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Convergence Switching Definition and Overview Definition

Convergence is the merger of packet switching technology with telephony signaling and call-processing intelligence, allowing carriers to consolidate typically separate voice and data overlay networks and provide new and differentiated integrated communications services. Convergence²the bringing together of voice and data networks for directories, authentication, call control, and the integration of business workflow and processes-is the cornerstone of a new set of requirements for the next generation branch office that will change business significantly.

Convergence technologies are changing the way carriers will carry traditional voice and data traffic. The public switched telephone network (PSTN) is one of the oldest communications networks in existence. However, the growth of the Internet has significantly spurred the growth of data over the PSTN and resulted in the need to rearchitect this traditional telephone network. Carriers are using new technologies to carry voice, data, and integrated services and to simplify the underlying infrastructure² both from a cost and complexity standpoint. Convergence technologies include fullfeatured signaling system 7 (SS7) support and standard telephony interfaces and therefore completely interoperate with the existing PSTN infrastructure, supporting all of the voice features to which users are accustomed as well as data traffic. They can also provide a bridge to access, enable, and develop new services. Businesses today demands reliable and scalable networks that reach anywhere and deliver guaranteed performance at an affordable cost. An architecture involving MultiProtocol Label Switching (MPLS) allows network service providers to create Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) that offer flexibility of Mobile IP and the Quality of Service (QoS) of ATM. MPLS provides the traffic engineering tools that service providers need to deliver quality voice, video and data services. The paper analyses the architecture of MOIP convergence utilizing MPLS and the benefits that can be obtained from its implementation.

A Digital switching system, in general, is one in which signals are switched in digital form. These signals may represent speech or data. The digital signals of several speech samples are time multiplexed on a common media before being switched through the system. To connect any two subscribers, it is necessary to interconnect the time-slots of the two speech samples which may be on same or different PCM highways. The digitalized speech samples are switched in two modes, viz., Time Switching and Space Switching. This Time Division Multiplex Digital Switching System is popularly known as Digital Switching System. In this handout, general principles of time and space switching are discussed. A practical digital switch, comprising of both time and space stages, is also explained. Time and Space Switching Generally, a digital switching system has several time division multiplexed (PCM) samples. These PCM samples are conveyed on PCM highways (the common path over which many channels can pass with separation achieved by time division.). Switching of calls in this environment , requires placing digital samples from one time-slot of a PCM multiplex in the same or different time-slot of another PAM multiplex. For example, PCM samples appearing in TS6 of I/C PCM HWY1 are transferred to TS18 of O/G PCM HWY2, via the digital switch, as shown in Fig1.

FIG.1 DIGITAL SWITCH The interconnection of time-slots, i.e., switching of digital signals can be achieved using two different modes of operation. These modes are: -

1. Space Switching 2. Time switching Usually, a combination of both the modes is used. In the Space-Switching mode, corresponding time-slots of I/C and O/G PCM highways are interconnected. A sample, in a given time-slot, TSi of an I/C HWY, say HWY1, is switched to same time-slot, TSi of an O/G HWY, say HWY2. Obviously there is no delay in switching of the sample from one highway to another highway since the sample transfer takes place in the same time-slot of the PCM frame. Time Switching mode, on the other hand, involves the interconnection of different time-slots on the incoming and outgoing highways by re-assigning the channel sequence. For example, a time-slot TSx of an I/C Highway can be connected to a different time-slot., TSy, of the outgoing highway. In other words, a time switch is, basically, a time-slot changer.

1.0 Digital Space Switching
1.1 Principle y The Digital Space Switch consists of several input highways, X1, X2,...Xn and several output highways, Y1,Y2,.............Ym, interconnected by a crosspoint matrix of n rows and m columns. The individual crosspoint consists of electronic AND gates. The operation of an appropriate crosspoint connects any channel, a , of I/C PCM highway to the same channel, a, of O/G PCM highway, during each appropriate time-slot which occurs once per frame as shown in Fig 2. During other time-slots, the same crosspoint may be used to connect other channels. This crosspoint matrix works as a normal space divided matrix with full availability between incoming and outgoing highways during each time-slot. Each crosspoint column, associated with one O/G highway, is assigned a column of control memory. The control memory has as many words as there are time-slot per frame in the PCM signal. In practice, this number could range from 32 to 1024. Each crosspoint in the column is assigned a binary address, so that only one crosspoint per column is closed during each time-slot. The binary addresses are stored in the control memory, in the order of time-slots. The word size of the control memory is x bits, so that 2x = n, where n is the number of cross points in each column. A new word is read from the control memory during each time-slot, in a Cyclic order. Each word is read during its corresponding time-slot, i.e. Word 0 (corresponding to TS0), followed by word 1 (corresponding to TS1) so on. The word contents are contained on the vertical address lines



for the duration of the time-slot. Thus, the crosspoint corresponding to the address is operated during a particular time-slot. This crosspoint operates every time the particular time-slot appears at the inlet in successive frames. Normally, a call may last for around a million frames. As the next time-slot follows, the control memory is also advanced by one step, so that during each new time-slot new corresponding words are read from the various control memory columns. This results in operation of a completely different set of cross points being activated in different columns. Depending upon the number of time-slots in one frame, this time division action increases the utilization of crosspoint 32 to 1024 times compared with that of conventional space-divided switch matrix. 1.2 Illustration y Consider the transfer of a sample arriving in TS7 of I/C HWY X1 to O/G HWY Y3. Since this is a space switch, there will be no reordering of time i.e., the sample will be transferred without any time delay, via the appropriate crosspoint. In other words, the objective is to connect TS7 of HWY X1 and TS7 of HWY Y3. The central control (CC) selects the control memory column corresponding output highway Y3. In this column, the memory location corresponding to the TS7 is chosen. The address of the crosspoint is written in this location, i.e., 1, in binary, is written in location 7, as shown in fig.2. This crosspoint remains operated for the duration of the time-slot TS7, in each successive frame till the call lasts.


For disconnection of call, the CC erases the contents of the control memory locations, corresponding to the concerned time-slots. The AND gates, therefore, are disabled and transfer of samples is halted. 1.3 Practical Space Switch y y In a practical switch, the digital bits are transmitted in parallel rather than serially, through the switching matrix. In a serial 32 time-slot PCM multiplex, 2048 Kb/s are carried on a single wire sequentially, i.e., all the bits of the various time-slots follow one another. This single wire stream of bits when fed to Serial to Parallel, Converter is converted into 8-wire parallel output. For example, all 8 bits corresponding to TS3 serial input are available simultaneously on eight output wires (one bit on each output wire), during just one bit period, as shown in fig.3. This parallel output on the eight wires is fed to the switching matrix. It can be seen that during one full time-slot period, only one bit is carried on the each output line, whereas 8 bits are carried on the


thus. Therefore. bit rate on individual output wires. is reduced to 1/8th of input bit rate=2048/8=256Kb/s Due to reduced bit rate in parallel mode. the crosspoint is required to be operated only for 1/8th of the time required for serial working. .input line during this period. It can.

since the eight bits of one TS are carried on eight wires.e. a matrix of 40x 40 = 1600 crosspoints each having a single switch. each crosspoint have eight switches to interconnect eight input wires to eight output wires.. Each crosspoint (all the eight switches ) will remain operated now for the duration of one bit only.e. is required in serial mode working. Thus. y However.32 x 8 = 256 channels. a matrix of (40/8 x 40/8) = 25 crosspoint is sufficient. . only for 488 ns (1/8th of the TS period of 3. Whereas in parallel mode working. there is a reduction of the matrix by 1/8th in parallel mode working .9 µs) Fig. i.3 Serial parallel converter For example. hence reduction in size and cost of the switching shared by eight times more channels. i.. in the same frame. As eight switches are required at each crosspoint 25 x 8 = 200 switches only are required. to connect 40 PCM I/C highways.

