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Gartner details next generation networks

Gartner Group is predicting the rise of the next generation network (NGN) as enterprise users and consumers increasingly utilise PDAs, mobile phones and the internet in their daily business lives.

Gartner Group is predicting the rise of the next generation network (NGN) as enterprise users and consumers increasingly utilise PDAs, mobile phones and the internet in their daily business and lives.

According to the analyst house, the NGN will form the underlying infrastructure and unite three elements — public switched telephone network, internet and wireless — to form a unified communications network and customisation of communications services.

“These customised communications services will radically change the definition of what constitutes a call,” says David Fraley, principal analyst, worldwide telecommunications and networking group, Gartner Group. “In the future, calls will include voice, video, data, TV broadcasts and multimedia collaboration. In many cases, these will be combined into a single communications session,” he adds.

While the VoIP and NGN trend was slightly slowed by troubles in the telecommunications sector, Gartner Group says the biggest challenge facing NGN vendors is the limited service provider CAPEX budgets, which has affected the network maintenance levels.

However, the analyst house expects CAPEX budgets to improve from 2005 onwards. This combined with the maturing NGN and VoIP technologies will encourage carriers to implement such technology, as it will be able to support service based traffic in almost any network.

“By 2005, three different trends will converge,” says Tim Smith, managing vice president of Gartner’s worldwide telecommunications and networking group. “These converging trends — technology maturity, service provider readiness and robust CAPEX budgets — will start the eventual unification of the communications revolution which will give consumers ultimate control.”

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