Next-generation network

The next-generation network (NGN) is a body of key architectural changes in telecommunication core and access networks. The general idea behind the NGN is that one network transports all information and services (voice, data, and all sorts of media such as video) by encapsulating these into IP packets, similar to those used on the Internet. NGNs are commonly built around the Internet Protocol, and therefore the term all IP is also sometimes used to describe the transformation of formerly telephone-centric networks toward NGN.

NGN is a different concept from Future Internet, which is more focused on the evolution of Internet in terms of the variety and interactions of services offered.

Introduction of NGN

Classroom in FTC
NGN Seminar in Fusion Technology Center by NICT(Japan) researcher

According to ITU-T, the definition is:

A next-generation network (NGN) is a packet-based network which can provide services including Telecommunication Services and is able to make use of multiple broadband, quality of Service-enabled transport technologies and in which service-related functions are independent from underlying transport-related technologies. It offers unrestricted access by users to different service providers. It supports generalized mobility which will allow consistent and ubiquitous provision of services to users.[1]

From a practical perspective, NGN involves three main architectural changes that need to be looked at separately:

  • In the core network, NGN implies a consolidation of several (dedicated or overlay) transport networks each historically built for a different service into one core transport network (often based on IP and Ethernet). It implies amongst others the migration of voice from a circuit-switched architecture (PSTN) to VoIP, and also migration of legacy services such as X.25, frame relay (either commercial migration of the customer to a new service like IP VPN, or technical emigration by emulation of the "legacy service" on the NGN).
  • In the wired access network, NGN implies the migration from the dual system of legacy voice next to xDSL setup in local exchanges to a converged setup in which the DSLAMs integrate voice ports or VoIP, making it possible to remove the voice switching infrastructure from the exchange.[2]
  • In the cable access network, NGN convergence implies migration of constant bit rate voice to CableLabs PacketCable standards that provide VoIP and SIP services. Both services ride over DOCSIS as the cable data layer standard.

In an NGN, there is a more defined separation between the transport (connectivity) portion of the network and the services that run on top of that transport. This means that whenever a provider wants to enable a new service, they can do so by defining it directly at the service layer without considering the transport layer – i.e. services are independent of transport details. Increasingly applications, including voice, tend to be independent of the access network (de-layering of network and applications) and will reside more on end-user devices (phone, PC, set-top box).

Underlying technology components

Next-generation networks are based on Internet technologies including Internet Protocol (IP) and multiprotocol label switching (MPLS). At the application level, Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) seems to be taking over from ITU-T H.323.

Initially H.323 was the most popular protocol, though its popularity decreased in the "local loop" due to its original poor traversal of network address translation (NAT) and firewalls. For this reason as domestic VoIP services have been developed, SIP has been more widely adopted. However, in voice networks where everything is under the control of the network operator or telco, many of the largest carriers use H.323 as the protocol of choice in their core backbones. With the most recent changes introduced for H.323, it is now possible for H.323 devices to easily and consistently traverse NAT and firewall devices, opening up the possibility that H.323 may again be looked upon more favorably in cases where such devices encumbered its use previously. Nonetheless, most of the telcos are extensively researching and supporting IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), which gives SIP a major chance of being the most widely adopted protocol.

For voice applications one of the most important devices in NGN is a Softswitch – a programmable device that controls Voice over IP (VoIP) calls. It enables correct integration of different protocols within NGN. The most important function of the Softswitch is creating the interface to the existing telephone network, PSTN, through Signalling Gateways and Media Gateways. However, the Softswitch as a term may be defined differently by the different equipment manufacturers and have somewhat different functions.

One may quite often find the term Gatekeeper in NGN literature. This was originally a VoIP device, which converted (using gateways) voice and data from their analog or digital switched-circuit form (PSTN, SS7) to the packet-based one (IP). It controlled one or more gateways. As soon as this kind of device started using the Media Gateway Control Protocol, the name was changed to Media Gateway Controller (MGC).

A Call Agent is a general name for devices/systems controlling calls.

The IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) is a standardised NGN architecture for an Internet media-services capability defined by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).


In the UK another popular acronym was introduced by BT (British Telecom) as 21CN (21st Century Networks, sometimes mistakenly quoted as C21N) — this is another loose term for NGN and denotes BT's initiative to deploy and operate NGN switches and networks in the period 2006–2008 (the aim being by 2008 BT to have only all-IP switches in their network). The concept was abandoned, however, in favor of maintaining current-generation equipment.