depending upon the connection objective. is used to count the time-slots from 0 to 31. Each location contains the address of one of the speech memory locations where the channel sample is either written or read during a time-slot.. The required delay is given to the samples by storing it in the speech memory.. viz. The I/C PCM samples are written cyclically i.4 = 2 time-slots.2. Thus.g. is 6. A Time-Slot Counter which usually is a synchronous binary counter. y . The writing/reading operation in the speech memory are controlled by the Control Memory. y y y 2. viz. TS6 appears in the O/G PCM..2 Illustration y Consider the objective that TS4 of incoming PCM is to be connected to TS6 of outgoing PCM. These addresses are written in the control memory of the CC of the exchange.. a speech or buffer memory to store the samples till destination time-slots arrive. 32 locations for 32 channel PCM system. i. the CC writes the input time-slot number.e. It has same number of memory locations as for speech memory. as they occur. in binary. 4. the sample in TS4 will be written in location 4. At the end of each frame. These contents give the read address for the speech memory. as shown in fig. during read cycle. Speech memory has as many storage locations as the number of time-slots in input PCM. it indicates the speech memory locations from which the sample is to be read out. In this location. When the time-slot TS6 arrives.4. e.e.. till the destination timeslot. i. and a control or connection or address memory to control the writing and reading of the samples in the buffer memory and directing them on to the appropriate time-slots. 32 locations for 32 channel PCM system. viz. The reading of the sample is controlled by the Control Memory. In other words. it gets reset and the counting starts again. Its content addresses the location 4 of the speech memory in the read mode and sample is read on to the O/G PCM. It is used to control the timing for writing/reading of the samples in the speech memory. the control memory location 6 is read.0 Digital Time Switch 2. The Control Memory location corresponding to output time-slot TS6.e. sequentially time-slot wise .1 Principle y A Digital Time Switch consists of two memories. in the speech memory locations. the sample arriving in TS4 on the I/C PCM has to be delayed by 6 ..

e.2. whenever time-slot 4 comes a new sample will be written in location 4.3 For disconnection of the call. 1. viz. till the call is disconnected. y 2..4. Each location of control memory is rigidly associated with the corresponding time-slot of the O/G PCM and contains the address of the TS of incoming PCM to be connected to. the CC erases the contents of the control memory location to halt further transfer of samples. TS1 is written in location 1. and so on. The contents of speech memory are read on output PCM in the order specified by control memory. i.4 OUTPUT ASSOCIATED CONTROL SWITCH . as discussed in the example of Sec. FIG. This will be read when TS6 occurs. Output associated control 2. 2 samples of I/C PCM are written cyclically in the speech memory locations in the order of time-slots of I/C PCM. Time switch can operate in two modes. The entire process of writing and reading is repeated in every frame. The control memory is always read cyclically.In every frame. This process is repeated till the call lasts. in synchronism with the occurrence of the time-slot. TS2 is written in location 2.. Input associated control y Output associated control In this mode of working.

In this case. In this switch. there is sequential reading but controlled writing. as shown in fig5.It may be noticed that the writing in the speech memory is sequential and independent of the control memory. The contents of TS4 are therefore. the samples of I/C PCM are written in a controlled way. location 2 is read during TS2.. in the order specified by control memory. Thus the input PCM TS4 is switched to output PCM TS6.. i. The location 4 of the control memory is associated with incoming PCM TS4. The previous example with the same connection objective of connecting TS4 of I/C PCM to TS6 of O/G PCM may be considered for its restoration. written in location of speech memory. and so on.e. 6 in this case. in location 4 of the control memory.. FIG. it should contain the address of the location where the contents of TS4 of I/C PCM are to be written in speech memory.. the contents of location 6 will appear in the output PCM at TS6. i. while reading is controlled by the control memory. location 1 is read during TS1. y Input associated control Here. Each location of control memory is rigidly associated with the corresponding TS of I/C PCM and contains the address of TS of O/G PCM to be connected to.5 INPUT ASSOCIATED CONTROLLED TIMR SWITCH . viz. and read sequentially. there is a sequential writing but controlled reading. Hence.e. A CC writes the number of the destination TS. i. The contents of speech memory are read in the O/G PCM in a sequential way.e.

the cost of accessing and selecting them from external pins in a Space Switch becomes prohibitive as the switch size increases. there is no blocking in a time switch. therefore.. there are as many memory locations in the control and speech memories as there are time-slots in the incoming and outgoing PCM highways. However. Hence. making it uneconomical. TS or ST. Though to ensure full availability.e. are uneconomical. Similarly. Similarly. Hence. viz. viz.. etc. i. 3. These networks can have various combinations of the two types of switches and are denoted as TS. may also be used.etc. corresponding to each time-slot in incoming highway. and therefore. However. is still being favoured for low capacity networks. viz.5 Non-Blocking feature of a Time Switch y In a Time Switch. before being transmitted on outgoing PCM. TTT. TTTT. it becomes necessary to employ a number of stages.2. of all time-slots in a frame. STS or TST. is known as two dimensional network. this delay is imperceptible to human beings. The most commonly used architecture has three stages. etc.. This way. consider a case when TS6 of incoming PCM is to be switched to TS5 in outgoing PCM. there is a definite memory location available in the speech and control memories. has to be completed within one frame time period (before the start of the next frame). in certain cases.4 Time Delay Switching y The writing and reading.. This would result in necessity of changing both the time-slot and highway in such a network. TSST. In this case switching can be completed in two consecutive frames only... get delayed by a time period ranging from 1 TS to 31 TS periods. considering the acceptability of tolerable limits of blocking.e. in a practical network. corresponding to free incoming and outgoing time-slots.. i. is basically suitable for very low capacity networks only. the memory location requirements rapidly go up as a Time Switch is expanded. For example. corresponding to each time-slot in the outgoing highway there is a definite memory location available in the control and speech memories.0 Two Dimensional Switching y Though the electronic crosspoints are not so expensive. . there is always a free path available to interconnect them. STS. An STS network has relatively simpler control requirements and hence. 2. However. using small switches as building blocks to build a large network. their derivatives. it may be desirable to use only T stages. space switch and time switch. In other words. a two-stage two-dimensional network. A TS of incoming PCM may. the network usually employs both types of switches viz. the networks having the architecture of TT. 121 microseconds for a 32 channel PCM system. TSSST. Similarly. TSST..

expandability. the network will be non-folded. Whereas. Each of the input and output time stages will have n time switches and the space stage will consist of an n x n crosspoint matrix. it is most widely used. However. let us assume that there are only four I/C and O/G PCM highways in the network. Let us consider an objective of connecting two subscribers through this switching network of local exchange. with the help of the network. Let us consider a network having n input and n output PCM highways. most cost-effective for networks handling high traffic. As a large number of factors favour TST structure. which is also known as internal time-slot. testability. 3. which are space stages. Hence. As the blocking depends mainly on the outer stages. e. The CC establishes the path. assuming that the CC assigns TS4 on HWY0 to the calling party and TS6 on HWY3 to the called party. i. via a suitable hybrid. However. y For the sake of explanation. whereas the latter performs highway jumping.. The choice of a particular architecture is dependent on other factors also. To introduce greater flexibility. there are two time stages separated by a space stage.. modularity. TSx.e. The speech memory as well as the control memory of each time switch and each column of a control memory of the space switch will have m locations. for still higher traffic handling capacity networks. it becomes unsuitable for high capacity systems. having complete isolation of I/C and O/G PCM highways. there will be only four time switches in each of the T-stages and the space switch will consist of 4x4 matrixes. it uses an intermediate time-slot.1 TST Network y As the name suggests. A TST network has lesser blocking constraints as the outer stages are time stages which are essentially non-blocking and the space stage is relatively smaller. viz.g. a practical local exchange will have a combination of both types of networks. The three . corresponding to m time-slots in each PCM. therefore. it may be desirable to use TSST or TSSST architecture.. tandom exchanges. through the network in three steps. for a transit exchange. it is possible to connect any TS in I/C PCM to any TS in O/G PCM. The former carry out the function of time-slot changing. in a TST network. In the case of a local exchange. etc. The speech samples of the calling party have to be carried from TS4 of I/C HWY 0 and to TS6 of O/G HWY3 and those of the called party from TS6 of I/C HWY 3 to TS4 of O/G HWY0 . the network will be of folded type. the O/G PCM highways. It is. implementation complexity.PBX exchanges. Thus.

