Convergence of Wired and Wireless Networks.
From the technology and business perspective, the differentiation between Mobile Networks and Fixed phone network is slowly diminishing. Voice, Mobile Data / Internet characteristics in Mobile systems are similar to these in Fixed Networks. Differences are the access type, bandwidth limitations and device characteristics. Therefore, it is necessary to focus on the convergence of Fixed and Mobile networking so to provide Universal mode of Telecommunication for all.
1. Limitations of current Mobile Telecom system. In a detail analysis, it can be seen that with higher data rates, the differentiations of Fixed Network and Mobile Network narrow down to ‘the type of end link’ and the ‘terminal device’. This is because, networking of enormously large number of small coverage’ area cell sites that are required for High Data rate Service delivery with Wireless connectivity becomes impractical. In practice, the topology of the high data service mobile network becomes same as that of fixed network made up of Optical Cable back bone and WiFi / WiMax based wireless end link. Higher Mobility of the Mobile terminal also have impact on the data rates that can be realized without compromising quality of service.
2. Product utility in Mobile situation: Higher data rates of 2 Mbps and above, is required only for quick down loading of high volume contents such as a lengthy digital movie etc. The utility of such services will be rare in a mobile situation and therefore, cannot become a major revenue earning product. Such high volume data files can be easily carried in plug and play storage devices.
It can be seen that an assured data rate of 384 to 512 Kbps, is more than adequate for good quality user intensive ‘real time’ video plus voice products such as, TV news, digital movie display, Multi-media transactions over internet etc. With 384 to 512 Kbps data rate, the data service can be delivered to the mobile device in a vehicle moving at its normal speed without compromising quality of service.
3. The business viability of high data service: Higher data rates of 2Mbps and above inMobile network any time, anywhere is near to impractical in terms of business viability. It could be realized only in limited hot spots and the Mobile device in more or less stationery situation identical to Wired phone.
4. Limitation in current Wired Line devices. Though very high data rate products could be made available in a fixed network system, the fixed network provides only limited mobility within a short coverage area. High data rate need of the user can be realized if the user can plug in his device to a fixed network socket or get serviced through a PON connectivity as the end link at the premises.
5. Band width on demand. This can be achieved with a fixed network switching system that can identify and give the needed service to the user the same way as done in the mobile switching system.
6. Convergence of Wired and Wireless network and systems: There are already dual mode devices that can work in fixed network and mobile networks. Also the function of the switching systems of fixed and mobile networks could be identical except for the mode of line termination at the user and switching system end.
7. “Number Portability” by Roaming feature in Wired Network”
With Carrier Selection and Optimal Roaming features, “Number Portability” is readily available in mobile phones. Full ‘Number Portability’ can be realized in fixed networks also by providing “Roaming features” for fixed lines. The topic “Roaming in Wired Network” may seem to be a weird idea for many until we look in the evolving philosophy of telecom topography, user needs and business viability.
In GSM / CDMA every ‘user’ is technically in “Roaming” condition in the local network even while the mobile is stationery. It is possible to use the same Switching systems combined for both type and there are already such “COMBI” switches are in use. In effect, the fixed line devices also will be SIM enabled and are registered in the HLR and VLR of the system as in the case of to mobile phones. This way, the fixed line terminal also will be in roaming condition like the mobile phone. The differences are only in the connectivity at the user end, in the system end and the physical media. Instead of entering the switching system via the Trans-receivers as 16 kbps stream, the fixed lines voice streams will enter as 64 kbps streams and switched through the same switch. PON can give higher data rate connectivity to the fixed lines. The customer need to only carry a plug in type portable SIM that can be plugged into any fixed line device, connected to such systems anywhere to log in and avail the service.
Such an arrangement will provide full “Number Portability” to fixed line service and readily provide service on the spot across the world.
8. Universal Telecom & Multimedia Numbering Plan.
Need for Universal numbering. Please see http://wp.me/p1ZsI2-t
Segregation of Service Provision and Network operation.
As telecom industry getting opened out with more and more Virtual Mobile Service providers in the fray, the call routing philosophy also needs change. This is envisaged in the proposed new numbering plan. The call routing will be based on discrete Service Provider identity instead of network identity or destination code.
Feasibility of proposed new Numbering plan.
The service providers can have their own Home Location Register (HLR) or a business tie up with a centralized HLR provide. The HLR can sit anywhere in the country. Instead of the geographic destination code, the discrete ‘Service provider number’ is translated as the HLR number for the purpose of signaling between HLR and VLR. The call originated from various MSC/ VLR / GATEWAY which communicate with the Service Provider’s HLR to get the identity of the address of the MSC / VLR for routing the call directly to the terminating switch where the customer is roaming at that time by optimal routing.
In this model, Customer will belong to the Service Provider, not to any Network Operator in whose network, the subscriber is roaming at that point of time and have freedom to choose and use any network and any carrier for inter-network for availing service.
Optimal Routing is envisaged to optimize direct routing of calls to the destination network.
Proposed below is the Service Provider based International Multi-media communication ‘Numbering Plan’. Format of the proposed International Multi-media ‘Called Number’ which is also the ‘Customer Number’ (Cn) will be:-
Cn = + Cc Sp Ts Sn (15 digits and according E164/E165).
Author: Abraham Paul, MD FCOMNET. Ex. V.P. Technical sales Siemens SPCNL, India / Director, Siemens ICN RHQ UAE / G.M. BPL Mobile India / TES DoT India.