Thursday, September 20, 2007

Services anybody?

ITU-T hosted in Geneva during the past week a workshop on "Multimedia in NGN". Interesting topics discussed but mainly from a technical point of view.

Everybody talks about the same services as the "NGN services":

Killer applications?: Video Blogging, Sharing, Video Ring Back Tones, Video to voice call continuity, innovative AMS applications
[From the summary notes from session "Using NGN capabilities to deliver multimedia services"]
Is this what the mass market wants?. I very much doubt it. These services need expensive devices, user experience are very complex, and will probably also generate expensive bills, as carriers will want to recover investment very quickly. Users can do most of these things now using on their PCs without any NGN.

The most interesting presentation was by NTT ("NTT's challenge: create new business on the NGN") and provided some interesting point of views about NTT perception of the NGN from a services point of view. They expect a massive user migration to FTTH networks, the raising curve of the number of FTTH users will catch DSL users in the first quarter of 2008.

Most importantly, NTT realizes that "The NTT Group cannot by itself make the most effective use of the NGN", they will build the session control around IMS but the services to network interfaces (SNI) will be opened to other companies and service providers, with several models considered: application hosted in NTT, 3rd party service provider directly accessing the SNI, etc. This is clearly the way forward (and NTT DoCoMo implemented it right in i-mode).

NTT is working on a very interesting service classification:
  • Daily life services, such as telemetrics for utility companies, home automation / domotics, control of multimedia equipment, etc.
  • Business related services, with examples a bit unrealistic, such as a bigger-than-life video conference facility that must cost a fortune.
  • Content-related services, following the trend towards digital content, video on demand, etc.
Other topics in the workshop were ubiquitous sensor networks and NGN, etc. Take a look too to the presentation by the 3GPP SA chairman about how they are trying to prevent fragmentation of the IMS standard. And there was a very intriguing presentation about how carriers could embrace peer-2-peer on their own telecom solutions ...

Programme here:

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