For transfer of speech samples from the calling party to the called party of previous example. 4 corresponding to I/C TS4 is written in CM-IT-0. 6 corresponding to O/G TS6 is written in CM-OT-3 and 0 corresponding to I/C HWY 0 is written in column 3 of CM-S. the speech and control memories in time switches and control memory columns in space switch will contain 32 locations each. OT-3 and column 3 of CM-S of corresponding to O/G highway. a sample.switching steps for transfer of speech sample of the calling party to the called party are as under: Step 1 Input Time Stage (IT) TS4 HWY0 to TSx HWY0 Step 2 Space stage (S) TSx HWY0 to TSx HWY3 Step 3 Output Time Stage (OT) TSx HWY3 to TS6 HWY3 As the message can be conveyed only in one direction through this path. as before. FIG. To establish the connection. to carry the message in the other direction is also established by the CC. Assuming the internal time-slots to be TS10 and TS11. the CC searches for free internal time-slots. Let us assume that the first available time-slots are TS10 and TS11. To reduce the complexity of control. during this internal TS10.6 T S T SWITCH y Let us now consider the detailed switching procedure making some more assumptions for the sake of simplicity. to complete the connection. let us assume serial working and that there are only 32 time-slots in each PCM. arriving in TS4 of I/C HWY0. Thus. is stored in location 4 of SM-IT-0. In the space switch. another independent path. 7. as shown in fig. HWY3. . whereas the second time stage is input-controlled. the writing is done sequentially. Accordingly. the first time stage is designed as output-controlled switch. the connection may be established as shown in fig 6. CC orders writing of various addresses in location 10 of control memories of IT-10. As the first time switch is output-controlled. Hence. Though practical time switches can handle 256 time-slots in parallel mode. It is readout on internal HWY0 during TS10 as per the control address sent by CM-IT-0.

7 T S T SWITCH STRUCTURE Similarly. thus. This sample is finally. then.. achieving the connection objective. from the called party to the calling party. arriving in TS10. as per the control address sent by column 3 of CM-S.e. As soon as the call is over. are transferred using internal TS11. the speech samples in the other direction. is stored in location 6 of SMOT-3. to stop further transfer of message. thus. the sample. readout during TS6 of the next frame. the CC erases the contents in memory locations 10 and 11 of all the concerned switches. FIG.the crosspoint 0 in column 3 is enabled. transferring the sample to HWY3. These locations and time-slots are. i. The second time stage is input controlled and hence. as per the address sent by the CM-OT-3. available to handle next call. .

and data services. highly scalable call routing through the SS7 infrastructure. Voice and Data²The History Today¶s time-division multiplex (TDM) PSTN was designed to accommodate a single application: uncompressed voice. The network was built to deliver 99. With more than $380 billion in U. cap investment in traditional circuit switches and migrate to a converged switching infrastructure. frame relay or asynchronous transfer mode (ATM). and value-added voice services such as voice messaging and caller ID. critical to the future of all telecommunications carriers. telephony revenues at stake by 2002. and Internet protocol (IP) networks. currently. increased competition and technology advances will result in declining revenues from traditional transport services (approximately $100 billion by 2002 ) and the growth of innovative. 2. The DS±0s are aggregated by digital access cross-connect systems (DACSs) for presentation via DS±1 (1.5±Mbps) or DS±3 (45±Mbps) interfaces to Class 5 switches.S.Convergence Switching and the Next-Generation Carrier 1. high-value.and packet-switched architecture is. Determining and implementing a sound migration strategy from today¶s overlay networks to an integrated circuit. The challenges presented by the shift from voice to data dominance will affect the profitability and long-term viability of carriers of all stripes. provide more profitable. Introduction Telecommunications deregulation and the explosion in data traffic and service revenues are forcing carriers to re-examine their approach to providing voice and data services. Shrinking traditional telephony revenues and profitability will force carriers to do the following: y y y reduce the number of overlay network platforms. therefore. network-based services. most carriers operate separate circuit-switched (voice and private line). from incumbents to recent market entrants. enhanced services from hardware and software platforms designed to deliver integrated telephony-grade voice. video. The PSTN provides voice access services in 64±kbps increments known as DS±0s. analysts predict that data will consume 90 percent of the world¶s bandwidth by 2003. low-latency and jitter. Indeed.9994 percent up time. The Class 5 switches communicate with access and toll tandem switches to route calls across the .

has no fewer than 17 overlay networks. the bursty characteristics and bandwidth demands (DS±1 to DS±3) of data transmission were not well suited to the circuit-switched nature of the PSTN and required few of its value-added voice features. . ATM. and IP networks. Dial Internet access devoured PSTN circuits with unexpected call duration times and resulted in diminished quality of service (QoS). The specialization of voice and data or packet networks has resulted in carriers supporting a large number of overlay networks (see Figure 1). each of which requires separate network management and back-office systems and support. and each of which has varied technical standards and protocols. in the underlying backbone of the network.´ The avalanche of Internet users forced carriers to invest in additional PSTN capacity.telephone network to destination Class 5 switches. Carriers quickly concentrated their efforts on data-centric architectures and constructed or expanded frame relay. as voice users experienced ³fast busies. During the late 1980s and early 1990s. In addition. and trunks is cumbersome but acceptable. for example. as a result of fairly consistent voice traffic patterns. most of which rely on ATM as the core technology. a costly exercise²given that large circuit switches cost between $1 and $3 million and DACSs between $100. PSTN Architecture British Telecommunications PLC.000 and $250. toll and access tandem switches. Provisioning of the DACS. the rapid growth of distributed processing and the Internet changed everything. voiceoriented environment.000 for traffic that was providing little if any incremental revenue. however. The DS±0 voice calls are then split back out by DACSs to their original 64±kbps state. Figure 1. Packet-switched networks could accommodate the rapid growth and handle the bursty characteristics of data applications more efficiently than the PSTN¶s fixed 64±kbps architecture. The multiplexing and demultiplexing of voice traffic works well in a fairly static.

Moreover. most packet networks utilize best-effort delivery techniques and pay little attention to ensuring the low delay and consistent delivery times required by voice applications. a small footprint for equipment is essential. while voice traffic. an upto-date cell switch consumes less power and occupies far less space than a TDM switch. if forced to use a traditional. The cost of co-location space can be as high as $250. appears to be the best current method of quickly and cost-effectively migrating voice traffic from the PSTN to packet-based backbones. while provisioning was 72 percent lower. although building infrastructures for future applications. 4. A recent study by Sprint Corporation found that data equipment was 70 percent less expensive than voice equipment. and data access lines were 60 to 80 percent cheaper than voice access lines. service providers. As competitive carriers try to minimize start-up costs. Moving Forward: The Converged Switching Architecture The solution to this dilemma is the converged switching architecture²the merger of packet switching technology with SS7 intelligence. Accordingly. Moreover. Leveraging the Legacy Infrastructure With the size and scope of packet networks approaching that of the PSTN. in the past. Just as the PSTN was not designed to carry data efficiently. it is critical to note that voice service revenues continue to provide service providers with 80 percent of their revenues. However. consolidation of voice onto packet networks has. Furthermore. For example. Yet ATM. grows at only 4 percent worldwide. by comparison. although few carriers were able to leverage them as a result of the lack of call signaling support (required to interwork with the SS7 network) in existing platforms.9 percent for data networks. technological and cost-performance improvements in packet and cell switching have far outstripped any gains in TDM technology. a competitive carrier would have very high co-location fees in addition to the enormous capital outlay for the switch. Carriers are moving voice services to packet networks both to reduce internal costs and to provide more valueadded and cost-effective services in an increasingly competitive environment. For example. extremely large circuit switch. ATM networks offer intrinsic QoS capabilities for voice traffic. must continue to support high-quality voice services that drive their revenues 3.9994-percent availability versus an average of 99. However. As a result of the phenomenal growth of data traffic. the PSTN offers 99.000 annually. Maintenance of packet networks was 50 percent.The explosive growth of data traffic also forced carriers to expand their data network infrastructures constantly. carriers have begun to seek ways to converge their voice and data traffic. using the latest advances in silicon-based switching. because space in central office (CO) environments is becoming increasingly . proven difficult. with its installed base and voice-ready QoS. data networks were not meant to accommodate voice applications or the value-added voice services that telephony users have come to expect. The growth has been so rapid that companies such as MCIWorldCom experience annual data backbone growth rates of roughly 800 percent. an ATM±based tandem switch can be built for a small fraction of the cost per port of a traditional TDM±based switch.

along with the use of ATM virtual circuits (rather than TDMs¶ physical circuit provisioning). The architecture can unify the series of multiple overlay networks that is necessary to communicate today (see Figure 2). Figure 2. simplified service deployment A converged architecture can leverage existing investments in infrastructure. while supporting the growth in data traffic. This. In summary. management. greatly improves service operation.more difficult to obtain. like traditional circuit-switching equipment. and administration. a converged switching architecture removes the remaining barriers to the cost-effective convergence of voice and data by delivering the following: y y y y y telephony-grade reliability toll-quality voice full SS7 signaling integration extreme scalability of both port count and SS7 signaling power an open architecture for rapid. equipment that has a small footprint yet that can scale to support large numbers of subscribers is quite important. A convergence switch that has an architecture with distributed signaling supports the consolidation of SS7 links from multiple convergence switches and therefore offers efficient and centralized operations and billing management. Convergence switching solutions should include full-featured SS7 support and standard telephony interfaces and fully interoperate with the existing PSTN infrastructure to support all of the voice features to which users are accustomed. The Converged Switching Infrastructure . Solutions that are based on ATM can deliver toll-quality voice with constant bit rate (CBR). while distributed SS7 processing ensures that signaling scales as rapidly and economically as port count.

