Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Europe’s next-generation broadband

28.07.2008
An enormous research effort by Europe’s leading broadband players has helped accelerate dramatically the rollout of next-generation broadband services reaching speeds in the 10s of Mbit/s in many European countries. That is just the start.

The deployment of broadband services in the 10s of megabits per second (Mbit/s) is accelerating across the continent, thanks to the research efforts of Europe’s main broadband players. Even 100Mbit/s has become economically feasible and deployments have started.

Two years ago Europe’s leading telecoms, ISP companies, and its top technology vendors and research institutes finished their work on the first phase of the MUSE project. That effort led to a new set of standard specifications for broadband technology branded as the Global System for Broadband (GSB).

“The MUSE project did not start the push for next-generation broadband technologies and services,” notes MUSE project coordinator, Peter Vetter. “Many companies and institutes were working on it already. But MUSE certainly helped to establish a consensus on what it should look like and what it consisted of, and that accelerated the deployment of a new architecture and better access technologies.”

Risk-free roadmap?

By helping to establish standards, and by defining a roadmap that gained industry consensus, the project limited the risks faced by the main stakeholders, and boosted stakeholder confidence. Increased broadband investment is the result.

Already in Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK, Germany and other countries, providers are deploying services with vDSL (Very High Speed Digital Subscriber Line), an access technology that offers up to 100Mbit/s.

“Our project responded to some of the obstacles facing Broadband4All, a major strategic thrust of European policy under the Sixth Framework Programme. There are many elements needed to make Broadband4All a reality, so it took a large integrated approach to tackle all the technical issues,” Vetter reveals.

EU-funded MUSE, which stands for Multi-Service Access Everywhere, tackled those issues. It was a huge project. It had €60 million, half of which was funded by the European Commission, and a research agenda that looked into every aspect of broadband access technology.

Broadband access architectures, access and edge nodes, dsl, fibre optic, fixed wireless, back-end integration, interconnection between public networks and home networks, and generic test suites, are just a few of the issues that the MUSE team looked at.

“There is often misunderstanding; people think we were just looking at improving the access bit-rate, but that aspect of the project accounted for only 20% of our budget. The main challenge was to enable multi-service delivery through an integrated end-to-end approach,” Vetter explains.

Complementary phases

The MUSE project was organised into two, complementary phases of two years each. Phase one focused on the technical architecture for next-generation broadband networks. This architecture was dubbed the Global System for Broadband (GSB) and it is this work that is responsible for the accelerated broadband deployments.

The second phase of the project (developed further in a follow-up story on 28 July: ‘Next-gen broadband at your service’) looked at upgrading this architecture with network intelligence to facilitate the support of fixed-mobile convergence, multimedia and IPTV, or television transmitted via the internet, among others.

While the second phase offered enhanced services and integration, the first phase tackled the fundamental network issues. It was a big job.

“There was an obvious technology already available to improve metro and access networks,” points out Vetter. “It was Ethernet, which was designed for IP networks and promised low cost because it was already widely used in data networks.”

Serious problems

But serious problems existed with the technology. Ethernet was designed for local area networks with trusted users and lacked security when used in a public network. Also the support of Quality of Service (QoS), which is essential to handling multiple services, like voice and video, as well as the internet, a combination of services often referred to as ‘Triple Play’.

“There were some fragments and different approaches out there, responding to some of these problems,” says Vetter. “But the real issue was to develop consensus around a complete solution.”

Thanks to good pre-standardisation studies and consensus building, MUSE made many contributions to the standards at the DSL forum, ETSI-TISPAN, Home Gateway Initiative, and ITU-T, the relevant official standards bodies.

This led to a set of specifications and standards for Ethernet-based metro, access, and home networks with enhanced quality of service, security and bandwidth. Altogether, the architecture is the GSB.

Though the most visible result of this work is the upgrades of DSL networks for Triple Play and their increased deployments, the generic architecture and platform technology apply to all of the main and emerging access technologies, like fixed wireless and optical fibre.

Just the beginning

“Eventually all networks, including cable networks, will evolve to optical fibre, that will be the standard physical technology. And it is already happening: fibre is deployed in France, Sweden and other countries. But in the meantime, the most widespread technologies, DSL and fixed wireless, can move to GSB.”

And this is just the beginning. The fundamental architecture is in place with MUSE phase I finished in February 2006. Now phase II has started with the intention of developing the enhanced services enabled by the GSB architecture.

But two years after completion of the first phase, its results are already responsible for faster, better broadband near you, sooner than anyone expected.

This article is part one of a two-part feature on MUSE.

Christian Nielsen | alfa
Further information:
http://cordis.europa.eu/ictresults

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Smart Computers
21.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht AI implications: Engineer's model lays groundwork for machine-learning device
18.08.2017 | Washington University in St. Louis

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nagoya physicists resolve long-standing mystery of structure-less transition

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Chronic stress induces fatal organ dysfunctions via a new neural circuit

21.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Scientists from the MSU studied new liquid-crystalline photochrom

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>