ATIS Task Force Issues Major Recommendations on Consolidation and Convergence in the Transition to IP-Based Networks

March 31, 2011, Washington, DCAn assessment released by the ATIS Consolidation & Convergence Task Force (CC-TF) contains major recommendations addressing the transition of telecommunications network facilities and technology platforms in a multi-carrier environment. The ATIS Consolidation & Convergence Task Force Assessment & Recommendations, March 2011, focuses on the technologies, processes, and policies identified as most significant in this migration: (1) fiber replacing copper; (2) reduction in the number of network centers; and (3) changes in legacy geographic- and service-based policies. The Task Force was convened by AT&T and Verizon with participants from Alcatel-Lucent, Corning, Ericsson, Intel, Juniper and Qwest.

“Industry’s migration of legacy systems to IP-based networks affords it a tremendous opportunity to consolidate facilities, converge networks, and extend or expand IP-enabled innovative services,” said Susan Miller, ATIS President and CEO. “Through the CC-TF’s efforts to share lessons learned and compile best practices, ATIS is able to offer guidance and assist these efforts by providing the ICT community with recommendations to move these initiatives forward.”

According to the CC-TF Assessment & Recommendations, there are both benefits and challenges associated with this transition. The document addresses both. It covers: Planning for Consolidation & Convergence; Resiliency, Survivability and Disaster Recovery in a Consolidated & Converged Environment; Interoperability; Environmental Impacts; Applications Services and more.

In developing the Assessment and Recommendations, the CC-TF found that at the core of the new IP-based networks will be the next generation Central Office (CO), which will provide converged services to larger populations of customers across wider geographic areas. Circuit switches and their associated line-side equipment will be superseded by IP-based technology. This new equipment will support voice, data, and video in a unified architecture and will enable service providers to offer customers new, enhanced, and integrated services. These next generation COs may require less space, power, and environmental support than most of the individual traditional COs they will replace. At the same time, their deployment will impact vital operational areas such as network management and emergency services. The CC-TF Assessment & Recommendations document enumerates the impact from business, cost-savings, technology, regulatory, and environmental perspectives when COs are consolidated and also when copper is reduced or eliminated—while addressing many other issues associated with the transition to IP-based networks.

The CC-TF’s recommendations make ATIS a key industry voice for ICT industry consolidation and convergence. No other organization has addressed this topic from a multi-carrier/multi-vendor perspective.

About ATIS
ATIS is the leading technical planning and standards development organization committed to the rapid development of global, market-driven standards for the information, entertainment and communications industry. More than 200 companies actively formulate standards in ATIS’ 17 Committees, covering issues including: IPTV, Cloud Services, Energy Efficiency, IP-Based and Wireless Technologies, Quality of Service, Billing and Operational Support, Emergency Services, Architectural Platforms and Emerging Networks. In addition, numerous Incubators, Focus and Exploratory Groups address evolving industry priorities including Smart Grid, Machine-to-Machine, Networked Car, IP Downloadable Security, Policy Management and Network Optimization.

ATIS is the North American Organizational Partner for the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), a member and major U.S. contributor to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Radio and Telecommunications’ Sectors, and a member of the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL). ATIS is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). For more information, please visit www.atis.org.