y low-cost integrated services digital network (ISDN)±primary rate interface (PRI) provisioning²The cost of delivering PRIs to Internet service providers (ISPs) for Internet dial services can be slashed by using a converged switching solution (see Figure 3). integrated access devices. the Internet. . interexchange carriers (IXCs).5. the convergence switch frees up PSTN bandwidth for voice calls. By shifting long hold-time modem calls to the ATM backbone. Opportunities for Carriers A converged switching architecture offers solutions and benefits to competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs). Low-Cost ISDN±PRI Provisioning y y y PSTN offload²A converged switching solution deals easily with the PSTN¶s most pressing problem: data traffic overload. and service access multiplexers to the PSTN. multiservice interworking between diverse access devices²An ATM± based converged switching solution forwards both voice and data traffic from digital subscriber line access multiplexers (DSLAMs). Figure 3. and other data networks without the need for DACSs or other TDM equipment (see Figure 4). The low initial investment helps carriers extend their market presence and capture market-share more quickly and costeffectively. rapid service deployment in new markets²A converged switching solution allows providers to deliver voice and data services to new geographies with a minimum of TDM equipment. and incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) alike.

innovative services that protect their customer base while expanding geographic and vertical market penetration. This simplification will result in decreased service-delivery costs and. therefore. network carriers will begin to enjoy reduced provisioning cycles and improved and integrated network management and operations. Multiservice Interworking 6. . The Next-Generation Carrier Savvy carriers seek to leverage their packet-based backbones to deliver high-quality. personnel. carriers can exploit the unique QoS attributes of ATM (and eventually Internet protocol [IP] to fashion profitable telephony-grade broadband voice alternatives. Convergence switching also enables carriers to offer new. and management centers. cost-effective voice and data services. No longer will carriers require separate telecommunications management network (TMN) and simple network management protocol (SNMP) help desks. operations support systems (OSSs). Carriers will benefit from leveraging their existing data infrastructure to fashion telephony-grade. As they move toward an integrated voice and data infrastructure. increased profitability.Figure 4. cost-effective. With a converged switching architecture. Convergence switching is the means for carriers to marry the reliability and scope of their PSTN investments to the cost and operational efficiencies of their ATM networks. profitable broadband voice services through the use of a converged switching architecture.

products and services that have emerged in the digital media space. it inspired some media organizations to explore multimedia delivery of information. This digital convergence of news media. media content and communication networks that have arisen as the result of the evolution and popularisation of the Internet as well as the activities. consume. Convergence can refer to previously separate technologies such as voice (and telephony features). was called "Mediamorphosis" by researcher Roger Fidler. synergistically creating new efficiencies. journalism. Technological Convergence can also refer to the phenomena of a group of technologies developed for one use being utilized in many different contexts. in particular. The different technological convergence are given below: y Media convergence The rise of digital communication in the late 20th century made it possible for media organizations (or individuals) to deliver text. as all facets of institutional activity and social life such as business. data (and productivity applications) and video that now share resources and interact with each other. health and education are increasingly being carried out in these digital media spaces across a growing network of ICT devices. ³changing the way we create. Convergence in this instance is defined as the interlinking of computing and other information technologies. . This often happens to military technology as well as most types of machine tools and now silicon chips. we are surrounded by a multi-level convergent media world where all modes of communication and information are continually reforming to adapt to the enduring demands of technologies. Today. Also included in this topic is the basis of computer networks. wherein many different operating systems are able to communicate via different protocols. government. art.. This could be a prelude to artificial intelligence networks on the internet and eventually leading to a powerful superintelligencevia a Technological singularity. audio and video material over the same wired. At the same time. in his 1997 book by that name. wireless or fiber-optic connections. Many experts view this as simply being the tip of the iceberg.Technological convergence Technological convergence is the tendency for different technological systems to evolve towards performing similar tasks. learn and interact with each other´.

According to Henry Jenkins who is a highly respected media analyst and one of the foremost leading experts on the convergence culture paradigm. also known as the black box. the internet does more than that. all 3 mediums have converged into one and people all over the world now can read news on the internet. the Wii is not only a games console." Media convergence is not just a technological shift or a technological process. the cooperation between multiple media industries. faster access to information for Universities and various other educational institutions. is how individual consumers interact with others on a social level and use various media platforms to create new experiences. has become known more as a fallacy because of the inability to actually put all technical pieces into one. mp3 players. and social paradigms that encourage the consumer to seek out new information. For example. Television Shows. in that they increasingly incorporate digital cameras. It is an important tool used to reach various audiences around the world. music and videos. Convergence. Radio and Newspapers are the worlds main mediums in accessing news and entertainment. simply put. . camcorders. voice recorders. new forms of media and content that connect us socially. fashion and music. while people can have e-mail and internet on their phone. This idea of one technology. Convergence of media occurs when multiple products come together to form one product with the advantages of all of them. They can also watch videos. and not just to other consumers. they still want full computers with internet and e-mail in addition. Its uses have been constantly trying to create more ways in which the internet can be useful in more ways than one. Over the past 30 years its role has changed rapidly its main use being for communication. and easier. Mobile phones are another good example. Now. "the flow of content across multiple media platforms. but also an internet browser and social networking tool. download and upload pictures.The Internet The internet is a globalised network and was officially launched in 1969. The internet is so easy to access that should anything happen. as well as. listen to music. it would be displayed to the whole world within minutes. the DeFlorz Professor of Humanities and the Founder and Director of the Comparative Media Studies Program at MIT states that. In today's world. and other devices. Now one doesn't have to wait until the next day to hear the latest in news. concocted by Jenkins. For example. it also includes shifts within the industrial. The Television. See Concentration of media ownership for the similar sounding phrase of media convergence. and the migratory behaviour of media audiences. Media convergence is a concept in which old and new media intersect. but to the corporate producers of media in ways that have not been as readily accessible in the past. cultural. when grassroots and corporate media intertwine in such a way that the balance of power between media producers and media consumers shifts in unpredictable ways.

However. This would include phone companies integrating 3G on their phones. These paradigm shifts are ongoing in the media. However.and that old media would be pushed to one side by new media. merging and coordinating". converged devices are frequently less functional and reliable than their component parts (e. the ability of that device to serve its original function decreases. but does not feature a traditional numerical pad to make phone calls. Instead. Broadcasting is increasingly being replaced by the Internet. Particularly in their initial forms. With the advance in technology comes the ability for technological convergence which Rheingold believes alters the "social-side effects" in that "the virtual. and multimedia of all types. technological convergence holds immense potential for the "improvement of life and liberty in some ways and (could) degrade it in others" . a DVD may perform better on a traditional DVD player than on a games console). music. gps receivers. the iPhone (which. and often occur from time to time as the technology to create better devices evolves. Television in the mid 20th century converged the technologies of movies and radio. an ever-wider range of technologies are being converged into single multipurpose devices. Manufacturers are now integrating more advanced features such as video recording. As Rheingold asserts. convergence can have its downside. television. which some users have found troublesome compared to a conventional phone. If this revolutionary digital paradigm shift presumed that old media would be . camera. Phone calls are also being made with the use of personal computers.This type of convergence is very popular.g. Since technology has evolved in the past ten years or so. Mobile phones are becoming manufactured to not only carry out phone calls. data storage and security mechanisms into the traditional cellphone. As the amount of functions in a single device escalates. when the dot com bubble of the 1990s suddenly popped. In today's society. For example. videos. while for the media conglomerates it means remaining competitive in the struggle for market dominance. enabling consumers all over the world the freedom to access their preferred media content more easily and at a more available rate than ever before. but also hold images. It was predicted in the 1990s that a digital revolution would take place. the phone features a touchpad. He believes the same technology has the potential to be "used as both a weapon of social control and a means of resistance" Regardless. that poured cold water over the talk of such a digital revolution. companies are beginning to converge technologies to create demand for new products. by name implies that its' primary function is that of a mobile phone) can perform many different tasks. and is now being converged with the mobile phone industry. the idea of media convergence has once again emerged as a key point of reference as newer as well as established media companies attempt to visualise the future of the entertainment industry. For the consumer it means more features in less space. social and physical world are colliding. Converging technologies seems to be squashing many types of demanded technologies into one. text messages.

