |   2:06   |   (0) comments


Abdulla Ahmed Al Falasi is the director of commercial affairs, a telecommunications coordinator for the government of Dubai. Their areas of service span across multiple industries, including police, safety, shopping malls and more. In this video, Abdulla talks about his department's work with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Lights Up Malaysia Partner Maju Nusa

10|16|14   |   1:59   |   (0) comments


Malaysia's Maju Nusa is an enterprise partner to Huawei in networking, route switches and telco equipment. At this year's Critical Communications World in Singapore, CTO Pushpender Singh talks about what Huawei's eLTE solutions mean to his company and for Malaysia.
LRTV Custom TV
Evolving From HFC to FTTH Networks

10|15|14   |   2:19   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Todd McCrum delves into the future of cable's HFC plant, examining how DOCSIS 3.1 and advanced video compression will extend its life and how the IP video transition will usher in GPON and EPON over FTTH.
LRTV Custom TV
Exploring the Future of Cable Access

10|15|14   |   6:23   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Brett Wingo looks at where cable access architectures are heading, discussing the impact of DOCSIS 3.1, CCAP, Remote PHY, SDN, virtualization of cable networks and related technologies.
LRTV Custom TV
Optimizing & Monetizing WiFi

10|15|14   |   5:53   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Vince Pandolfi outlines the reasons for cable WiFi's rapid growth, lays out the issues with the technology and explains the new Cisco tools that can help operators monitor and improve their WiFi delivery.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Emulex & Huawei Collaboration Mutually Beneficial

10|14|14   |   4:17   |   (0) comments


US company Emulex collaborates with Huawei in areas such as blade servers and workload documentation. Mike Heumann of Emulex believes that Huawei has done incredibly well moving from a telecom company into servers and networks, working closely with customers to realize their needs.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Chile's VZION Looks Forward to Seeing More of Huawei

10|14|14   |   4:43   |   (0) comments


VZION is a systems integrator company in Chile with a focus on virtulization technology. In this video, Cesar Alcacibar talks about the challenges in virtualization and how Huawei helps his company to achieve the best results possible. Alcacibar is expecting more adoption and integration of Huawei technologies in Chile.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Pro-Datech & Huawei for a High-Tech Singapore

10|14|14   |   2:59   |   (0) comments


Pro-Datech Systems is a specialty IT solution provider based in Singapore. For an added value to its customers, the company uses Huawei's hardware and trusted performance and features for a total solution. It's looking forward to the creation of a lab, to be based in Singapore, for the two companies' coorporation on total storage solution.
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Forget the Internet, Brace for Skynet
Stephen Saunders, 10/15/2014
HBO Will Go OTT in 2015
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/15/2014
Google: Carriers & Cloud Providers Need to Cooperate
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/16/2014
CBS Takes OTT Plunge
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/16/2014
Could Data Be the New 'Currency'?
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 10/16/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed