A next generation network (NGN) solution is a packet based network which offers various telecommunication service including voice and data services to the users. NGN is capable of handling several types of traffic such as voice, video, data and multimedia simultaneously. Next generation network is the convergence of various service provider networks including data network (internet), public switch telephone network (PSTN) and wireless network. These solutions offer convergent multimedia services by using a shared network. Different elements of the network include a shared core network for all types of access and services, and core network architecture. Core network architecture has three layers namely transport layer, control layer and services layer.
NGN provides interoperability by means of open interface between layers of core network architecture. This enables seamless control of multiple transport technologies such as asynchronous transfer mode (ATM), time division multiplexing (TDM), wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) and frame relay (FR) among others.
Next generation networks are based on protocols such as multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) and internet protocol (IP). NGN offers a single connectivity network capable of carrying information for a phone call, video conference, web session and video from source to destination. Further, these solution offers value added service such as communication services including real time and non-real time, transaction and content services. Additionally, it provides broadband capabilities with end-to-end quality of service. Advantages of NGN such as flexible architecture and low communication cost make it an effective solution for telecom operators and users.
Technological innovation is a major factor for driving a change in telecommunication industry. A key innovation is transformation from circuit-based public switched telecommunication network to packet-based network using internet protocols which is known as next generation networks. This transformation includes shifting from traditional copper wire to optical fiber cables that offers high speed services. NGN offers several features to support data and voice communication services.
Increasing data traffic across the globe creates demand for effective and high capacity IP based network. As a result, telecommunication operators are adopting next generation networks to manage this data traffic. Growing demand for high speed multimedia services such as VoIP, HDTV and mobility is supporting the growth of NGN solution market. NGN offers cost effective bundled services (voice, video and data). Less operational cost and capital expenditure are some of the factors that are supporting the growth of next generation network solutions market. . However, availability of other technologies such as high speed wireless networks, digital subscriber line and power line communications is affecting the market growth. Moreover, low awareness and slow adoption rate are posing a significant challenge for the market growth.
NGN has several functional groups such as transport group, service group, end-user functional group, third-party applications and management functions. Next-generation network solution market can be segmented on the basis of services and applications. Different services offered by NGN include voice, video and data services. NGN offers various applications such as IPTV, VoIP, mobile telephony and web TV among others.
Some of the key players in next generation solution market include Cisco Systems Inc., Juniper Network Inc., IBM Corporation, VMware Inc., Oracle Corporation, Citrix Systems Inc., F5 Networks Inc., Alcatel-Lucent S.A, AT&T Inc., M2 Telecommunication Group, Macquarie Telecom Group Ltd. and Telstra Corporation Ltd. among others.