Verizon Hosts Two-Week International Network Equipment Interoperability Event at Mass. Labs; Four-Country Event Completed Successfully

WALTHAM, Mass. - Verizon is wrapping up its role in a successful four-nation test of how new IMS, or IP Multimedia Systems, network equipment can work together, as part of a two-week international testing event conducted by industry group MultiService Forum (MSF).

The two weeks of testing - called Global MSF Interoperability (GMI) 2006 and involving an estimated 500 test engineers and support staff at five locations - was designed to test the interoperability of networking equipment manufactured by 26 companies.  Together, the companies supplied 197 network devices that were subjected to test cases spread out over eight different scenarios. The testing concludes Friday (Oct. 27).

Mark Wegleitner, Verizon senior vice president and chief technology officer, told a news conference here Thursday (Oct. 26): "The exploration of IMS is an important part of Verizon's effort to offer our customers an array of new services over a next-generation network.  While it will take some time to review and analyze all the results from the last two weeks, initial feedback is that we have made significant progress toward proving that IMS is the right platform for the next generation of telecom networking equipment and telecom networks."

The Verizon laboratory facility here was one of the five locations involved in the international test.  The other four were: BT and Vodafone in England, Korea Telecom in South Korea, NTT in Japan and the University of New Hampshire Interoperability Labs in Durham, N.H.  The five facilities were connected real-time -- via session border controllers and bandwidth-managed IP global networks -- to perform the tests over two weeks.

IMS offers the ability to rapidly define and implement new services that interact with each other seamlessly, regardless of the network-access technology and location of the customer.

Overall, the GMI event was aimed at testing equipment interoperability in the following eight areas:

  • Roaming services across multiple types of networks

  • Session border controller and bandwidth manager

  • 3GPP IMS and mobile core network interoperability

  • IP carrier interconnect/internetworking

  • Security interoperability

  • Third-party applications and service brokering

  • Network management and operations support systems (OSS)

  • IPv4 and IPv6 internetworking

Naseem Khan, principal member of technical staff in Verizon's Technology organization and member of the MSF board, said the primary goal was to finally move interoperability testing into a real-world environment.

"We feel the events of the past two weeks have been extremely beneficial to both Verizon and the carrier industry overall, as well as the suppliers," said Khan. "All of the participants, and even the observers, have come away with a realistic view of what it will take to build a next-generation network.

"A lot of the information gleaned from this event will be fed back into the industry standards bodies to refine specifications and achieve greater insight to the theoretical portion of the IMS development cycle."

Khan stated that a full report on the GMI events results should be released in time for the NetEvents Global Press Summit in Hong Kong on Dec. 1. 

The MultiService Forum is a global association of service providers, system suppliers and test-equipment vendors committed to developing and promoting open-architecture, multiservice next-generation networks. Founded in 1998, the MSF is an open-membership organization comprised of the world's leading telecommunications companies. The MSF's activities include developing implementation agreements, promoting worldwide compatibility and interoperability of network elements, and encouraging input to appropriate national and international standards bodies.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a Dow 30 company, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 55 million customers nationwide.  Verizon Business operates one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks.  Verizon Telecom is deploying the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network to deliver the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services to customers.  Based in New York, Verizon has a diverse workforce of more than 252,000 and generates annual consolidated operating revenues of approximately $90 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.