Regulators

TRAI to hold Open House Discussion in Delhi on migration to IP-based networks

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NEW DELHI: Following the receipt of some responses to its Consultation Paper on the issue, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has organised an Open House Discussion on 2 December on migration to IP-based networks.  

 

TRAI sources said the OHD had been organised as the matter of migration to IP-based networks and requirement of regulatory intervention in IP based interconnection required urgent decision.

 

The paper had been issued by TRAI on 30 June and later time for responses had been extended to 19 August with counter-comments, if any by 26 August.

 

The Consultation Paper wanted the opinion of stakeholders on interconnection requirement for application and content service providers; quality of service issues; and various other operational issues- sharing of network elements, emergency numbering etc

 

Traditional telecommunication systems are migrating towards more powerful and viable internet protocol based telecommunication systems.  Migration to IP based network will result in co-existence of legacy network along with IP based network. The new IP based network as well as its co-existence with legacy network will give rise to several operational, interconnection and quality of service issues which needs to be addressed for the successful migration to IP based networks.

 

Traditional telecommunications systems are nearing the end of their product lifecycles, and worldwide, operators are strategising whether to repair/ replace these systems or head down a completely new and potentially more viable path — migration towards an Internet Protocol (IP)-based telecommunications systems.

Modern digital technology allows different sectors/services viz. telecom, data, radio and television, to be merged together. This phenomenon, commonly known as convergence, is taking place on a global scale and is drastically changing the way in which both people and devices communicate. The backbones for making such convergence possible are IP-based networks. The opportunities presented by IP based networks are immense and will help the telecom service provider (TSPs) to converge their network infrastructures, provide huge bandwidth, consolidate terminating traffic and reduce long-distance charges.

 

 Integrated consumer devices for providing various services such as telephony, entertainment, security or personal computing are constantly being designed and developed. These are based on communication standard that is independent from the underlying physical connection.

Legacy networks are based on circuit switched technology. In circuit switched networks, calls are routed through a hierarchy of several layers of exchanges. A circuit-switched network creates a dedicated between two nodes in the network to establish a connection. The established connection is thus dedicated for the period of communication between the two nodes. This uses a variety of transmission media; as a result they are technically and operationally complex. This in turn, makes the maintenance and operational costs of legacy networks expensive.

 

Service providers face a considerable risk in committing significant investment in upgrading the infrastructure for migration towards IP based networks in the current regulatory environment. Service providers who do not migrate to IP based networks face the risk of becoming less competitive, as their costs would be higher in comparison to an operator running a single converged network. Therefore, the migration to IP based network offers both a huge opportunity to service providers, as well as poses some risks.

 

Major TSPs in India have implemented IP based core transport network for carrying voice and data traffic, by deploying IP/Ethernet elements extending into access and aggregation networks. Data networks are already IP/ Multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) based, with major parts of the network being optical (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) or Ethernet instead of Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH)). The present world scenario indicates that IP has become a ubiquitous means of communication, and the total volume of packet-based network traffic has surpassed traditional voice (circuitswitched) network traffic.

 

Full text of the Consultation Paper is available on TRAI’s website www.trai.gov.in.

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