Monday, May 23, 2005

BT 21CN Builds on MSF Implementation Agreements

Several of the MultiService Forum (MSF) Implementation Agreements (IAs) are incorporated into BT's 21st Century Network (21CN) program. MSF IAs build upon protocols issued by standards bodies such as the ITU and IETF, providing practical methods for applying standards to real world networks.

The major elements of BT Group's overall strategy including ICT, mobility, broadband, netcentricity and portfolio transformation are underpinned by the 21CN initiative. An early deliverable of this transformation is the first phase of the migration of services from the existing UK public switched telephone network (PSTN) to a multi-service IP based network which will carry both voice and data services.

"BT's use of MSF IAs is a perfect example of the way that industry leaders benefit from collaboration on the detailed technical work necessary to implement 21st century open architecture networks," said Roger Ward, MSF President. "The MSF's carrier-led collaborative environment develops IAs that support the deployment of VoIP networks with enhanced revenue earning services."

"MSF IAs add the necessary meat to the bones of the work emerging from the international and regional standards organizations," said Alan Nunn, chief voice architect and CTO at BT Group. "Last year's Global MSF Interoperability event (GMI2004), as well as validating MSF IAs and MSF Release 2 architecture, also provided many proof-points for BT's 21CN architecture. As a result, we have been able to de-risk solutions more quickly, which will help us in our goal of achieving an accelerated migration from PSTN to a multi-service IP-based network."http://www.msforum.orgIn April 2005, BT announced eight preferred vendors for its 21st Century Network, an ambitious undertaking in which it plans to invest up to £10 billion over the next five years to migrate to a fully-converged, packet network.

  • Access -- Fujitsu and Huawei have been chosen in the access domain which will link BT's existing access network with the new 21CN.

  • Metro -- Alcatel, Cisco and Siemens have been selected as preferred suppliers for metro nodes which provide routing and signalling for 21CN's voice, data and video services.

  • Core -- Cisco and Lucent will be 21CN's preferred suppliers for core nodes providing high capacity and cost efficient connections between metro nodes.

  • Softswitching -- Ericsson has been selected in the i-node domain – in essence the intelligence that controls the services.

  • Optical Transmission -- Ciena and Huawei have been chosen in the transmission domain. BT plans to deploy Ciena's optical switching and transmission and Ethernet transport platforms.

BT said the selection of these eight suppliers will allow dozens of smaller and innovative subcontractors to become involved in the delivery of the 21st Century Network, attracting significant new investment and employment to the UK. BT expects to conclude contractual agreements with named preferred suppliers for 21CN over the summer.