Converged Networks and Seamless Mobility: Lessons from Experience

Converged Networks and Seamless Mobility: Lessons from Experience

Anthony Ioannidis (Athens University of Economics and Business, Greece) and Jiorgis Kritsotakis (Hellenic American University, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-108-7.ch012
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Abstract

Convergence in the communication industry is a reality – networks are being integrated, digital devices are being unified, and organizations seeking to take advantage of the breadth of opportunities are moving into neighboring industries. These ground-shifting changes have precipitated the emergence of what has come to be known as the Next Generation Network (NGN). Bridging the fixed and mobile divide, that enables the “always connected lifestyle”, where all electronic equipment can be connected to each other in a seamless manner, and users access a wide range of services free of any time, location, and device constraints, stands out as the most notable manifestation of an NGN proposition. This is also known as the Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC). Given the general confusion and uncertainty that characterizes the rapidly integrated communications industry, this paper seeks to assess whether an integrated bundled network can itself become the gateway for the efficient delivery of multimedia applications and services. Applying the Resource Based View (RBV) theory, on the recent developments in the FMC space, this paper concurs with industry-wide skepticism and provides guidelines for the fulfillment of the NGN promise.
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Historical Context

According to what has come to be known as the Telecommunications Old Paradigm, the telecommunications industry rested on three structuring principles: first, protected franchise. Domestically incumbent telecommunications operators enjoyed steady revenue flows stemming from the exploitation of their own (mainly monopoly controlled) networks (see Table 1).

Table 1.
International competitive regimes (selective) (Owen, 1991:53)
CountryLocalNationalInternational
USALimitedYesYes
JapanYesYesYes
UKYesYesYes
GermanyNoNoNo
FranceNoNoNo
Other EUNoNoNo

The second structuring principle was quarantined Operators. Public Telecommunications Operators (PTOs) were restricted from the conduct of any affairs outside their pre-determined sphere of control and as such, were further barred from exporting their experience and influence into adjacent and more competitive markets. The third structuring principle was what the industry referred to as the “cradle to grave” regulation. Based on a bilateral framework (see Figure 1), prices, terms, and conditions of the PTOs service had to be sold to the regulators before they could be sold to the customers.

Figure 1.

Bilateral framework

Technologically, under the old paradigm, PTOs by and large operated within an industry that consisted of three layers (see Figure 2).

Figure 2.

Layers of the old paradigm

In the first layer of the old paradigm, switches, transmission systems, and customer terminals were produced and were combined to form the telecom networks.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Strategy: It is a planned course of action undertaken to achieve the goals and objectives of an organization. The term was originally used in the context of warfare to describe the overall planning of a campaign as opposed to tactics, which enable the achievement of specific short-term objectives.

Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA): While CTP is limited to the Bluetooth air interface technology, UMA is an ‘air interface agnostic’ specification, which can be used in conjunction with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or even as yet undefined access technologies. The specification has been developed by a group of manufacturers, with limited input from some operators.

ICT: Information & Communications Technology.

Next Generation Network (NGN): It is a packet-based network able to provide services including Telecommunication Services and able to make use of multiple broadband, QoS-enabled transport technologies and in which service-related functions are independent from underlying transport-related technologies. It offers unrestricted access by users to different service providers. It supports generalized mobility which will allow consistent and ubiquitous provision of services to users.

Resource-Based View (RBV): It argues that firms possess resources, a subset of which enable them to achieve competitive advantage, and a subset of those that lead to superior long-term performance. Resources that are valuable and rare can lead to the creation of competitive advantage. That advantage can be sustained over longer time periods to the extent that the firm is able to protect against resource imitation, transfer, or substitution. In general, empirical studies using the theory have strongly supported the resource-based view.

ITU: International Telecommunication Union.

Cordless Telephony Profile (CTP): It is a profile defined within the Bluetooth specification, by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group. CTP allows a Bluetooth-enabled cell phone to be used as a cordless telephone when it is within range of a Bluetooth CTP access point. CTP is thus a way of adding limited mobility – cordlessness – to the fixed network. It is currently deployed to a limited number of manufacturers and operators as an interim solution, primarily due to its ability to be attached to existing networks.

PSTN: Public Service Telecommunications Network.

Competitive advantage: It is the distinct way a business or firm is positioned in the market in order to obtain an advantage over competitors, which means an ability to maintain sustained levels of profitability above the industry average.

Fixed-Mobile Convergence (FMC): It is the term used to describe a wide range of mobile services that converge elements of fixed communications infrastructure to complement the core mobile service.

PTO: Public Telecommunications Operator.