The first company in the UK to roll out a NGN was THUS plc which started deployment back in 1999. THUS' NGN contains 10,600 km of fibre optic cable with more than 190 points of presence throughout the UK. The core optical network uses dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM) technology to provide scalability to many hundreds of gigabits per second of bandwidth, in line with growth demand. On top of this, the THUS backbone network uses MPLS technology to deliver the highest possible performance. IP/MPLS-based services carry voice, video and data traffic across a converged infrastructure, potentially allowing organisations to enjoy lower infrastructure costs, as well as added flexibility and functionality. Traffic can be prioritised with Classes of Service, coupled with Service Level Agreements (SLAs) that underpin quality of service performance guarantees. The THUS NGN accommodates seven Classes of Service, four of which are currently offered on MPLS IP VPN.

In the Netherlands, KPN is developing an NGN in a network transformation program called all-IP. Next Generation Networks also extends into the messaging domain and in Ireland, Openmind Networks has designed, built and deployed Traffic Control to handle the demands and requirements of all IP networks.

In Bulgaria, BTC (Bulgarian Telecommunications Company) has implemented the NGN as underlying network of its telco services on a large-scale project in 2004. The inherent flexibility and scalability of the new core network approach resulted in an unprecedented rise of classical services deployment as POTS/ISDN, Centrex, ADSL, VPN, as well as implementation of higher bandwidths for the Metro and Long-distance Ethernet / VPN services, cross-national transits and WebTV/IPTV application.

In February 2014 Deutsche Telekom revealed that its subsidiary Makedonski Telekom had become the first European incumbent to convert its PSTN infrastructure to an all IP network.[3] It took just over two years for all 290,000 fixed lines to be migrated onto the new platform.[4] The capital investment worth 14 million euros makes Macedonia the first country in the South-East Europe whose network will be fully based on Internet protocol.

In Canada, startup Wind Mobile owned by Globalive is deploying an all-ip wireless backbone for its mobile phone service.

In mid 2005, China Telecom announced its commercial roll-out of China Telecom's Next Generation Carrying Network, or CN2, using Internet Protocol Next-Generation Network (IP NGN) architecture. It's IPv6-capable backbone network leverages softswitches (the control layer) and protocols like DiffServ and MPLS, which boosts performance of its bearer layer. The MPLS-optimized architecture also enables Frame Relay and ATM traffic to be transported over a Layer 2 VPN, which supports both legacy traffic and new IP services over a single IP/MPLS network.[5]

See also


  1. ^ tsbedh. "NGN Working definition". Archived from the original on 2005-09-11.
  2. ^ Next-generation networks: the MSAN strategy Archived 2009-07-25 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on 2009-08-28.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-01-06. Retrieved 2017-01-06.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ TeleGeography. "MakTel completes IP migration". Archived from the original on 2014-02-22.
  5. ^ "China Telecom Expands Coverage of CN2 Network; Cisco Routers Deployed to Enhance Network Potential and Business Opportunities | Business Wire". Archived from the original on 2016-03-07. Retrieved 2016-03-07.

External links

Adrian Farrel

Adrian Farrel is a British engineer and author, specialising in developing computer network protocols for the Internet. He is active in the Internet Engineering Task Force.He was a founder of Aria Networks Ltd, who manufacture sophisticated, next-generation network modelling, path computation, and optimisation tools for MPLS, GMPLS, and IP networks, and served as their Chief Technology Officer for two years. He also runs a consulting company specialising in MPLS and GMPLS. Previously he was an MPLS architect and development manager at software house Data Connection Ltd., and director of protocol development for Movaz Networks Inc. He is also co-authored a research paper.

Bonnie Jenkins

Bonnie Jenkins (born in Queens, New York) currently serves as the U.S. Department of State's Coordinator for Threat Reduction Programs in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation. She is also the U.S. representative to the G7 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction (WMD) and chaired the Global Partnership in 2012. She is the Department of State lead on the Nuclear Security Summit, and she coordinates the Department of State's activities related to the effort to secure all vulnerable nuclear material. Jenkins coordinates the Department of State's Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) programs and helps to ensure a coordinated approach when promoting these programs internationally. Jenkins engages in outreach efforts and regularly briefs United States Combatant Commands about WMD programs in their area of responsibility, works closely with relevant international organizations and multilateral initiatives, and works closely with nongovernmental organizations engaged in CTR-related activities.

Jenkins is also engaged in the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), which is an international effort with over 50 countries to reduce infections disease threats such as Ebola and Zika. Launched in February 2014, Jenkins has worked closely with governments to help ensure they recognize that GHSA is a multi-sectoral effort requiring the engagement of all relevant stakeholder to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats. Jenkins leads an international effort to engage non-governmental stakeholders in the GHSA and she has also developed a GHSA Next Generation network.

Jenkins has dedicated significant attention to the engagement of Africa in the threat of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons and working closely with the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), has developed a program, Threat Reduction in Africa (TRIA), to help ensure that U.S. programs and activities in CBRN security are well coordinated and as accurately as possible meet the needs of countries where those programs are engaged.

