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Jan/Feb 2009 | Volume 1/Number 1
Editor's Note

Welcome to NGN Magazine!

By Richard "Zippy" Grigonis

Welcome to Next Generation Networks (News - Alert) (NGN) Magazine! NGN is the successor to IMS magazine. Don’t worry, many of the IMS columnists you know and love are still writing for us. What has happened is this: We recognize that although the IMS architecture is going to be a major part of the world’s wireless and wireline networks, certainly the future of communications networks is even more expansive than what IMS alone can describe. The canvas upon which network operators and providers “paint” their services grows larger every day. Indeed, their toolkit of “paints” has become more varied and colorful, too.

Even the IMS Forum (News - Alert) has recognized this fact, and has merged with the NGN Forum, to considerable effect. (Michael Khalilian, the Chairman and President of the NGN Forum & IMS Forum, continues to write the closing column to this magazine.)

None of this, of course, is bad news. On the contrary, as a result of all this, we have many novel and exciting subjects to tackle in our new publication: In addition to such revolutionary broadband wireless technologies as WiMAX and LTE (News - Alert), there’s Telco 2.0, Service-Oriented Architectures (SOA), Web Services/Web-Oriented Architectures (WOA), Software as a Service (SaaS) and other permutations and cross-pollinations of Internet/World Wide Web-based technologies, all of which make the development and deployment of extraordinary new services easier and less expensive than ever before. Most of these technologies can compete with IMS, though all can be wielded in such a way so as to complement and even revitalize IMS, which become an even better access-independent platform for service delivery. After all, part of the fun is seeing the continuing twists and turns in the evolution of today’s IP Communications industry.

Thus, we once again find ourselves in a decisive moment in the history of telecommunications. In the coming months and years, each network operator and service provider will have to make profound technological and business model choices about how they will sustain themselves for the next decade or so. In most cases, the choices require a close, intense, and introspective look by operators as to what they want to do and what the economics of the situation dictate. What sort of world of communications are we fashioning? And can we make it economically viable?

“Orienteering” is a sport wherein participants called orienteers use a detailed, accurate map and compass to race across unfamiliar countryside and find specific points on a landscape. This particular element of route choice and the ability to navigate through the rough country are the essence of orienteering.

Present-day network operators, carriers, service providers, etc., are a bit like orienteers, racing to points called IMS, SOA, Web Services, and so forth. As in real orienteering, the route to and between these points is never specified, and is entirely up to the choice of the orienteer.

Here at NGN we cull through what’s happening out there in telecom and report back to you on how you can navigate the great wilderness of uncertainty that lies before many of us. Look upon us as a combination of a trusted advisor, map and reliable compass pointing the way.

With NGN, you’ll never get lost in the wilds of telecom.

Richard “Zippy” Grigonis is Executive Editor of TMC (News - Alert)’s IP Communications Group.

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