pg. today's modern society is already existing within a convergence culture. genres and markets. Media convergence changes the rationality in which media industries operate and also the way that media consumers process news and entertainment. were conceived as one-on-one communication forms. Media convergence has allowed that to happen and as the proliferation of new communication technologies continues to occur. The two are both relatively new technological mediums in human history. such as radio and TV. The flexibility of the Internet allows for it to incorporate other media. media convergence in theory is essentially an old concept taking on a new meaning. audiences. Media convergence in reality is more than just a shift in technology. Pros: Internet Broadcasting is a good alternative to commercial radio and TV. Generally there are more broadcasts that cater to more niche markets. Believe it or not. They want to participate within it. as these assumptions affect both marketing and programming decisions. the lines have become even more blurred with the advent of Internet broadcasting. Media convergence requires companies operating within the scope of the media to rethink existing assumptions about media from the consumer's point of view. Now. and later emerged as broadcast mediums. 50) points out the startling similarity between the Internet and that of radio. the convergence paradigm that is currently emerging suggests that new and old media would interact in more complex ways than previously predicted. The paradigm shift that followed the digital revolution assumed that new media was going to change everything. The real truth lay somewhere in between as there were so many aspects of the current media environment to take into consideration. Cons: Disputes with copyright owners over royalty rates. It alters the relationship that already exists between industries. When the dot com market crashed.increasingly replaced by new media. They want to interact with it. Many industry leaders are increasingly reverting to media convergence as a way of making sense in an era of disorientating change.Internet TV: Hargittai (2000. Consumers these days do not just want to be on a one way transmission model where they simply receive information. Media producers have to respond to these newly empowered consumers in today's society to reinvent existing concepts to keep them up to date with emerging trends. there was a tendency to imagine that nothing had changed. With the proliferation of different media channels and the increasing portability of new telecommunications and computing technologies. allowing for greater diversity. and in their earliest forms. a recession in the advertising economy. there is no single black box that controls the flow of media into our homes and workplaces. this trend is here to stay. They want to create it. technologies. and the lack of longevity of internet station owners . Bearing in mind that media convergence in reality is essentially a process and not an outcome. we have entered into an era where the media is constantly surrounding us. In that respect. Convergence and Television .

Multi-play is a catch-all phrase.y Messaging convergence Combinational services are growing in prominence. call centres and help desks who need to develop a consistent contact strategy with the consumer. MMS. voice. UK companies. the terms triple play or quadruple play are used to describe a more specific meaning. SMS. several operators have launched services that combine SMS with mobile instant messaging (MIM) and presence. IVR or video using just one five-digit number or long number. The Text-to-Landline services are also trendy. telephone. In April 2008. etc. or high-speed Internet (cablemodem) and TV service over a single broadband connection in the case of cable TV companies. such as Broadband Internet access. adding voice functionality to the five-digit codes already used for SMS. O2 UK launched voice-enabled shortcodes. enterprises. This means that a consumer can text or call +44 7624 805555 and can be sure that. where it¶s difficult to differentiate fixed-line from mobile phone numbers. converging text message and voice calls under one number. should soon be able to let consumers contact them via voice. where subscribers can send text messages to any landline phone and are charged at standard text message fees. In addition. Mobile messaging provider Tyntec also provides a similar service based on long number. Because SMS is very popular today with any demographic. chief among these being those services which integrate SMS with voice. usually. A dual play service is a marketing term for the provisioning of the two services: it can be high-speed Internet (ADSL) and telephone service over a single broadband connection in the case of phone companies. television. and mobile phone service. a simple way is to merge the reception of both formats under one number.). . including consumer goods companies and media giants. Jott and Kirusa) and SpinVox (voice to text). MMS. it became relevant to include text messaging as a contact possibility for consumers. To avoid having multiple numbers (one for voice calls. This service has been very popular in America. Inbound SMS has been also converging to enable reception of different formats (SMS. such as voice SMS (voice instead of text ± service providers include Bubble Motion. This type of convergence is particularly helpful for media companies. the message will be received. y Multi-play Multi-play is a marketing term describing the provision of different telecommunication services. broadcasters. another one for SMS). by organisations that traditionally only offered one or two of these services. regardless of the format.

An example of this is a triple play service. Broadband Internet. In the UK. Rather it is one major ambition of wireless . and content/video while on the go and requiring no tethering to the network via cables. Many of them. VoIP and wireless applications.the ability to have access to all of the above including voice. The aim is to provide both services with a single phone. from the largest global service providers to whom we connect today via wires and cables to the smallest of startup service providers are interested. Meanwhile.The convergence can also concern the underlying communication infrastructure. Given advancements in WiMAX and other leading edge technologies. customer expectations have risen as consumer and business customers alike seek rich content. the recent merger of NTL:Telewest and Virgin Mobile resulted in a company offering a quadruple play of Cable Television. The next level of service might be the integration of RFID into the quadruple play which will add the capability for home equipment to communicate to the outside world and schedule maintenance on its own. even while at home. the "mobile service provisions" aspect refers not only to the ability of subscribers to be able to purchase mobile phone like services as is often seen in comarketing efforts between providers of land-line services. Home Telephone and Mobile Telephones. television and telephone with wireless service provisions. distances and non line of sight conditions is rapidly improving. networked products and converged services including on-demand video. cable television and wireless . internet and telephony in one subscription. The opportunities are attractive: the big three telecom services . high speed Internet. where communication services are packaged allowing consumers to purchase TV.could combine the size of their respective industries. The broadband cable market is transforming as pay-TV providers move aggressively into what was once considered the telco space. This service set is also sometimes humorously referred to as "The Fantastic Four" or "Grand Slam". It is possible that one could never need to be connected by a wire to anything. A quadruple play service combines the triple play service of broadband Internet access. It's uncharted territory for most broadband companies. multi-use devices. y Fixed-mobile convergence A clear trend is emerging in the form of fixed and mobile telephony convergence (FMC). One fundamental aspect of the quadruple play is not only the long awaited broadband convergence but also the players involved. the ability to transfer information over a wireless link at combinations of speeds. digital TV. Incidentally. which could switch between networks ad hoc.telephony. internet. Several industry .

. Brasil Telecom. Among the first handsets capable of this switching are the Nokia E series. WiMax. a different approach that uses VoWLAN as the primary means for voice communication while in WiFi areas. GAN is the name formally used by 3GPP but the technology is also known as UMA and was first developed by Kineto. Those offers have not taken any sufficient ground and have been stopped. which offers mobile to mobile convergence (MMC) technology for dual mode handsets. Another example is Divitas networks. although there is a clear trend towards WiFi and in the future. by the BeautifulPhone from Neuf Cegetel by the means of a QTek 8300 or Home Zone from Wanadoo with a Nokia handset. Six companies. Closed User Groups make it economically feasible to let the cellular net handle local voice calls. One example of this convergence is the BT Fusion offer in UK. At the end of the nineties. where the customers' mobile terminal can support both the wide-area (cellular) access and the local-area technology (for VoIP). which will be used by the British operator Truphone starting its service in May 2006. Rogers Wireless. some dual mode DECT/GAP and GSM services were envisioned. Typically. Free (French ISP) develops a wifi mesh network of HD freeboxes to be used to provide mobile telephony and compete with traditional cellular operators. to provide coverage outside of the WiFi area. In the UK. An alternative approach to achieve similar benefits is that of femtocells. Historically (see below) DECT and Bluetooth have been used locally. these services rely on Dual Mode Handsets. The cellular service engages once the WiFi signal deteriorates sufficiently. Other examples are provided in France with WiFi connectivity around the base station. BT Cellnet launched its OnePhone offer in 1999. Korea Telecom and Swisscom have formed the Fixed-Mobile Convergence Alliance (which as of June 2008 has 32 members) with the purpose to encourage the seamless integration of mobile and fixed-line telephone services. British Telecom. where British Telecom offers a Vodafone handset capable of making calls through the ADSL line via a local wireless connection (in trials and early launch this was bluetooth but the product is now transitioning to using WiFi). Implementations of Voice call continuity claim "seamless mobility between VoWiFi and cellular networks" and on mobile handsets are designed using a software voice engine. NTT. The Generic Access Network (or GAN) is a standard roaming system between WLANs and WWANs.standardisation activities have been completed in this area such as the Voice call continuity (VCC) specifications defined by the 3GPP. routing the calls exclusively through internet protocol to other locations and thereby relying less on the carriers for the voice traffic. Ericsson and Sagem have produced a few handset models. allowing the use of cellular-only handsets. and Ascom resold some Ericsson units.