Jenkins serves as the Leadership Liaison for the Department of State's Veterans-at-State Affinity Group. She also serves on the Department of State's Diversity Governance Board.

Carrier Routing System

Carrier Routing System (CRS) is a modular and distributed core router developed by Cisco Systems Inc that enables service providers to deliver data, voice, and video services over a scalable IP Next-Generation Network (NGN) infrastructure. In a network topology, these routers are generally positioned in the core or edge of a service provider network. They are also used by Over-the-top content providers and large enterprises. It supports a wide range of interface speeds and types such as channelized OC3, OC12 to OC768 on Packet over SONET and from 1GE, 10GE all the way to 100GE on the Ethernet technologies. A standalone CRS-3 system can handle 2.2Tbit/s and a multi-chassis system could be designed to handle 322Tbit/s.

Carrier grade open framework

Carrier grade open framework (CGOF) is a hardware-independent architecture for the telecommunications industry. CGOF is based on a collection of open standards and is offered as a basis for new solution development. CGOF specifies the functional components needed to create next generation network (NGN) solutions, the relationship of those components to each other, and the interfaces among the components.


Cirpack is an NGN (Next Generation Network), SBC (Session Border Controller) and IMS vendor for Telecommunications Operators, Internet and Application Service Providers, focusing on telephony services such as residential and business VoIP, IP Centrex, SIP Trunking, Triple play, Fixed Mobile Convergence, VoLTE, Transcoding etc.


Empirix Inc. is a privately held company which designs and manufactures service assurance testing and monitoring equipment for IP-based communications networks such as Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP), IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS)-based, next generation network and 4G wireless networks. Empirix offers enterprise and carrier grade products as well as quality assurance products for network equipment manufacturers. Empirix is headquartered in Billerica, MA.

Gigabit Seattle

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Internet Protocol

The Internet Protocol (IP) is the principal communications protocol in the Internet protocol suite for relaying datagrams across network boundaries. Its routing function enables internetworking, and essentially establishes the Internet.

IP has the task of delivering packets from the source host to the destination host solely based on the IP addresses in the packet headers. For this purpose, IP defines packet structures that encapsulate the data to be delivered. It also defines addressing methods that are used to label the datagram with source and destination information.

Historically, IP was the connectionless datagram service in the original Transmission Control Program introduced by Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn in 1974, which was complemented by a connection-oriented service that became the basis for the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP). The Internet protocol suite is therefore often referred to as TCP/IP.

The first major version of IP, Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4), is the dominant protocol of the Internet. Its successor, Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6), has been growing in adoption, reaching almost 25% of all Internet traffic as of October, 2018.

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Neotel, previously SNO Telecommunications, is the second national operator (SNO) for fixed line telecommunication services in South Africa. It was unveiled on 31 August 2006 in Kyalami in northern Johannesburg. Neotel is South Africa's first direct telecommunications competitor to the current telecommunications parastatal, Telkom.

The new company announced its business services on 15 November 2007 and its consumer services in May 2008. Its business services include local and international leased line services, as well as a suite of voice, data (VPN), and Internet offerings delivered over its converged, next-generation network. International Transit services for wholesale customers have been available since September 2006. They plan to use wireless broadband technologies, amongst others, which not only allows data transfers but also voice in the form of VOIP.The arrival of a competitor is said to bring competitive pricing in terms of high speed internet (avg. 250 kbit/s to 750 kbit/s CDMA2000), broadband through WiMax, and later high speed broadband (xDSL and Fibre). For many years South Africa had only one telecommunications service, Telkom, which is partly government owned and partly private owned, but now for the first time people will have a choice of telecommunication services.

Next-generation network services

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ONO was incorporated in 1998. Before commencing its operations, the company took part in a series of competitive tenders which were called after the coming into force of Spain's General Telecommunications by Cable Act 42/95. From 1996 to 1998, ONO was awarded the licenses to provide cable television and telecommunications services in the regions of Valencia, Castellon, Alicante, Murcia, Cádiz, Huelva, Cantabria, Majorca and Albacete.

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In November 2005, ONO closed the acquisition of 100% of the telecoms company Auna Tlc, thereby consolidating its presence as Spain's leading broadband communications and entertainment company and extending its services to the communities of Aragon, Andalusia (excluding Cadiz and Huelva, which already belonged to ONO), the Canary Islands, Catalonia, La Rioja, Madrid and Navarra.

On 17 March 2014, ONO announced it would be acquired by Vodafone for €7.2 billion (US$10 billion), subject to regulatory approval.


One.Tel was a group of Australian based telecommunications companies, including principally the publicly listed One.Tel Limited (ACN 068 193 153) established in 1995 soon after deregulation of the Australian telecommunications industry, most of which are currently under external administration by court appointed liquidators.

