Wednesday, April 18, 2007

ITU, APT outline NGN implementation

The United Nations agency in-charge of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT) concluded its workshop in Bangkok, Thailand with an outline for the implementation and development of Next-Generation Networks (NGN) in the region.

Champion Infotel gathered that the workshop attended by over 180 experts from 24 countries representing APT and ITU member-nations, international organizations and the private sector, was inaugurated by Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Royal Government of Thailand, Mr Kraisorn Pornsutee.

NGN is a catch phrase for the network infrastructure that will enable advanced new services offered by mobile and fixed network operators in the future, while continuing to support all existing services.

This architecture also will help leverage new technologies to dramatically reduce the cost of market entry, increase flexibility and accommodate seamlessly in a single multiservice network for both voice and data.

A joint statement from ITU and APT, showed that the workshop made some key recommendations, including that regulators and policy makers should provide clear and consistent enabling environments for NGN and be involved in the NGN planning, implementation and educational process; develop standardized planning tools to assist developing countries to migrate from traditional telecommunication networks to NGN and regulate to ensure that service providers meet agreed quality of service standards equivalent to traditional circuit switched voice networks.

Additionally, the workshop recommended that NGN required security levels that meet the needs of end users and provide confidence in the use of applications and services in NGN-compliant networks, establish NGN standards to make emergency and location-based services available seamlessly and reliably across the entire network, while raising greater awareness on the various issues related to NGN planning.

According to the Director, ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, Mr Malcolm Johnson, NGN has the potential to accelerate the deployment of telecommunication networks and services in developing countries.

“As cost and revenue are the drivers of this development, the capital cost of deploying NGN technology, both in the core of the network, and the operating costs are significantly lower than circuit switched technologies,” he said, stressing that this will enable rapid expansion of network capabilities.

Mr. Johnson noted that NGN would also enable a range of multimedia services to be provided more easily and with less cost, and so increase potential revenues.

“It offers the opportunity for developing countries to leapfrog several generations of technology,” he said, emphasising the importance of bridging the standardization gap by planning for NGN at regional levels.

Equally commenting, Executive Director, APT, Mr Amarendra Narayan pointed out that what is required urgently in order to address the needs of the Asia-Pacific region is for cost effective options of broadband access, while finalizing the international standardization framework for NGN.

“This is particularly important for developing countries and rural and remote areas. APT and ITU can play a key role in ascertaining Asia Pacific regional needs,” he said. Mr. Narayan added that a range of APT programmes are already heavily involved in NGN standardization as well as policy and regulatory issues, including the work being undertaken by the Asia Pacific Telecommunity Standardization Programme (ASTAP) and associated policy and regulatory forums.

Head, ITU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Ms Kim Eun-Ju said, this is the first step towards meeting the main objectives of the Asia-Pacific Regional Initiative on NGN Planning, which was adopted at the World Telecommunication Development Conference in Doha in 2006.

“It aims to assist developing countries in our region to migrate smoothly from existing networks to NGN,” she said, and urged participating state and sector members to be more pro-active in implementing next-generation networks by building partnerships to satisfy the paradigm shifts in the NGN era.

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