FMC will generate economic benefits of $3 billion per annum by 2011. and make calls over wifi. use SMS and MMS messaging. There is no doubt that FMC will bring substantial benefits to consumers and the economy as a whole. . currently available through Vodafone. Technology advancement and new business model has enabled the emergence of innovative services which can open up opportunity for wider cross-platform competition than now. According to the Ovum¶s FMC Report published in April 2006. As a result. using their T-Mobile phone number. for the benefit of consumers. Huawei pushes (broadband) Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC). Mobile and fixed networks nowadays can both provide a full range of similar telecommunication services. Technology advancement in the telecommunications market has enabled convergence of fixed and mobile services.T-Mobile offers a HotSpot @Home service. Slovenian mobile operator Mobitel offers a service called M stik which enables users to equip their Internet-connected desktop or laptop computer with the functions of the mobile phone and use it for making and accepting voice calls. greater choice for consumers. allowing you to connect certain phones to home wifi systems. It has prevented fair cross-platform competition between fixed and mobile operators. Increased competition in the telecommunications market will certainly bring substantial benefits to consumer through more service innovations. Any delay of FMC due to regulatory hurdles would be in a substantial cost to the Hong Kong economy. data and multimedia services. The phones can also connect to any open wifi hotspot. The device combines a standard ADSL2 + Wi-Fi-enabled four port router with a pair of phone sockets for VoIP calling and a dockable USB mobile broadband dongle. including voice. better value and lower prices. Leading the company's FMC initiatives is the new Huawei HG553 VoIP home gateway. However. FMC is not moving ahead in Hong Kong because of regulatory hurdles. and videotelephony. Fixed-Mobile Convergence (³FMC´) is therefore about increased competition between fixed and mobile operators. This is a UMA-based service. Being removable means that the owner can take the mobile broadband service with them when necessary. the asymmetries in the existing regulatory regime have distorted the market as mobile operators are disadvantaged by the various asymmetrical regulatory treatments. giving the user a backup option of 3G data should the fixed-line service fail.

media business practice has been to identify the next 'black box' to invest in and provide media for. For example. As such. technological convergence tends to be experimental in nature. the airport. Despite the creation of 'black boxes'. it would be more practical to use a conventional computer rather than a laptop on a surfboard. a consumer may own both a computer and a video games console. and instead creates clutter. commuting. Firstly. intended to perform all of one's tasks. y 'Black Box Fallacy' It has been long thought that eventually we will access all media content through one device. although consumers primarily use a specialised media device for their needs..Your email needs and expectations are different whether you're at home.your situated context. rather than one dedicated device for each task. the trend is to use devices that can suit the consumer's physical position... Secondly. Many people would only watch the TV for the duration of the meal's cooking time. This has caused a number of problems. LG has created a Microwave with a Television screen. As a 2002 Cheskin Research report explained: . wireless access points and DSL modems that users were hard put to identify the resulting box they used to connect their computers to their Internet service. convergence seems to occur in high end devices. This has led to consumers owning technologies with additional functions that are harder. or whilst in the kitchen. due to the highly mobile nature of portable technology. GPS devices. Conversely. Furthermore. home LAN convergence so rapidly integrated home routers. other 'black box' devices that perform the same task can be used to suit their current situation. subsequently owning two DVD players. Whilst interesting. portable internet surfing and mobile telecommunications devices into a single device. Intel has created a Surfboard with an in-built Laptop. etc. Additionally. These examples show that in many cases technological convergence is unnecessary or unneeded. or 'black box'. For example. heralding the rise of what has been . often incorporating multimedia devices such as portable video and media devices. as 'black boxes' are invented and abandoned. This does not achieve the streamlined goal of the 'black box' theory. school. but would not use the microwave as the household TV. and these different devices are designed to suit your needs for accessing content depending on where you are. work. the consumer is left with numerous technologies that can perform the same task. if not impractical to use rather than one specific device.y Router Early in the 21st century. in favour of a specialised device for each task.

Conversely. rather than the creation of new ideas. a consumer would only need to purchase one form of media (say. In a 'black box' situation. Media content have become brands that can offer the same content in a number of forms. video games. Technology convergence will continue as a quirky. experimental form of innovation. .termed the "smart phone". it would seem that hardware is instead diverging whilst the media content on the devices are converging. but it is unlikely that we will ever reach a 'black box' situation. a device designed to remove the need to carry multiple devices while away from the home. This is the opposite of hardware. otherwise branding would not work. cartoons and action figures. The main two examples of this are Star Wars and The Matrix. hardware needs to be specific to each type of function. but are also books. Both of which are films. the Matrix) and would be able to do everything with it. Branding encourages expansion of one concept. which has diversified in order to accommodate the convergence of media.

given the slow speed of EDGE networks. This free offer does not impose significant marginal cost to AT&T but helps sweeten the switch from Comcast or Verizon. This definitely gives AT&T a leg up over Comcast which does not have Wifi hotspots but sure has an advantage in Cable and content. its low paying DSL customers can get unlimited Wifi access for just $1. The name of the triple (or quadruple) game is to gain access to the customer household to generate multiple revenue streams and make it difficult for the customer to switch. The exclusive right with Apple for this remarkable device is aimed squarely at creating defections from other wireless providers. AT&T. This move needs to be looked at in the broader context of things AT&T is doing to stay competitive in an extremely competitive market. It is impressive to see such a focused strategy that brings all parts of its business together. Wifi hotsport and free offer to its DSL customers No single move by AT&T is independent of other. wireless service and working on its U-verse TV service. The iPhone move is essential to generate subscriber growth in an extremely tight market.AT&T's Free Wifi offer a Case Study of . U-verse TV 4. The offer while free to its most DSL customers who have some form of premium access. The Wifi hotspots it operates are never meant to be a major revenue source and AT&T realized this by using it to drive more customers to its DSL (and hence fixed wireline) side of the business. realizing that customers will progressively use more of the Wifi part of iPhone. The free Wifi move is also significant in the iPhone context which supports Wifi. iPhone with exclusive rights 2. In that aspect AT&T offers fixed wireline. DSL. "all good subscribers are taken and the only way to generate growth is through churn". wants to keep these customers in its Wifi network and in that process drive more of the new iPhone customers to its fixed wireline service.convergence AT&T announced free access to its Wifi Hotspots to its DSL customers. especially Sprint and TMobile. again practically free. As was noted before.99 a month. Bundling DSL and fixed wireline 3. The major initiatives of AT&T are: 1. The existing DSL customers who are not AT&T wireless customers may be tempted by the free Wifi access to buy iPhone and do the switch. one driving the other in a virtuous cycle. .

" "Cost savings is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits of converged services. Cutting edge VoIP phone systems carry several immediate benefits compared to traditional PBX systems: y y y y 40-70% cost savings at installation 20-40% savings on monthly phone bills Seamlessly connects remote offices Easy to use. Packet routing information is then added to the digital voice signal so it can be routed through the Internet or data network There's no question . This is why TMCnet has teamed up with FreedomVOICE Systems. and scale But finding the right phone system for your business. "Cost savings is definitely a powerful lure for bundled servicess. Says William Cheek. the bundle in itself is not enough.Voice over IP is changing the face of business telephony. data. creators of industry-leading FreedomIQ. to answer your questions. Internet and TV services to a single provider. manage. Service providers must offer additional value through pricing or features like home networking. or would consolidate their telephone. and the latest industry trends. from a company you can trust. relevant news. The leading motivator? Cost savings." VoIP is a process of sending voice telephone signals over the Internet or other data network. 32 percent would do so without hesitation and 59 percent would switch if offered significant savings.000 DSL subscribers in order to identify the factors pushing consumers towards converged services. isn't as easy as it ought to be. Welcome to the VoIP Phone System Community. "Telecom service providers. If the telephone signal is in analog form (voice or fax) the signal is first converted to a digital form. According to 2Wire's release. and entertainment. VP of marketing at 2Wire. are in a unique position to capitalize on this market opportunity. the majority of respondents indicated that they would subscribe to Voice over IP (VoIP). 91 percent would switch their traditional phone service to VoIP if they found out their telco was now offering the service. with their existing investments in data networking applications and their ability to offer services that span wireless and wireline voice. . As we found in our study Bundled Services: Analysis and Forecasts. The result is a reliable resource of expert advice. Convenience and flexibility of these and future services will also be key for the always-connected digital lifestyle." said Brian Sugar. analyst for Parks Associates.Converged Services: Study Shows Consumers Would Switch to VoIP Broadband service platform provider 2Wire recently polled 2.

