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MultiService Forum readies global demo
By Rich Karpinski

May 15, 2008 11:30 AM

Carriers including Verizon, BT, Vodafone and new member China Mobile will be among the host test sites for the MultiService Forum's global interoperability demonstration of next-generation networks.

The Global MultiService Interoperability (GMI) event, which runs every two years, will be held in late October. The carriers and other test sites will create a global test network that will help verify the interoperability of various elements of NGNs. The last GMI, held in 2006, largely proved that next-generation standards and architectures including IP Multimedia System (IMS) worked in the real world; in fact they “worked better than we thought they would,” said Chris Gallon, senior network architect at Fujitsu and an MSF board member.

In this go-around, the demonstration will focus on quality of service (QOS) issues – the main differentiator of carrier networks from the public network, several MSF members stressed – as well as the performance of a variety of applications including IPTV.

While other industry events, most notably the IMS Forum Plugfest series, are involved in testing NGN standards and network elements, the GMI event is notable for its global deployment of a “live” test network and the involvement of large carriers like Verizon and BT.

Underlying the demonstration is a tremendous amount of technical work, said Roger Ward, MSF President and executive in the office of the CTO at BT. Work at the event is based on the MSF R4 architectural framework that encompasses an IMS network along with NGN components such as call agents and softswitches. Support for a variety of network protocols – including Diameter, H.248, RTCP, RTSP, SIP, SIP-I, XML -- is implemented as MSF Implementation Agreements, which are endorsed by the contributing standards bodies, such as 3GPP.

“The scenarios we have reflect the reality of carrier NGN deployments,” Ward said. “You don't turn over the entire network to next-generation technology” in one full swoop.

Overall, the demonstration will support six service scenarios.

  • End-to-end session control across all supported access networks
  • End-to-end QoS in both the access networks and across the core architecture
  • IPTV as a highly demanding IMS based application
  • Location-based services incorporating work done in TISPAN NASS and IETF to enable precise location information to be used with emergency calls, location based routing and prioritized call queuing
  • A Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) service layer to demonstrate how a SIP/IMS-core would interoperate with Web-based services
  • Performance management of IPTV services and remote management of the IPTV CPE devices.

GMI 2008 will run October 20-31. More information can be found at the MultiService Forum Web site.

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