Building Next-Generation Converged Networks: Theory and Practice
The telecommunications industry has seen a rapid boost within the last decade. New realities and visions of functionalities in various telecommunications networks have brought forward the concept of next-generation networks (NGNs). The competitions among operators for supporting various services, lowering of the cost of having mobile and cellular phones and smartphones, increasing demand for general mobility, explosion of digital traffic, and advent of convergence network technologies added more dynamism in the idea of NGNs. In fact, facilitating convergence of networks and convergence of various types of services is a significant objective of
Although there is a considerable amount of research efforts underway to define the boundary and standards of NGNs, a proper boundary is yet to be finalized. NGNs are used to label the architectural evolutions in telecommunications and access networks. The term is also used to depict the shift to higher network speeds using broadband, the migration from the public switched telephone network (PSTN) to an Internet Protocol (IP)–based network, and a greater integration of services on a single network, and often is representative of a vision and a market concept. The NGN is also defined as a “broadband managed IP network.” The IP address is
sometimes used as the NGN is built around the IP. From a more technical point of view, the NGN is defined by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) as a “packet based network able to provide services including telecommunication services and able to make use of multiple broadband, QoS-enabled transport technologies and in which service related functions are independent from underlying transport-related technologies.” NGNs offer access by users to different service providers and support “generalized mobility which will allow consistent and ubiquitous provision of services to users” (ITU-T Recommendation Y.2001, approved in December 2004).
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