Thus although a conventional fixed number is assigned to VoIP service. Commonly referred to as Internet Telephony. Web. By making use of the existing internet connection. where voice and data applications combine IM. the user theoretically is connected to the rest of the world. . rather than through the dedicated transmission lines that regular phones use." His article focuses on VoIP. Web. and videoconferencing.e. 47) states that the most obvious angle is enterprise collaboration. The most obvious angle is enterprise collaboration. the cost of VoIP is significantly less than that of regular telephony when it comes to making calls across the world. user of VoIP can be at any location as long as a broadband connection to the Internet is available). A particular feature of the Voice over Internet Protocol (³VoIP´) service is the nomadic nature of the service (i. given the constant stream of data that must be sent. it is not practicable to ascertain the physical location of a VoIP user.Erlanger (2004. The main disadvantage of VoIP is that. The advantage of VoIP technology is that by being connected to the internet. presence. which allows audio communication over internet lines.. "where voice and data applications combine IM. and videoconferencing. or Voice Over IP (Internet Protocol). pg. a fast internet connection is required otherwise packets may be lost and the transmission may be unreliable. presence.

Although such solutions are available today. The goal is to reduce costs while improving time-to-market with customized applications. Other important topics analyzed by the report include: · Various approaches to network consolidation · How the addition of Mpls and Gmpls affects the network · Architectural requirements and alternatives · Capex trends · Why carriers face an uphill battle . IP Networks: The Impact on Optical and Next Generation Switching is the only market report available today that addresses these questions and provides a comprehensive analysis of carrier IP convergence from a multilayered network perspective. Next generation solutions offer unprecedented flexibility and support many different approaches to migration. Detailed case studies of carriers representing the Ilec/Legacy Carrier.Carrier Migration to Converged IP Networks: The Impact on Optical and Next Generation Switching Description: How do leading carriers plan to migrate their networks to the next generation. Carriers claim they prefer an open. which strategies will they pursue and how will these affect demand for switching solutions? Which switching technologies will dominate and where will they be deployed in the carrier network of the future? Carrier Migration to Converged. converged IP networks of tomorrow? As they migrate to next generation IP networks. standards-based approach to network migration because they believe it will relieve them from dependence on a single vendor. carriers face a confusing array of technology choices. Pioneer¶s new. insightful report. many carriers continue investing in single vendor. along with forecasts of Capex budgets by switch technology. vendors are struggling to identify service provider needs. Given these market dynamics. this report is indispensable for decisionmaking by carriers and switching solution vendors alike. identifying the key drivers affecting carrier migration plans and capital expenditures. IXC and Alternative Carrier segments are provided. Against this backdrop. In addition to budget constraints and increasing competitive pressures. expectations and real carrier plans to migrate their networks to a common. IP-based infrastructure. As additional value to the reader. as well as current carrier solutions and their rationales. The first to present the impact of carrier network migration on demand for cutting-edge switching solutions. ³single box´ solutions. the report also provides a thorough description of the current market situation. who are seeking to maximize profitability in tight capital markets. analyzes carrier network migration and service strategies.

says Hopkinson. but the network has to be able to prioritize traffic [and] support these applications with low jitter and quality of service. is the ability of a company¶s network to handle converged applications. what you may need is the infrastructure that lets you use the bandwidth you¶ve got more efficiently but also grow modularly when you do need or want more.´ he says. 1 is network stability²your network has to run without fail because most of your employees and your company¶s ability to run depend on it. such as the LAN ³core´ (the backbone and other central parts of the network infrastructure) also carrying storage traffic. and video²and other convergences.´ says Hopkinson. founder and president of network switch vendor Arch Convergence. the network has to be able to support them. Second. such as VoIP.´ What should Processor readers know about your company¶s products? According to Hopkinson. What are the biggest IT-related issues facing today¶s small to midsized enterprise? ³No. including adjusting for new applications and capabilities. ³The key is to be able to manage and provision so that the important traffic gets through. ³Most companies don¶t need 10Gb connections in most of their network. and videoconferencing. is being able to do more with less. ³Our Acadia family of products are enterprise-class network routers/switches intended for use as the network core.archconvergence. according to Scott Hopkinson. And third. he says. They¶re suitable for 100 or more . ³Technologies like Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) are bringing storage traffic onto the LAN core. These applications don¶t necessarily need a lot of bandwidth. such as converged communications²voice.Arch Convergence Switches Handle Core Converged Traffic Avaya Cajun Line Lives On As Acadia Family As the activity in the center²³core´²of your company¶s network ramps up. ³Arch Convergence was basically a management buyout of the Cajun P580/P882 product line. data. and networks run with as little manual administration as was founded in 2005 by the team behind the Cajun family of platforms at Avaya. including reducing both budget and head count. http://www. he says. or. is the need to manage and maintain the company network. you may need more bandwidth. ³As users look to add network applications.´ states Hopkinson. Arch Convergence (978/263-1974.´ The common thread to all these.´ says Hopkinson. video remote learning.

and an internal lease program. We support ATM and Ethernet.´ Because of this.´ The Acadia switches have competed successfully for LAN Emulation ATM solutions. says Hopkinson. For companies that already have Arcadia switches or had bought Cajun devices from Avaya. We have hardware-based QoS to enable converged networks. . ³We also provide support and maintenance.´ ³And we have significant inventory to lease. with no outside finance involved. Hopkinson emphasizes. Arch Convergence¶s switches are proven field-hardened devices. . Hopkinson points out. and we have customers who run our switches for over a year without needing to reboot them. This allows the useful life span to be extended by years. raw materials. Arch Convergence can upgrade and provide additional equipment.´ .´ What makes your company unique? Arch Convergence is the only source for new hardware for Acadia systems or for Cajun systems that had come from Avaya. and all the manufacturing tooling for platform.´ he says. up to several thousand. ³We have an attractive ownership model. he adds. including lease or lease-to-own at a fraction of purchase cost. ³We acquired inventory.endpoints. ³There are customers who have been using them for extended periods of time . the company has more options in how to make its switches available.

" said Frank Hanzlik. as well as improved indoor coverage.March 27. "We expect to see a number of U. conducted in March 2007. carriers launching convergence programs over the next 12 months. managing director of the Wi-Fi Alliance. delivered over Wi-Fi networks at home and in hotspots." said Philip Solis. Among the most attractive benefits were: y y y y y Reduced prices for mobile data services at home (25% would switch) Better signal coverage in my home (25% would switch) Reduced prices on voice calls made from my home (24% would switch) Reduced prices for data services at Wi-Fi hotspots (21% would switch) Reduced prices for voice calls made from public Wi-Fi hotspots (21% would switch) "Convergence presents carriers with a compelling opportunity to build subscriber loyalty and migrate more users to mobile applications such as email. Wi-Fi connectivity in a converged mobile phone can offer as much as five times the throughput versus 3G networks. according to a new independent study conducted by ABI Research and released by the Wi-Fi Alliance.S. Web surfing. the subscriber is handed off from a cellular to a Wi-Fi network when one becomes available.Wi-Fi®/Mobile Convergence Benefits Would Entice Many Subscribers to Switch Wireless Carriers and Abandon Landlines New study from ABI Research and Wi-Fi Alliance® indicates strong desire for coverage. TEXAS .S. "Wi-Fi technology has quickly become a must have' feature for users who value the throughput.223 U. throughput and affordability offered by dual-mode mobile phone services AUSTIN. Carriers worldwide are launching Wi-Fi / Mobile Convergence service plans which include a combination of benefits including reduced voice and data pricing. that so many people are interested in Wi-Fi / Mobile Convergence phones though they are just now becoming available in the United States. typical of converged Wi-Fi / Mobile Convergence phone offerings. Respondents were asked to indicate whether a variety of listed benefits. . would compel them to switch carriers now or in the future." "It's meaningful. principal analyst at ABI Research. 2007 . Carriers can leverage Wi-Fi to efficiently manage scarce licensed spectrum resources by allowing subscribers to connect through a combination of licensed and unlicensed spectrum. Nearly one in three subscribers would discontinue their traditional home phone service in order to access two of the key benefits of convergence: strong in-home signal coverage and reduced pricing for calls made from home. When using a converged phone. The ABI Research study. though not surprising. surveyed 1. wireless subscribers from a nationally-balanced and demographically representative sample of adult consumers. wireless subscribers would switch cellular carriers for access to the benefits of Wi-Fi / Mobile Convergence.S.One in four U. and multimedia downloads.

