Thursday, August 31, 2006

BT Anticipates First Live Customer Upgrades to 21CN in November

BT announced details of the first steps it will take to transition customers in the UK to its 21st century network (21CN). Starting in late November this year, BT, working closely with other communications providers, will begin the planned upgrade of customers and their voice and broadband services, in Cardiff and the surrounding area.

The first stage of the new network will be delivered in three phases, increasing in scale with each phase. Phase one, to run from November this year until March 2007, will see the upgrade of voice services to some 10 percent of customer lines in Cardiff and the surrounding area. Phase two, from April to mid May 2007, will deliver a further 10 percent of upgraded lines.

By the end of Phase 3 in the summer of 2007, BT will have upgraded all 350,000 customer lines. 90,000 of these lines also support broadband and ISDN2 and ISDN30 services. Private circuit-based services, which typically support business-critical corporate applications, will not be migrated on to the new network until much later in the programme.

At the end of the final stage of the Cardiff upgrade, BT and other communications providers will begin an in-depth review before moving to the planned national upgrade of all remaining customers across the UK, some 30 million lines supported from over 5,500 telephone exchanges, from January 2008.http:///

  • In July 2006, BT announced that its trial 21st Century Network (21CN) was currently handling more than 625,000 live customer calls per day and more than 23 million customer calls had been completed to date. The trial involves the use of an IP link to carry voice calls between two major network nodes at Cambridge and Woolwich.

    BT said the success of its trial represents a significant step towards the creation of its next generation network. It builds on the previous trial which ran from October to December 2005 where fourteen million calls were successfully carried on the IP network and voice quality monitoring carried out.

    Multi service access nodes or MSANs from Huawei and Fujitsu are already in use, carrying voice services onto the core network from trial customer lines. This equipment is being installed at 18 exchanges in South East London, Kent and East Anglia.

    For this stage of the trial, BT has also newly introduced Cisco's media gateway; Ericsson's call server and a Cisco Catalyst Switch. Other key technology components are Alcatel's LAN switch and Siemens/Juniper routers used in a previous 21CN voice trial.

See also