Next-generation networks (NGNs) -- voice, video and data all over Internet Protocol (IP) -- offer the allure of simplified telecom network management and reduced operational expenses, but deploying them can be complicated and expensive for incumbent telecom and cable operators with a tangle of legacy networks separated by service
One cable operator is taking the plunge and expecting a swift ROI as it deploys Juniper Networks' MX480 routers in its core and distribution layers to marry its voice, broadband and video services on one IP MPLS next-generation network.
Bresnan Communications, which serves 320,000 subscribers in Colorado, Montana, Wyoming and Utah, had for years divided its services into two networks: Its legacy cable network carried video traffic, and its Carrier Ethernet network delivered VoIP and broadband services.
As the operator sought to extend its reach from residential into commercial markets, running all three services for both markets on its legacy Ethernet platforms would have been too expensive, according to Pragash Pillai, senior vice president of engineering at Bresnan.
Pillai declined to name the legacy vendor but said its hardware was physically capable of supporting a converged network -- but not with the cost, sophistication and ease of upgrading that Juniper's hardware has achieved. The older equipment was repurposed for the network's aggregation layer.
"We needed to have one network so that we could drive efficiency, make better decisions on technology, reduce operational costs, [improve] day-to-day management of the platforms and also provide higher availability and reliability," Pillai said. "We knew we were going to really be able to deliver next-generation, advanced services over this network."