. Pros: The internet can be accessed from anywhere in the world. Nowadays current and new mobile handsets are incorporated with GPRS technology. Wi-Fi and incorporates that technology with Convergence and the Internet.affordability. About ABI Research Founded in 1990 and headquartered in New York.11 intelligence services and market reports in broadband and multimedia. non-profit industry association of more than 300 member companies devoted to promoting the growth of wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs). 17) talks about another technology. encouraging the expanded use of Wi-Fi products and services across the consumer and enterprise markets. in addition to the flexibility it brings. M2M.400 products have been designated as Wi-Fi CERTIFIEDŒ. michael. This represents a 183% annual growth rate from the 2006 shipment total of 1. as the industry in total continues to grow at an estimated 25% per year. the Wi-Fi Alliance's testing and certification programs ensure the interoperability of WLAN products based on the IEEE 802.8 million.diamond@edelman. +1 650-429-2772. more than 3. or call +1. Wi-Fi / Mobile Convergence is expected to be a significant part of the Wi-Fi industry in the next few years.516. it's an easy decision. allowing internet access on a cellular phone." Sales forecasts of converged handsets reflect the anticipation of widespread availability of Wi-Fi / Mobile Convergence services.abiresearch. RFID & contactless. Cons: Receiving such information through a cellular phone is currently pricey and cumbersome. pg. â¼ It would⼦ mean that if you⼌re within range of a Wi-Fi network or hotspot. mobile wireless. wireless connectivity. For information visit www.2500. ABI Research maintains global operations supporting annual research programs. About the Wi-Fi Alliance The Wi-Fi Alliance is a global.624. Since the introduction of the Wi-Fi Alliance's certification program in March 2000. security and ease of use. Its uses range from wireless gaming to that of information gathering. ABI Research forecasts that in 2011. transportation and emerging technologies. Buckler (2004. more than 325 million converged Wi-Fi / cellular phones will be Media contact: Edelman for Wi-Fi Alliance: Michael Diamond. When you ask whether they'd like to see it a part of mobile phones. you⼌d be able to take advantage of Wi-Fi⼌s higher data transmission speed⼦â¼? ostensibly to be used for communication over the internet. With the aim of enhancing the user experience for mobile wireless devices.

In its simplest form .IVR . The Evolution of Applications Convergence The recipe for applications convergence is multi-dimensional.So the first step toward increasing productivity and improving customer service begins with a VoIP ±enabled infrastructure . this technology background will: y Look at the evolutionary path that some businesses may follow to get to applications convergence. Interactive Voice Response(IVR) An Interactive Voice Response System is typically include as part of a VoIP communication system. Voice over IP(VoIP) Applications convergence happens above the network layer. applications convergence saves labor costs and improves customers service ± offering an even bigger contribution to the bottom line.application convergence happens when computer-based applications like word processing . and y Offer three case studies that demonstrate the power of applications convergence.just like most recipes. But while network cost savings are always welcome.the costs to integrate legacy communications systems with contemporary information technology(IT) applications can be cost.VoIP uses Ethernet and the suite of IP-related protocols-the same packet technology used by most data applications.This technology background will examine how applications convergence adds significant benefits beyond the costs savings created by network convergence. y Briefly discuss the protocols important to applications convergence.the IVR system can be easily can be changed to accommodate the tastes and needs of the users.but it begins with network convergence.Technology background on application convergence basics The advantages of convergence are many.By contrast. For example.e-mail.However. y Propose a logical model for integrating information technology with communications technology.Multi-site businesses can save on transmission and switching costs by converting to VoIP.prohibitive for small and medium businesses. the network layer integration is already built into both data and voice communications systems. Specifically.This section will discuss some of the common ingredients for applications convergence and the likely order they will be mixed together to produce the final result.businesses can reduce their costs for voice systems management when they shift to a voice over IP (VoIP) based implementation.Therefore.When not included.and customers relationship management converge with communications ±system applications like telephone calls and voice mail.While applications integration is possible without VoIP.

Modern IVR systems use a web.The system recognizes the caller documents and applications can be shared real-time. Data Applications and Information The ability to acces database and applications depends on a figurative two-way street between the unified field communication portal and the applications or application¶s data. status.or service request provides better-targeted customer allow the caller to select the person they would like to talk to or to proceed with an automated task they would like to accomplish. and some IVR systems offer all three components. and they can click to listen or applications like the customer .Some IVR systems use touch-tone commands. Unified Messaging Unified Messaging brings together voice mail.based protocol called VXML to format commands between the user and the communications system. click to talk(a service that creates ³walkie-talkie´ communications between cell phones).and instant messaging are included in a unified communications portal.More sophisticated systems will match the caller ID with the customer account number to shorten the IVR cycle. click to conference . a priority customer and routes the caller to the priority customer service agent.Intelligent call routing based on a customer type.When graphical .The skills of the service agent are matched to the expectations(and value) of the customer.their presence can be displayed regardless of their physical location Skills-Based Routing Skills-based routing(SBR) has long been used in call centers.Some portals also allow click to collaborate.emails.The interface can be either a graphical user interface or a telephony user interface.With a telephony interface . users can see their voice mails.One example of skills-based routing happens when a caller uses an IVR to key in his account number. for example. Unified Communications Unified Communications and Unified Communications Portals add real-time capability to unified messaging.and fax onto a single user interface.For some cases . Note that unified messaging contains non-real-time information.users can listen to voice mails and.Using web-based protocols like XML.Most of today¶s unified communications portals are built using a protocol called SIP to show when users are present on the network. and faxes on-screen. some use speech recognition.but it is now becoming available for use with ordinary business calls.emails and fax origination numbers. some integrater caller ID to short-cut the automated questions menus.

Three primary protocols have emerged with wide acceptance-XML.Experts in the field predict that having a ³conversion´ with a data application is not only possible but will soon emerge in the next round of applications convergence . today¶s system have begun to integrate speech recognition into the menu selections using speech-to ±text technology.Whereas legacy IVR systems were mostly driven by touchtone commands. Speech-to Text and Text-to-Speech To round out the telephony unified communications portal for wireless and wireline phones. Three important protocols Web-based and IP-based protocols are key to the rapid integration of data applications and information into the unified communications portal. these features can be very quickly and cost-effectively integrated onto the user¶s unified communication portal.Word recognition technology can also allow users to provide key words to navigate through their communications portal.providing intelligent call routing and shortcuts to the decision trees typically associated with legacy IVR systems On the other side of the coin.XML is not a programming language.or the contents of an email message can now be pleasantly provided by text-to speech conversion.XML is also platform-independent.The portal can provide integrated acceses to back office or desktop data applications just like it can provide communication access. Combined. advances in speech recognition have come to the rescue.these advances provide customers alternatives for a faster response to data. companies benefit because appications integration onto the portal is simplified by an order of magnitude.and intelligent routing of their calls-reducing costs and improving customer developers don¶t have to be computer programmers to use it or learn it.XML reduce the time required(in some cases by an order . and it has been designed around easy implementation and for interoperability with other webspecific protocols like HTML.relationship management system and important information like customer account balance cab be provided real-time to a unified communications portal.Using IP-based web-based protocols. XML Extensible Markup Language(XML) is a family of rules for designing text formats into a specific data structure.their shipment date.VXML.information from data bases like a customer¶s account balance. Users benefit because they have a single portal interface to to a myriad of applications they need.and

Users benefit because web-based development is easier than traditional programming and because content delivery based in web-friendly formats provides a large range of available content-based services.telephony. Using presence registrars.It can also provide signaling-both for and between other applications.Its major goal is to bring the advantages of web-based development and content delivery to IVR applications.of magnitude) to integrate PBX features.the presence registrar shows his departure.The concept of presence can also be extended beyond instant message applications to any other communications portal. including a wireline or wireless phones.IM services use a ³buddy list´ that shows if the user¶s registered ³buddies´ are logged onto their workstation.This technique enables real-time communications-directing how and where the called party wishes to be found .When a user logs off.and route the call appropriately. a user may initiate a voice call from an instant messaging application using SIP.For example.unified message features.recording of spoken input. Presence is most easily illustrated with instant messaging(IM) services. SIP and Presence Session Initiation Protocol(SIP) is a signaling protocol used to create IP sessions.users can prescribe how they wish to be found(or not found). and other business applications like document VXML Voice XML(VXML) is designed for creating audio dialogs that feature synthesized speech. Network intelligence will combine user preferences with network presence. and mixed initiative conversions. digitized audio.recognition of spoken and DTMF key input.SIP-based telephony systems are the leading choice for ongoing implementation of VoIP because SIP suppots presence and concurrent multimedia sessions between users.It has been adopted as a leading standard for signaling voice applications across IP.