Aug/Sept 2008 | Volume 3/Number 4
A Interesting Month
By Richard "Zippy"
No Waffling in Belgium
First, VoIP application software provider BroadSoft , Inc., (www.broadsoft.com) announced that its BroadWorks IMS-compliant application platform (BroadSoft has many IMS and standalone deployments and is very popular among carriers in Europe) has been selected by Belgian telecom operator Belgacom (News - Alert) to deliver voice and multimedia services to the enterprise market. BroadWorks will be running atop an IMS core network. The service is already commercially available and will migrate from a pre-IMS environment onto the IMS core network. Belgacom’s Integrated Telephony Services (ITS) has focused its sights on SMBs and multisite enterprises, such as retailers with hosted unified communications service packages and phones, including desktop clients that increase productivity, such as BroadWorks Receptionist. Broadsoft BroadWorks also brings with it integration with common office applications such as Microsoft Outlook.
A week or so later, the U.K.-based European IP business services provider COLT announced an initiative to upgrade its network to "next-generation" capability. This entails improving overall service performance of existing and new Layer 2 services/applications, while lowering investment costs. COLT’s strategy now includes Nokia (News - Alert) Siemens Networks (www.nokiasiemensnetworks.com) and Sonus Networks (www.sonusnet.com). COLT will use Nokia Siemens (News - Alert)’ Multi-Service Platform (MSP) as the foundation IP and Ethernet transport, enabling services with less than 1 millisecond latency, low jitter, flexible bandwidth, better fault resilience and quick automated provisioning.
This network will interwork with Sonus’ application-enabling softswitch that will handle session control, including IMS and FMC-based fixed and mobile wireless services. The MSP will be used to coalesce COLT’s 18 data centers into a single virtualized network, replacing a typical vertical protocol-specific transport silo methodology with a three-layer, horizontal infrastructure. Ultimately, customers will be able to partake of third-party software delivered from the data centers asSoftware-as-a-Service (SaaS (News - Alert) ) over the Ethernet network.
A Billion Here, a Billion There
Telecom equipment sales rose 13 percent from 2006, amounting to US$139 billion in 2007, according a new Infonetics Research (News - Alert) , report, "Service Provider and Enterprise Telecom and Datacom Equipment". The communication research firm’s report says that worldwide sales of service provider and enterprise telecom and datacom equipment will continue to grow another 26 percent to US$174 billion in 2011.
The greatest growth is in IPTV (News - Alert) and IP video equipment, followed by service provider VoIP and IMS equipment. As faster-growing segments like IPTV and carrier VoIP and IMS gain share, the largest equipment category (service provider wireless and Fixed Mobile Convergence (News - Alert) will lose about 4 ponts of its overall telecom/dateacom revenue between 2007 and 2011.
As Jeff Wilson, Principal Analyst at Infonetics Research, says, "While service provider wireless and FMC equipment and enterprise routers, switches, and wireless LAN equipment make up the largest portions of revenue, the increases we’re seeing in the overall telecom and datacom equipment market are being fueled by the transformation to IP packet networks, as evidenced by strong growth in the IPTV and service provider VoIP and IMS segments."
Approximately a third of last year’s equipment revenue came from Europe and the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), while China and India will most likely engender a "significant jump" in carrier CapEx this year because of various large network construction projects, with the additional driving force of currency appreciation against the U.S. dollar.
IMS continues to slowly but steadily move forward. As the world’s network infrastructures link up one by one, the promise of IMS and its common service infrastructure for wired and wireline networks and devices will be fulfilled.