For those who aren’t familiar with the term, a Next-Generation Network (NGN) is a telecommunications packet-based network that combines differing types of traffic — voice, data, and multimedia, for example. To make this possible, the distinctly separate service providers (the telephone network, the data network, and oftentimes the wireless network) have to work in tandem, on the platform of an IP address.
What do these new type of hybrid networks mean for the business world?
- Independence from Transport Medium – The different functions of the NGN are not dependent on one established transport system. Consequently, this type of network allows for greater flexibility and consistency — different services will always be available, and not reliant on one system (such as, a mobile network).
- Variety of Identification Options – This translates into much easier IP assigning, which in turn leads to faster and more efficient routing.
- A Readily Adaptable Network Infrastructure – A NGN’s infrastructure is naturally conducive to adapting to traffic patterns and the drastically different service level agreement needs of various services. In addition, service-delivery platforms (SDP’s) for the software facets and the necessary network and hardware equipment for connectivity and transport are included.
NGN’s will mean that the three different types of traffic — voice, data, and multimedia — are converged into one system. For businesses, that type of consolidation will equate to a higher level of efficiency. Almost without exception, when a process becomes more efficient, it becomes more cost-effective. Although the technology to seamlessly integrate all the different types of traffic into the NGN of the future is still undergoing revisions and updating, this type of telecommunications infrastructure definitely represents the next generation — just as the name signifies.