Infographic: Where is the PSTN to all-IP journey going?
Status of NGN migration and handling of established technologies
The global tendency to replace legacy TDM-based switching equipment with state of the art IP-based technologies is most prominent in the telecommunications sector.
Migration towards NGN features like All-IP has been a major concern for operators who need to keep up with rapidly changing requirements regarding data processing infrastructure as well as customer demands.
Increasing maintenance costs for aged legacy equipment and diminishing availability of appropriately skilled workforce required for operations is one part of the challenge. Another revolves around hitting shareholders’ challenging OPEX cutting targets:
A complete fast-paced PSTN switch-off appears attractive in order to eliminate associated OPEX and operate just one All-IP network instead of running two networks in parallel.
Ultimately there is no way around (fiber based) All-IP to cope with rapidly increasing bandwidth requirements fueled by both human and machine users in today’s and tomorrow’s ‘always-on’ and ‘share everything’ digital society.
How much life is in the proven technology yet?
The present infographic puts the recent developments in the telecommunications market in perspective.
First, it takes a look at when established technologies like ISDN have been introduced to the world, when they peaked and how they are faring after the introduction of Voice over IP standards that are being deployed by major telco operators around the globe at present as part of All-IP solutions.
Another item depicted is the development of PSTN fixed line telephone access across the 34 countries of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). How does its gradually decreasing volume in the light of increasing All-IP and mobile usage affect operators’ plans for the future of ISDN and analog telephone access? The answer to that question is not as clear-cut a phasing out as it may seem at first. The established access paths feature qualities not easily emulated by NGN technologies, including specific protocols for emergency call and remote monitoring services.
And, as is the case in Germany for example, ISDN still commands a very high penetration rate and with it extensive investment in PBX (private branch exchanges) of business customers. Investments that are rendered useless in case of migration to All-IP.
While there is no doubt that a move towards next generation networks infrastructure is required to keep up with the demands of the Zettabyte Era, the question that remains is the manner in which to tackle the migration at issue. The infographic shows three different approaches that may be part of an operator’s roadmap to All-IP.
The final part deals with consumers’ experience on the basis of a recently realized switch to All-IP. It gives an idea about what operators need to address when migrating their customers towards NGN technologies and shows that there is significant room for improvement.