Verizon Pushing Ahead With Integrated Transcoding in IP Core, Speeding Path to Convergence

Verizon has committed to delivering all of its next-generation network multimedia content over its IP-based core network, facilitating the convergence of wireless and landline services, the company confirmed Wednesday (Oct. 21).   .

"Working with our next-generation network infrastructure suppliers, Verizon has designed a transcoding architecture for our packet-based core network that supports Verizon's direction toward open networks by facilitating the introduction of media encoding technology while ensuring interoperability," said Tim Dwight, senior technologist at Verizon, during a panel discussion at Supercomm2009.

"For example, in the case of VoIP, our design resolves the 'tower of Babel' problem by allowing the sender and the receiver to negotiate a common encoding format, which, if successful, eliminates the need for media format conversion, or transcoding, and provides a network-based media conversion capability for use in cases where the end devices support no common codec," he said. 

"It does this all in the packet domain, avoiding reliance on the circuit-switched core.  And where transcoding is necessary, it is performed directly between the media encoding formats required by each device, eliminating the double transcoding problem that plagues networks that elect to interwork disparate access technologies across a circuit switched core."

In such networks, media is produced by the sending device in one format, transcoded by the network  into an intermediate format, and later transcoded from that intermediate format  to the one required by the receiving device.  This increases cost and degrades service quality, compared with the Verizon solution.

Historically, wireline and wireless voice networks have utilized different and incompatible media encoding formats, Dwight said.

Mobile networks utilizing GSM Radio Access Network technologies such as UMTS and LTE use one encoding format; CDMA-based mobile networks use another; and multimedia services offered via wireline broadband networks typically use a third.  An efficient, extensible all-IP solution is necessary for an operator such as Verizon that seeks to support next generation networking (NGN) services spanning all of these technologies.

According to Dwight, Verizon has begun integrating these capabilities into its NGN infrastructure, targeting commercial service in the second half of 2010.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving more than 87 million customers nationwide.  Verizon's Wireline operations provide converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network.  Wireline also includes Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 235,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $97 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.