Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Verizon Pushing Ahead With Integrated Transcoding in IP Core

Verizon has begun integrating multimedia transcoding capabilities into the core of its NGN infrastructure, targeting commercial service in the second half of 2010. The project is aimed at facilitating the convergence of wireless and landline services.

"Working with our next-generation network infrastructure suppliers, Verizon has designed a transcoding architecture for our packet-based core network that supports Verizon's direction toward open networks by facilitating the introduction of media encoding technology while ensuring interoperability," said Tim Dwight, senior technologist at Verizon, during a panel discussion at Supercomm2009.

"For example, in the case of VoIP, our design resolves the 'tower of Babel' problem by allowing the sender and the receiver to negotiate a common encoding format, which, if successful, eliminates the need for media format conversion, or transcoding, and provides a network-based media conversion capability for use in cases where the end devices support no common codec," he said.

Verizon said its goal is to perform all transcoding in the packet domain, avoiding reliance on the circuit-switched core. And where transcoding is necessary, it is performed directly between the media encoding formats required by each device, eliminating the double transcoding problem that often occurs with disparate access technologies across a circuit switched core.

Historically, wireline and wireless voice networks have utilized different and incompatible media encoding formats, Dwight said. Mobile networks utilizing GSM Radio Access Network technologies such as UMTS and LTE use one encoding format; CDMA-based mobile networks use another; and multimedia services offered via wireline broadband networks typically use a third. An efficient, extensible all-IP solution is necessary for an operator such as Verizon that seeks to support next generation networking (NGN) services spanning all of these technologies.


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