|The only publication dedicated to OSS Volume 1, Issue 5 - September 2004|
By Anindo Bagchi, Telcordia Technologies
Carriers face many challenges in offering new carrier-class IP services that are as robust and reliable as traditional telephone services. The difficulty is in making a smooth migration from traditional services to economical, next-generation broadband systems. This transition will depend heavily on how well carriers augment their OSS environments to support on-demand services. Telcordia Technologies is working to help carriers make this transition, and has made significant changes to its own solution approaches as a result of its Elementive program.
Recovering to Broadband
Through 2000, the telecommunication industry was thriving, but it was also fragmente. Time-to-market was king and the focus was on building fast networks and creating new IP applications to traverse them. Throughout that time, Telcordia argued for carrier-class deployments and maintained that carriers' emphasis should be on how to manage and operate the network. A reliable, well-managed network seemed more sensible than fragmented technology mixes that may not work together easily. Consistent with this thinking, most large carriers chose to wait for carrier-class solutions for next-generation services.
In 2002, when the industry had slowed to a crawl, people began to look at networks from a long-term perspective. Adding voice to the service mix through voice-over-IP (VoIP) became popular, but despite its additional efficiency and effectiveness, it was considered “table stakes” at best. VoIP was and is not a significant leap beyond the status quo of traditional service networks. The real challenge rests in driving toward an overall application environment where voice, data, video and multi-media applications ride a common network infrastructure and are accessible through a real-time OSS environment.
Fiber is the Option
Carriers cannot continue to compete strictly on the basis of pricing. History shows a downward spiral will result and growth will diminish. Instead, growth remains steady or increases by seeking and securing new revenue sources. This means continuously evolving the network infrastructure to provide customers with new and improved services, features, and applications – and, again, broadband is the key.
The Broadband Network Vision
In the ideal, networks will achieve open connectivity to third-party application providers, and offer the ability to provision their services only to the customers who want and are willing to pay for them. This third-party connectivity provides additional revenues from the application providers for access to customers, while opening up a range of options for customers.
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