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Next-Gen technology: Get ready for single network

Telecom subscribers could soon get a slew of new state-of-the-art services at a lower cost on a single network, if the service providers in India adopt next generation technology (NGN).

india Updated: Feb 11, 2006 19:38 IST

Telecom subscribers could soon get a slew of new state-of-the-art services at a lower cost on a single network, if the service providers in India adopt next generation technology (NGN).

Last month, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had issued two con sultation papers — on next generation networks and convergence, and competition in broadcasting and telecommunications. The two initiatives are critical for the growth of telecom service not only for the subscribers but also the operators.

NGN technology-based network is also known as Internet protocol-based networks. IP is software that tracks Internet address of nodes, routes and outgoing messages, and identifies incoming messages. Voice, data and picture in NGN network are transmitted as packets with minimum speed of 256 kilobits per second and more.

It is also pegged as the solution to offer all telecommunications and information technology-based services to rural areas that are available to an urban subscriber.

The telecom regulator has said that con verged network was a reality that operators acknowledged but a few stakeholders were opposed to it as they did not wish to let go the strengths they had gained.

But the technology in the form of NGN made convergence a reality, he said.

TRAI Chairman Pradeep Baijal, told the Hindustan Times, 'About 90 per cent of the telecom network in UK is using NGN, as a result of which they have been able to offer a bouquet of services like TV, phone, valueadded service and data on a single network. The use of a single network for multiple services will bring down the cost on network that translates into lower cost for the subscribers." 'There is a thin line between convergence and NGN, since convergence could not become a reality, the regulator has to regulate the new issues that would emerge in a new environment. We are prepared for it," said Baijal.

He pointed out that telecom operators in India were at an advantage since they did not have to invest more like UK that had to replace more than 95 per cent of its switch-based networks, 'A unified licensing regime is an apology for converged networks. Last year, when we came out with recommendation on unified licence, we felt that a converged regime should have a mechanism which helps resolve conflicts and paves way for a new system, but that did not happen hence we came out with the two consultation papers on regulation of NGN and convergence and competition in broadcasting and telecommunications," he said.

First Published: Feb 11, 2006 19:38 IST