Nepal Telecommunications Authority plots all-IP network migration strategy

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The Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) has begun the process of developing a regulatory framework to drive the country's migration from TDM-based PSTN voice networks to next-generation network (NGN) architecture.

Nepal Telecommunications Authority

Image source: NTA

A team has been set by the regulator to write a study that would examine how to implement IP-based NGN networks in the country. According to a TeleGeography report, Bijay Kumar Roy, NTA's assistant director, said the study is nearly complete.

Similar to other countries like the United States and Japan, which are in the process of developing their own migration strategies for their PSTN network infrastructure, Nepal's study will also consider the technical and regulatory aspects of a phased migration, in addition to providing guidelines to develop the necessary human resource skills to deal with the shift from legacy platforms in the country.  

Given the mountain of technical and regulatory elements that any service provider has to consider in migrating a  complex network architecture as the PSTN, Kumar Roy said the country's deployment of NGN networks are in the very early exploratory stage.

"Different regulatory aspects, as well as concerns of operators also have to be studied before the full deployment of NGN," he said.

However, there is a sense of urgency to get a regulatory framework in place soon as Nepal Telecom, the country's incumbent provider, is in the process of buying equipment as part of their NGN strategy.

Nepal is certainly not alone in its NGN drive, however.

In the U.S., all of the major incumbent telcos, including AT&T (NYSE: T), Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL), have all called on the FCC, which itself created a new Technology Transitions Policy Task Force in December, to adopt new rules that relax their TDM-based network obligations.

Verizon, for example, said it has received regulatory approval where it provides traditional PSTN service to Carrier of Last Resort (COLR) obligations to provide basic phone service to every resident. COLR is the legal requirement that every American household should have access to phone service.

Helping to ease U.S. providers' transition of their PSTN networks to IP is the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS), which last year launched an initiative develop standards and best practices to help service providers like AT&T and Verizon transition their TDM-based PTSN networks to IP.

With the new Transition Landscape Team, ATIS has tasked itself with three main goals: evaluating PSTN replacement network architecture and capabilities, defining requirements for services on an IP-based network, and examining if there are relevant standards to handle IP-based telephony as a replacement for PSTN telephony.

Likewise, Japan's incumbent telco NTT in late-2010 announced that it set 2025 as the deadline to switch all of its existing POTS and ISDN lines to all IP. At that time, the telco said that around 2020 it will begin migrating existing POTS/ISDN customers to an IP network over a five-year period.

For more:
- TeleGeography has this article

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