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Converging today for the technologies of tomorrow

Leading UK internet service providers (ISPs) have raised concerns about the launch of the BBC’s new iPlayer service, which allows viewers to watch TV shows over the internet. They are warning that the service will put too much strain on their networks if the service is popular amongst the masses, which will reduce internet speeds at peak times.

Network specialist Ciena explain that the underlying infrastructure will be the pivotal factor behind the successful delivery of any internet-based service and how developing the right network will ensure that operators have the right capacity and speed for any such service.

As a network specialist, Ciena argues that a flexible network is essential if operators are to embrace the latest multimedia applications such as the iPlayer, IPTV and video conferencing. By migrating traditional TDM-based networks to Ethernet and Internet Protocol (IP) architectures, networks can more aptly carry any service from voice to broadcast.

Francois Locoh-Donou, vice president and general manager, EMEA at Ciena comments, “By failing to adopt flexible network architectures, operators risk compromising their ability to meet customer needs which, at worst, will result in higher customer churn and a reduction in revenue.” Locoh-Donou adds, “With a flexible architecture, network providers and enterprises avoid exceeding network capacity and encountering performance issues, enabling them to fully embrace convergence and deliver the technologies of tomorrow.”

Peter Collingwood, regional Vice President, EMEA for JDSU's Communications Test Division, adds that one of the most important factors to consider when streaming TV content on the PC is quality assurance.

"With increasingly more triple-play and IPTV services being launched onto the market, service providers will need to differentiate on quality and reliability of service to stay ahead of the competition and retain and win customers. This means service providers will need to ensure effective broadband and broadcast delivery as well as provide quality assurance guarantees.

"Providers like BT will now have to initiate proactive network monitoring to detect quality of service and possible degradation. A test platform can provide real-time analysis of media streams, solving configuration, interworking, and performance issues as well as monitor and report on Quality of Service (QoS). By doing this, service providers can enable engineers to quickly isolate and diagnose problems when they occur and make certain that they are meeting the demands of broadband growth as well as providing quality TV services at the standard the UK is used to."

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.