With telcos migrating towards next generation networks (NGN), the government has decided to pitch in and help them make the transition. The Telecom Engineering Centre (TEC), which is the technical arm of the department of telecom, will set up a state-of-the-art national NGN lab for addressing interoperability issues and finalising test processes and procedures.
The lab will be set up through public-private partnership mode and TEC will invite expression of interests (EoIs) for the same soon. NGN networks are advanced systems which enable service providers to provide a wide range of services (multimedia, data, as well as voice) over the same platform.
The move to set up a test lab comes as NGNs are still in early stages of design and development worldover. Since this technology is still evolving, a test lab will help address some of the regulatory and technological challenges that confront these advanced systems. These challenges pertain to promotion of competition while maintaining level playing field, addressing new interconnection issues, especially those pertaining to mobile-landline interconnect and handling consumer protection and security concerns, DoT sources said.
Service providers in India are currently migrating to NGN networks on a limited scale using different process and equipment. This has already also led to interoperability issues where subscribers are unable to use the same solutions across different networks and also while on roaming. Besides, with the migration to NGN networks, operators are also facing interconnect issues with regard to billing, number plan and migration.
â€œThe test lab will study and analyse various international developments pertaining to NGNs so as to incorporate the same in the Indian context,â€ said a TEC presentation made to on chief technology officers of all service providers during a recent meet on this issue. DoT sources also said that service providers had approached the department seeking a review of the regulatory requirements in view of their migration to NGN.