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2006 Telecoms Infrastructure Technology - Volume 2 - Long Distance & Data

This report is an independent introduction, for managers, investors and technical specialists, to long distance telecommunications technologies and to the switching and carriage technologies for voice and data communications.

Key sections:-

Infrastructure Key concepts
Long Distance and Global Telecoms technologies
The telephone network and voice calls
Data communication technologies


We begin with a detailed description of long distance optical fibre technologies, including submarine cables with optical amplification supporting dozens or hundreds of wavelengths with Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM). A number of subtle physical processes, including chromatic and polarization mode dispersion, four-wave mixing and self-phase modulation set the upper limits for the data carrying capacity of any fibre system. We discuss these and the techniques of Erbium Doped Fibre Amplification and Raman Amplification, to provide detailed insight into the current state of the art for long distance fibre communications. Satellite and microwave long distance links are also discussed.

We then consider traditional and advanced methods of modulating data, including G.709 Optical Transport Network, which uses Forward Error Correction to reliably carry SDH/SONET and packetised data over fibre links in conditions of low signal-to-noise ratio. This important development greatly enhances capacity and robustness of WDM systems. We discuss the established, highly reliable, SDH/SONET ring architecture which is the basis of most carrier backbone networks today, and the use of new technologies, including Resilient Packet Rings, optical switching and Generalised Multiprotocol Label Switching (GMPLS) to build flexible, redundant, long distance networks.

We discuss the various Ethernet physical technologies, including 10 and 40 Gigabit per second fibre, and the way Ethernet framing and transport of data is increasingly preferred over SDH/SONET and the older techniques of Frame Relay and ATM (Asynchronous Transport Mode).

This report provides an extensive introduction to Quality of Service (QoS) and Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) techniques, which are essential for the reliable delivery of voice, data and video services using Ethernet and TCP/IP packet technologies. Carriers face many challenges integrating their currently disparate networks, traffic types and services into a common packet-based core network. The report provides vital insight into the challenges of providing full end-to-end QoS reservation of bandwidth and assurance of packet delivery over both core and edge (last-mile) networks.

We also discuss conventional ISDN SS7-based telephone networks, PABXs (Private Automatic Branch Exchanges) and PC software implementations of PABX functionality, including the open-source Asterisk project.

While this report does not assume an engineer’s depth of prior technical knowledge, it provides a solid overview of telecommunications core networks, data carriage and switching techniques to enable the non-specialist to understand the technology in ways he or she can apply to their own situation.

The companion volume to this report is available and provids an independent introduction to Last Mile broadband technologies: 2006 Telecoms Infrastructure Technology - Volume 1 - Last Mile.

1. INFRASTRUCTURE - KEY CONCEPTS
1.1 Communication, signals and data
1.1.1 Light and sound
1.1.2 Analogue electronics
1.1.3 Digital conversion
1.1.4 Binary numbers
1.1.5 ASCII text
1.1.6 Data storage and compression
1.2 The pace of electronic technology development
1.3 Types of communication system
1.3.1 Basic communication principles
1.3.2 Basic characteristics of communication technologies
1.3.3 Analogue and digital
1.3.4 Analogue vs digital
1.4 The OSI layered model of networks and applications
1.4.1 Distributed information system
1.4.2 Purpose of OSI
1.4.3 Functions and examples
1.4.4 How the model works
1.5 The increasing importance of the Internet
1.5.1 From smoke signals to Internet
1.5.2 New foundation for future systems
1.5.3 The importance of the Internet
2. LONG DISTANCE AND GLOBAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGIES
2.1 Fibre, WDM
2.1.1 Historical perspective
2.1.2 Optical fibre links
2.1.3 Fibres, attenuation, dispersion and distortion
2.2 Fibre, modulation, amplification and 40Gbs
2.2.1 Soliton transmission
2.2.2 Lasers, modulation and detectors
2.2.3 40Gb/s
2.3 SDH, SONET, OTN, RPR, GMPLS
2.3.1 SDH / SONET fibre optic links
2.3.2 SDH/SONET data rates
2.3.3 Enhancements to SDH / SONET
2.3.4 RPR - Resilient Packet Ring
2.3.5 Optical switching and GMPLS
2.3.6 Optical Transport Network (OTN)
2.4 Microwave, satellite
2.4.1 Microwave links
2.4.2 Microwave Bands
2.4.3 Satellite Orbital Configurations
2.4.4 Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO)
3. THE TELEPHONE NETWORK AND VOICE CALLS
3.1 Network and calls
3.1.1 Introduction and historical perspective
3.1.2 A circuit-switched network
3.1.3 Voice calls
3.1.4 Telephone exchanges
3.2 SS7 PABXs Centrex CTI Number Portability
3.2.1 Signalling System No. 7 - SS7
3.2.2 The Intelligent Network
3.2.3 CLASS services
3.2.4 PABXs and key systems
3.2.5 Payphones
3.2.6 Centrex Services
3.2.7 CTI - Computer Telephony Integration
3.2.8 Number portability
4. DATA
4.1 Introduction
4.1.1 Circuit versus packet switching
4.1.2 Cells, frames and packets
4.1.3 ISDN primarily for voice, not data
4.1.4 Technologies for data communications
4.1.5 Voice to be carried as packets in the future
4.2 Frame relay
4.2.1 Introduction
4.2.2 Switching packets and cells
4.2.3 Permanent and Switched Virtual Circuits - PVCs and SVCs
4.2.4 Applications and futures
4.3 ATM
4.3.1 Introduction
4.3.2 Cell switching in hardware
4.3.3 Distinguishing characteristics of ATM
4.3.4 Applications and futures
4.3.5 ATM for LAN
4.3.6 Conclusion
4.4 Networks within buildings
4.4.1 Introduction
4.4.2 Ethernet and IEEE 802.3
4.4.3 Hubs, repeaters and bridges
4.4.4 Switches
4.4.5 Token Ring
4.4.6 FDDI - Fibre-Distributed Data Interface
4.4.7 Fibre Channel
4.4.8 InfiniBand
4.4.9 ATM - Asynchronous Transfer Mode
4.4.10 Wireless LANS
4.5 QoS, MPLS and VPLS
4.5.1 Introduction and Terminology
4.5.2 DiffServ
4.5.3 MPLS
4.5.4 The MPLS Label
4.5.5 Edge and core devices
4.5.6 QoS characteristics
4.5.7 Virtual Circuits and virtual LANs
4.5.8 Draft-Martini and beyond
5. GLOSSARY OF ABBREVIATIONS
Exhibit 1 - OSI layered model: a web-browsing example
Exhibit 2 - Long distance fibre communication wavelength bands
Exhibit 3 - Microwave band terminology
Exhibit 4 - CLASS Services


Table 1 - SDH and SONET Data Rates
Table 2 - Virtual Concatenation Base Container Approximate Bandwidths

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