Replacing outdated exchanges to improve voice quality, broadband service

BSNL has started the transition from outdated time-switching telephone exchanges to next generation networks (NGNs) that are geared for communication technologies of the future.

Replacement of existing equipment in telephone exchanges with Internet Protocol (IP)-based NGN switches is proposed to be carried out in a phased manner in BSNL’s Chennai Telephones and Tamil Nadu circles.

“The migration to a higher network will be seamless from the customer’s point of view. Once the NGN is in place, users can expect much improved voice quality and broadband experience,” a BSNL manager said. In essence, the migration to IP-driven packet-based switches and servers will set the stage for Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) that is touted as the next level in telecom evolution. The FMC breaks down the distinctions between fixed and mobile networks and provides customers seamless inter-operability of wired and wireless voice and broadband services at home, office or while on the move.

Implemented as part of a nationwide upgrade of core communication architecture in BSNL, it is expected that the migration would be completed in the next three to four years.

The NGN architecture is being supplied by Chinese vendor Huawei.

In Chennai Telephones, a two-phase plan has been worked out to upgrade 48 telephone exchanges to NGN levels.

In the first phase, officials are targeting replacement of equipment over 15 years old in 11 telephones exchanges, including major exchanges such as Kodambakkam, K. K. Nagar and Mambalam.

“An estimated 55,000 telephone lines will migrate to NGN in the first phase to be completed by December,” an official said. Phase II of the plan involves upgrading 37 exchanges.

The roll out of NGN architecture of switches and servers networking close to a million landlines in the Chennai Telephones network will take at least three years, the official said.

Upgrading of telephone exchanges to NGN is also under way in the Tamil Nadu circle which recently placed an order for gear worth Rs. 11 crore.

NGN architecture is being rolled out in 21 telecom divisions, including Coimbatore, Madurai, Salem and Tiruchi and is expected to be complete in about seven months.