The company was established by Jodee Rich and Brad Keeling and had high-profile backers such as the Murdoch and Packer families. James Packer and Lachlan Murdoch sat on the board of the company.One.Tel attempted to create a youth-oriented image to sell their mobile phones and One.Net internet services. It became Australia's fourth largest telecommunications company before collapsing in 2001. Rich and Keeling continued to receive $7m in payments shortly before the company entered administration. The Packer and Murdoch families were embarrassed by the failure of the company, especially after it was reported that both James Packer and Lachlan Murdoch had persuaded their fathers to back the company and invest.The company's slogan was You'll tell your friends about One.Tel, to draw the connection between the brand and personal communication. The company also had a cartoon mascot known as "The Dude". The Dude was a cartoon-like depiction of a man in his early twenties, drawn by Adam Long, Jodee Rich's brother-in-law.

Performance Technologies

Performance Technologies, Inc was set up in 1981 and now is based in Rochester, New York. The company engages in network communications solutions, telecommunications, and military, aerospace and government systems. In January 2011, Performance Technologies acquired GENBAND's Universal Signaling Platform (USP) and SP2000 signaling technology.On December 13, 2013, Sonus Networks, Inc. and Performance Technologies entered into a definitive merger agreement, under which Sonus will acquire PT for $3.75 per share in cash, or approximately $30 million.


Pertino was a computer networking software company based in Los Gatos, California. It derives its name from its city of origin, Cupertino, California. The company provides a cloud networking platform solution that leverages cloud infrastructure, next generation network virtualization, and software-defined networking to dramatically simplify networking without sacrificing enterprise-level functionality.

TalkTalk Business

TalkTalk Business (trading name of TalkTalk Communications Ltd) is a business broadband, telephone, mobile phone and IT support provider owned by TalkTalk Group. The division supports approx 180,000 UK businesses, and 350 resellers, that include voice and data specialists, systems integrators and carriers.

Telecommunications in India

India's telecommunication network is the second largest in the world by number of telephone users (both fixed and mobile phone) with 1.179 billion subscribers as on 31 July 2018. It has one of the lowest call tariffs in the world enabled by mega telecom operators and hyper-competition among them. As on 31 July 2018, India has the world's second-largest Internet user-base with 460.24 million broadband internet subscribers in the country. As of 31 December 2018, India had a population of 130 crore people (1.3 billion), 123 crore (1.23 billion) Aadhaar digital biometric identity cards, 121 crore (1.21 billion) mobile phones, 44.6 crore (446 million) smartphones, 56 crore (560 million or 43% of total population) internet users up from 481 million people (35% of the country's total population) in December 2017, and 51 per cent growth in e-commerce.Major sectors of the Indian telecommunication industry are telephone, internet and television broadcast industry in the country which is in an ongoing process of transforming into next generation network, employs an extensive system of modern network elements such as digital telephone exchanges, mobile switching centres, media gateways and signalling gateways at the core, interconnected by a wide variety of transmission systems using fibre-optics or Microwave radio relay networks. The access network, which connects the subscriber to the core, is highly diversified with different copper-pair, optic-fibre and wireless technologies. DTH, a relatively new broadcasting technology has attained significant popularity in the Television segment. The introduction of private FM has given a fillip to the radio broadcasting in India. Telecommunication in India has greatly been supported by the INSAT system of the country, one of the largest domestic satellite systems in the world. India possesses a diversified communications system, which links all parts of the country by telephone, Internet, radio, television and satellite.Indian telecom industry underwent a high pace of market liberalisation and growth since the 1990s and now has become the world's most competitive and one of the fastest growing telecom markets. The Industry has grown over twenty times in just ten years, from under 37 million subscribers in the year 2001 to over 846 million subscribers in the year 2011.

India has the world's second-largest mobile phone user base with over 1157.04 million users as of July 2018.Telecommunication has supported the socioeconomic development of India and has played a significant role to narrow down the rural-urban digital divide to some extent. It also has helped to increase the transparency of governance with the introduction of e-governance in India. The government has pragmatically used modern telecommunication facilities to deliver mass education programmes for the rural folk of India.According to London-based telecom trade body GSMA, the telecom sector accounted for 6.5% of India's GDP in 2015, or about ₹9 lakh crore (US$130 billion), and supported direct employment for 2.2 million people in the country. GSMA estimates that the Indian telecom sector will contribute ₹14.5 lakh crore (US$210 billion) to the economy and support 3 million direct jobs and 2 million indirect jobs by 2020.

Virgin Media Business

Virgin Media Business Limited is a telecommunications provider specialising in providing services to businesses. The company is a subsidiary of Virgin Media, and was formerly named ntl:Telewest Business until 11 February 2010.

Network topology
and switching

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