The only publication dedicated to OSS     Volume 1, Issue 5 - September 2004
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Telcordia's 'Elementive Strategy' Download and print this article

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
The telecom industry continues to suffer from its recent legacy of quick network deployment at any cost. New applications were almost haphazardly architected into the system. Interoperability and standardization, because of once deep pockets, were often overlooked in an effort to have the hottest, fastest and most cutting-edge technologies.

TelcordiaThrough 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
Whether at the network edge or network driven, applications must be supported within every carrier's environment – and the environment has to be broadband. A recent joint report from Telcordia and Sanford Bernstein concludes that every carrier must move toward fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP), not just to enable new applications, but for basic network survival. This joint Bernstein-Telcordia study has determined that for ILEC deployments, xDSL may not be sufficient moving forward and carriers must eventually move toward FTTP to remain competitive.

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
Well before most carriers accepted it, Telcordia envisioned a network where broadband would be delivered to every home and business with a common-core network, such as IP at Layer 3. Below that, the optical network provides the larger pipes for providing enough bandwidth for any service. On top of all this lies numerous application servers to enable VoIP, video, streaming media, mass market video, and other available and emerging services. Network and application management tools are also necessary to support and enable cutting-edge applications, and to complete the 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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