Many telecom service providers still generate significant revenues from TDM-based services, as a significant percentage of their customer traffic flows through TDM interfaces. The goal of most network modernisation projects, however, is to transition to an all-packet network. According to Cisco, a prudent approach would be consideration of a hybrid network supporting TDM, Ethernet, and IP. Transitioning with this type of solution would support business needs and provide a solid foundation for next-generation transport network when the network is ready to transition to a full IP.
In addition to assessing the current state of telecom service provider’s legacy technology infrastructure, the size of the business, geographic location, customer demographics, and the competition market, Cisco highlighted six focus areas for transitioning from TDM to IP and evaluating transport network modernisation solutions; namely:
1. Minimising effects on legacy infrastructure services. In other words, clearly understanding how the new solution would affect the legacy infrastructure services.
2. Launching new service offerings by ensuring that the solution enables an easy launch to new IP and Carrier Ethernet Services over converged packet optical transport network and it incorporates simplified workflows, operation-based tasks, and skills required for implementation and servicing.
3. Reducing OpEx requirements – new transport modernisation solution should save the company money, be more compact, scalable, powerful, energy efficient, and reduce costs to delivery and maintenance.
4. Supporting Existing Service Level Agreements (SLAs); in other words, meet industry standards and scale IP traffic that meets the industry standard of 99.998 percent SLAs for uptime and 50ms timing for voice whilst using scalable technology to support and anticipate a 50 percent annual bandwidth growth rate.
5. Reducing CapEx while maintaining support for critical network management. This would require consideration of a management tool that is standards-based and seamlessly integrates into the existing OSS/BSS systems, a comprehensive TDM and IP service lifecycle management, that is easy to use.
6. Supporting a simple, robust implementation that is easy to deploy, automated, and has a migration process with minimal effects on end customers, existing services, and maintenance windows.
Ultimately however, there are a number of options for modernising transport networks and each option has value but the value depends on the telecom service provider’s end goal. Cisco’s Roadmap for Transport Network Modernisation looks at both the business and technology benefits of a transport network modernisation solution.
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