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Home | New Service Delivery | DSL Forum, George Dobrowski
 
The next phase in architecture evolution - Managing next generation migration

George DobrowskiGeorge Dobrowski, Chairman and President DSL Forum

Keeping a pulse on technology trends and on service provider/operator networking needs, George is involved in technology and product planning at Conexant, multi-vendor interoperability programs, and positions in standards and industry forums. George was previously CTO of a startup called Ficon Technology, acquired by Conexant/GlobeSpan, which developed and licensed ATM and IP software protocol stacks. George's roots go back to Bellcore (now Telcordia) and Bell Labs where he was involved in research and development of advanced communication systems technologies and their application to large scale operator/Telco networking.

In parallel with corporate responsibilities, George has held positions in industry and standards organisations such as President of The ATM Forum, on the Board of Directors, and was Chairman of the ATM Forum Worldwide Technical Committee during the 1993-1998 timeframe. George has also had leadership positions in the development of national and international broadband networking standards, T1S1.5 and ITU-T respectively.

George is co-author of two books "Principles of Signalling for Cell Relay and Frame Relay" published in 1995, and "ATM and SONET Basics" published in 2000, and author of numerous articles and conference papers. George has an MSEE from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, a BSEE from Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), Chicago, and Assoc. Engineering Technology from New Hampshire Technical Institute, Concord, N.H.

The number of global broadband subscribers has now reached 300 million, with Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) remaining the most popular broadband access technology, representing over 200 million subscribers. Alongside this, the interest in triple play services has increased, with research from Point Topic showing that the total number of users paying for television services supplied via IP has risen from 1.5 million to almost 3 million within a year.

With this rising demand for additional services such as IPTV, a service provider needs an end-to-end architecture that can support higher bandwidths, provide increased speeds and guaranteed quality - Next Generation Networks (NGNs) promise just that.

By consolidating several incumbent transport networks into one core transport network, NGNs should help facilitate the deployment or triple play services, resulting in more choice for the consumer and increased revenue for the provider. But, what if your company can not afford to replace its entire existing infrastructure? Will this mean you will not be able to compete against those providers who can? And for those that can afford to replace their networks, a smooth transition is paramount in retaining customer loyalty.

Managing the migration

Next Generation Networks essentially deliver convergence between the traditional public switched telephone networks and the new world of data networks. For providers, NGNs provide a means of migrating from the old to the new, delivering substantial cost savings due to the economies of scale inherent in a single converged network. From a consumer perspective, they can offer innovative new services, greater control and personalisation. However, there is a perception that to achieve this, the old network has to be entirely replaced.

Many service providers have invested significantly in copper networks and are obviously reluctant to replace these structures at further cost. But how can these service providers ensure they remain competitive and able to offer the consumer the service they want? Ensuring existing structures are able to work alongside, and in conjunction with, next generation networks, is one alternative solution. This will enable service providers to deploy the high bandwidth services demanded by customers now and facilitate a gradual migration to a new network in the future.

Evolving broadband access

Managing both complete Next Generation Networks and hybrid networks is a challenge, and many standards bodies and organisations, such as TISPAN (Telecoms and Internet converged Service and Protocols for Advanced Networks), ETSI (the European Telecommunications Standards Institute), the ITU-T Focus Group on Next Generation Networks and the DSL Forum, are working to ensure that NGN best practice and standards are set to empower the industry to succeed. To this end, the DSL Forum is working with its 200 member organisations to develop a toolkit designed to create a common global access and control platform to elevate the experience of next generation IP services.

The BroadbandSuite™ encompasses the three key areas of control, home and access, with the focus of Broadband Access on Next Generation Networks. The Forum's work in this area is currently concentrated on developing an access and management platform responsive to devices beyond the customer gateway as well as the distribution network; developing tools that ensure service delivery excellence; specifying common end-to-end architecture for all forms of broadband access; and advancing ADSL2plus and VDSL2 interoperability.

The DSL Forum's Working Texts 114 and 115 (WT-114 and WT-115) form part of the BroadbandAccess toolkit and focus on interoperability testing for each of the DSL options, with current work around functional and performance testing for VDSL2. These tests will help to drive interoperability of equipment and assist the rapid evolution of the network to speeds that can handle the delivery of triple play services.

The Forum's Technical Report 101 (TR-101) also offers service providers a roadmap to help transition their networks from ATM access aggregation to IP/Ethernet, which is able to provide the necessary quality, scalability, resiliency and inter-working capabilities required to deploy next generation services. Work has also started to build on TR-101 in the form of Working Text 156 (WT-156), which is looking at extending TR-101 to include GPON fibre access systems, Technical Report 144 (TR-144) which defines requirements to extend the applicability of the TR101 architecture and Working Text 145 (WT-145) to enhance TR101 as a more broadly applicable convergence vehicle. However, merely providing the service is not enough because along with new capabilities and improved networks comes the responsibility of ensuring the end product is of the quality expected by the customer.

Quality assured

Even though the networks, either hybrid or complete, may be in place to enable service providers to offer new triple play services, the success of the triple play industry depends on the demand from the consumer. So guaranteeing not only Quality of Service (QoS) but also Quality of Experience (QoE) is paramount in encouraging the adoption of triple play services.

Technical Report 126 (TR-126) from the DSL Forum is a compendium of measurements and provision guidelines to ensure Quality of Experience of different applications including broadcast television, video on demand, voice and Internet access.

Summary

The many complexities inherent in migrating from one incumbent network to another and undertaking the consolidation of services can only be addressed if the industry works together to develop agreed specifications that provide a roadmap for the deployment of next generation networks. The DSL Forum and its members are committed to this goal and, through liaison and joint activities, we are working with many organisations and standards bodies to do what is necessary to expediate developments and position the industry for further success.

For more information visit: DSL website at www.dslforum.org

 
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