Next generation networks were the main theme of the first afternoon panel of the 14th APDC Communications Congress, where industry representatives discussed the interest in investing in the new networks and their costs. Now that operators are facing a new phase of growth, the message was also one of caution, pointing to the need to study each case and weigh investments.
Two technological concepts are undeniably linked to the new networks, which will work in IP mode and offer users greater bandwidth, defended Günter Ottendorfer, CTO of T-Mobile, the main speaker of this panel. Reminding the audience that communications networks need to be prepared for the new challenges of bandwidth-demanding services, this operator in Austria says customers want simple and reliable services
Release 5 of UMTS that guarantees full IP integration is in the sights of this operator, but the industry forecast points only to the year 2007, until then there are some questions in the air about its reliability and security, underlining Günter Ottendorfer that operators are not willing to give up stability in the transition to new networks.
On the side of industry representatives, the strongest idea is that new generation networks are already available and that it is now up to the operators to decide when to implement them. Representatives from Alcatel, Cisco, Ericsson, Juniper, Siemens and Nortel spoke a little about each of their companies’ solutions, agreeing that bandwidth and IP technology are crucial for the development of new networks.
The simplicity of network management, the optimization of service launches and the consequent cost reduction are the advantages pointed out for the migration of operators to the next generation networks. Sérgio Catalão of Siemens guarantees that all over the world, telecommunications companies are adopting new technological platforms, giving examples such as BT, Telecom Italia, Verizon and even the Portuguese Portugal Telecom.
“New generation networks have arrived. The technology exists, we still need to know the speed at which it will evolve ”, justifies this person from Siemens.
The same agreement exists for cost reduction. Although Rui Candeias Fernandes from Alcatel indicates that it is difficult to count the average gains in the adoption of new generation networks “the savings are significant” and operators have to prepare themselves according to their possibilities, not forgetting a time limit that the chief executive officer of Alcatel in Portugal poses in the three years.
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