sol for carriers to be more than bit pipes

sol for carriers to be more than bit pipes - CASADO LAYOUT...

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IEEE Communications Magazine • August 2006 75 0163-6804/06/$20.00 © 2006 IEEE A DVANCES IN S ERVICE P LATFORM T ECHNOLOGIES FOR N EXT G ENERATION M OBILE S YSTEMS I NTRODUCTION The convergence or, better, migration of the telephone network onto the Internet exists! It is already common to use, over the Internet, tradi- tional services from the telephone network like voice calls. Besides, features such as mobility are ready to be implemented on the Internet. Vin- ton Cerf’s statement during a recent interview for the Spanish journal Diario el Mundo [1] sup- ports this view. Due to its relevance, we translat- ed the following excerpt: Interviewer: “Do you believe that VoIP will replace the telephony we are used to? Do you believe that every information transmission will use the Internet?” Vinton Cerf: “It makes no sense to keep two different networks if there is enough capacity and quality to merge them.” However, what is the motivation to drive such an important change? We believe it is twofold. First, it will save costs to the network operators because instead of managing two networks, the telephone and data network/Internet, the opera- tors will need to handle only one. Second, we have to consider the enormous user acceptance of Internet applications. Besides, due to the openness of the Internet it is very easy to build more and better services upon it and to offer them (via any access technology) to customers who will then find new opportunities to spend money, thus increasing the operators’ revenue. Before proceeding further, we should warn the reader that this last point is also one of the most controversial, as will be seen. The benefits of this migration are clear, but it is also true that such a fundamental change is full of challenges. First, the services offered today in mobile and fixed telephone networks should be mapped — with the same or better performance — to the Internet. This is far from being simple due to the very different technical natures of the tele- phone and Internet networks. This issue is well known and addressed by the research communi- ty [2]. However, the business-related conse- quences of this convergence are still unclear and this poses serious obstacles towards such a migration. For instance, although the aforemen- tioned openness of the Internet is positively seen as a source for generating increased revenue, network operators fear to loose their central role in the provision of services, particularly in video or audio telephony and SMS services. If care is not taken, the operator networks may become mere “bit pipes” in the business chain and not achieve the proper return of investment. This risk is one of the most challenging issues to making the migration a concrete reality. Indeed, in new-generation networks, the users’ devices will simply be connected to the Internet, and thus for customers, as is the case today with the Internet, it will be easy to employ (e.g., to establish voice calls between them) peer-to-peer communications or applications assisted by prox- ies with no relation to the network operator. In
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sol for carriers to be more than bit pipes - CASADO LAYOUT...

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