Updated: April 15, 2010 15:21 IST

Designing and managing networks

D. Murali
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Title: Broadband Network Architectures, Designing and Deploying Triple-Play Services.
Author: Chris Hellberg, Dylan Greene, and Truman Boyes.
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Title: Broadband Network Architectures, Designing and Deploying Triple-Play Services. Author: Chris Hellberg, Dylan Greene, and Truman Boyes.

One of the goals of NGNs (next-generation networks) that carriers are deploying is not only to enable new service creation, but to reduce costs, informs ‘Broadband Network Architectures’ ( Cost reduction is achieved by delivering multiple services on a single network instead of maintaining many disparate networks, each with its own expensive circuits and equipment, explain the authors, Chris Hellberg, Dylan Greene, and Truman Boyes. An example they cite is of carriers selling toll-quality voice through standard residential phones.

“With the launch of VoIP services it would be important not to devalue all the existing PSTN business through arbitrage, but it is wise to complement the service by offering less expensive calling rates on services that cost the provider less. VoIP would cost the provider less because the infrastructure required to carry and terminate the call is cheaper.”

The authors recommend telecommunication companies with a large local presence in a specific region to explore the option of taking in additional revenue streams by selling voice termination to international or other local providers. For, a wholesale environment has a loose relationship between the wholesale provider and the customer purchasing voice termination or call routing, they reason.

“The purchasing customer may be in another country, and she might want to buy local dialling rates in the provider’s country. With VoIP all of this is possible, although it does mean that the provider needs to expose part of its network to the Internet.”

Monitoring of specific traffic flows

Among the security topics discussed in the book is ‘lawful interception in broadband networks.’ The authors observe that government and law agencies have begun applying pressure to carriers to ensure that the carriers will provide mechanisms for agencies to trigger the monitoring of specific traffic flows and to send this data directly to the agencies. “It is a complex and controversial subject for numerous reasons, but most importantly because it creates a security paradigm between a carrier and a somewhat trusted outside force.”

Lawful interception, in this context, is the ability to intercept entire IP streams, usually both to and from the customer, and mirror the IP streams to law agencies that scrutinise the packets for illegal or relevant content, once the flows are recomposed into useful data.

Software feature sets on routers in the area of lawful interception are dictated by requests from carriers that need to comply with local regulations regarding wiretapping and surveillance laws, the book informs. “For example, within some localities it is required that general network operators will not be able to detect that a particular interface is being intercepted. This means that there is a level of abstraction on lawful interception functionality and the details that troubleshooting operators can see.”

Imperative addition to the network professionals’ shelf.

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