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Table of Contents
Foreword
Robert A. Walker, Drew Parker
Preface
Stavros Kotsopoulos, Konstantinos Ioannou
Acknowledgment
Chapter 1
Dzmitry Kliazovich, Michael Devetsikiotis, Fabrizio Granelli
The layering principle has been long identified as a way to increase the interoperability and to improve the design of telecommunication protocols... Sample PDF
Formal Methods in Cross Layer Modeling and Optimization of Wireless Networks: State of the Art and Future Directions
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Chapter 2
Dimitris Toumpakaris, Jungwon Lee
This chapter presents an introduction to cross-layer scheduling and resource allocation for wireless systems and an overview of some of the... Sample PDF
Cross-Layer Resource Allocation and Scheduling for Wireless Systems
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Chapter 3
Prashant Pillai
IP multicast mechanisms provide efficient bandwidth consumption and distribution of high volume contents such as audio/video streaming... Sample PDF
An AAA Framework for IP Multicast Communication in Next Generation Networks
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Chapter 4
N. Merlemis, D. Zevgolis
This chapter is an introduction of the Wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) technologies (such as Dense WDM and coarse WDM) and their recent... Sample PDF
Wavelength Division Multiplexing Technologies and their Applications
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Chapter 5
Sotiris Karabetsos, Spiros Mikroulis, Athanase Nassiopoulos
The high capacity offered by the optical fiber, combined with the mobility and the flexibility of wireless access, either fixed or not, provides an... Sample PDF
Radio over Fiber for Broadband Communications: A Promising Technology for Next Generation Networks
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Chapter 6
Konstantinos Birkos
High Altitude Stratospheric Platforms (HASPs) have gained much of attention from the scientific society and the communication industry in the recent... Sample PDF
High Altitude Stratospheric Platforms (HASPs)
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Chapter 7
Dimitrios K. Lymberopoulos
The Next Generation Network (NGN) is a very complex environment, where various parties (network operators, services and application providers... Sample PDF
Test Template for Data Mining Publications
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Chapter 8
Konstantinos S. Kotsopoulos
Next Generation Networks (NGNs) will accommodate heterogeneous architectures that need to be managed in order to provide services with high QoS to... Sample PDF
The Adoption of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) in Managing Next Generation Networks (NGNs)
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Chapter 9
Ioannis Papapanagiotou, Georgios S. Paschos
The present chapter contains a thorough investigation of Quality of Service, Energy Conservation and mobility in 802.11 and 802.16 standards.... Sample PDF
A Case Study on the QoS, Energy Consumption and Mobility of WLANs and WMANs
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Chapter 10
Panagiotis Kasimatis, Dimitra Varla
This chapter deals with the description of the various applied Mobile System Architectures, showing the evolution path towards the IP Convergence... Sample PDF
Mobile Telecom System Architectures—IMS an Evolution Path Towards IP Convergence
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Chapter 11
Peter Brida, Peter Cepel, Jan Duha
This chapter deals with mobile positioning in wireless heterogeneous next generation networks. Positioning process is analyzed and the chapter gives... Sample PDF
Mobile Positioning in Next Generation Networks
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Chapter 12
Anthony Ioannidis, Jiorgis Kritsotakis
Convergence in the communication industry is a reality – networks are being integrated, digital devices are being unified, and organizations seeking... Sample PDF
Converged Networks and Seamless Mobility: Lessons from Experience
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Chapter 13
Costas Chaikalis, Felip Riera-Palou
Modern and future wireless communication systems such as UMTS and beyond 3G systems (B3G) are expected to support very high data rates to/from... Sample PDF
Efficient Receiver Implementation for Mobile Applications
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Chapter 14
Apostolos Georgiadis, Carles Fernández Prades
Multi-antenna systems incorporating smart antenna techniques present numerous advantages compared to their single antenna counterparts including... Sample PDF
Novel Multi-Antenna and Smart Antenna Techniques for Next Generation Wireless Communication Networks
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Chapter 15
Stelios A. Mitilineos, Christos N. Capsalis, Stelios C.A. Thomopoulos
Small-scale fading strongly affects the performance of a radio link; therefore radio channel simulation tools and models are broadly being used in... Sample PDF
Simulation of Small-Scale Fading in Mobile Channel Models for Next-Generation Wireless Communications
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Chapter 16
Petros Karadimas
This chapter studies a composite stochastic model, in which the diffuse component arises from three dimensional (3-D) multipath scattering. That... Sample PDF
Stochastic Modeling of Narrowband Fading Channels with Three Dimensional Diffuse Scattering
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Chapter 17
Anastasios Papazafeiropoulos
As a consequence of the growing interest in wireless communications systems, much effort is being devoted to the channel characterization and... Sample PDF
Channel Characterization and Modelling for Mobile Communications
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Chapter 18
Fotis C. Kitsios, Spyros P. Angelopoulos, John Zannetopoulos
There is no doubt that e-government is a phenomenon of our era. E-business is becoming vital on the private sector as well as in the governmental... Sample PDF
Innovation and E-Government: An in Depth Overview on E-Services
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Chapter 19
Spyros P. Angelopoulos, Fotis C. Kitsios, Eduard Babulak
Telecommunications and Internet Technologies have evolved dramatically during the last decade, laying a solid foundation for the future generation... Sample PDF
From E to U: Towards an Innovative Digital Era
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Chapter 20
Fotis C. Kitsios
Nowadays that the world depends more and more in services, there is no issue more fundamental for service organizations than understanding the... Sample PDF
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Chapter 21
D. M. Emiris
Auctioning over Wireless Networks, constitutes an attractive emerging class for m-commerce applications and formulates a procurement negotiation... Sample PDF
The Expansion of E-Marketplace to M-Marketplace by Integrating Mobility and Auctions in a Location-Sensitive Environment: Application in Procurement of Logistics Services
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Chapter 22
Achilles D. Kameas
This chapter describes a human centric approach for designing and deploying ubiquitous computing applications. These are considered as activity... Sample PDF
Deploying Ubiquitous Computing Applications on Heterogeneous Next Generation Networks
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Chapter 23
Eduard Babulak, Konstantinos G. Ioannou, Athanasios Ioannou
Transportation and Internet Technologies have evolved dramatically during the last decade, laying solid foundation for the future generation of the... Sample PDF
Channel Management Schemes to Support Services in Ubiquitous Communications Infrastructures for Future Transportation Technologies
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About the Contributors