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Verizon CTO lays out next-gen network plans

Posted by iTech - 2005-10-02

Verizon is planning several network upgrades that will support new services such as optical VPNs and high-speed home networking, as well as to reduce data replication among multiple services.

On its national optical network, Verizon is installing reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexers (ROADMs) and plans to migrate to wavelength switching to support automated operations and provisioning, says Mark Wegleitner, Verizon senior vice president and CTO. Wegleitner made his remarks during a keynote presentation at the Next Generation Networks 2005 conference here this week.

Verizon is looking at Generalized MPLS-based control in the optical layer to facilitate bandwidth-on-demand and optical VPNs, Wegleitner says.

"There's no reason you couldn't have an optical VPN" as well as an IP VPN, he says. He did not provide a timeframe for the launch of an optical VPN service.

According to reports, Tellabs will supply the ROADMs.

On the home networking front, Verizon plans to issue a Gigabit PON (GPON) RFP by the end of this year and to deploy the technology in the second half of 2006, Wegleitner says. GPON will support gigabit-per-second upstream and downstream speeds, effectively doubling and quadrupling the bandwidth delivered by the broadband PON (BPON) technology currently deployed in Verizon's Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) consumer and small business broadband buildouts, he says.

GPON will also support full IPTV implementation even though Verizon doesn't see those implementations for another two years.

"We don't think IPTV is ready for prime time yet," Wegleitner says. "We are eager to embrace it when it's ready for deployment."

Verizon is currently deploying an overlay wavelength carrying an 850 MHz RF signal to deliver broadcast TV into homes.

Verizon also plans to install a managed Broadband Home Router (BHR) in residences to support bandwidths of 100M bit/sec or more, Wegleitner says. The carrier is leaning towards technology endorsed by the Multimedia Over Coax Alliance (MoCA) to deliver those kinds of bandwidths, he says.

MoCA specifies a 270M-bit/sec throughput for DVD-quality entertainment and as a backbone for multiple wireless access points used to extend the reach of wireless throughout a home.

Verizon also plans to develop a so-called CPE Management System for managing the BHR as well as other home devices, Wegleitner says.

On a large scale, Verizon is looking to integrate separate service "silos" -- individual voice, wireless, data and video application server and database infrastructures -- into a consolidated structure that eliminates server duplications and replicated PIN, message store, calendar and profile data, Wegleitner says. This will enable the carrier to administer user data through a User Interface Manager that accesses profile, calendaring, message store and PIN data running on hard drives on a small number of Service Manager servers, he says.

It will also enable the Verizon network to become access agnostic, Wegleitner says.

Wegleitner says Verizon has a "positive impression" of the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) specification from the Third-generation Partnership Project (3GPP) for multimedia-enabling the PSTN. But it still needs some attention, he says.

"We're very eager to take it up a notch or two to make it more robust that it is today," he says.

At the NGN conference this week, some assail that IMS architecture as giving too much control of the customer experience to carriers.

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