FORCES Project Colloquium
Telecommunications Convergence
Monday 4th December 2000

Objective

Telecommunications services and the networks that support them are converging in many respects. Fixed and wireless provision is being brought under one umbrella. Voice and data transmission are becoming even more integrated. Traditional carrier networks are being supplemented by IP networks. Unifying service architectures and APIs are appearing. Development methods are increasingly focusing on common object-oriented platforms and languages.

The colloquium brought together industrial and academic participants with a common interest in making convergence happen. Presentations addressed the network technologies, service architectures, object-oriented languages and development environments underpinning this convergence.

The colloquium was organised by the FORCES project (Forum for Creation and Engineering of Telecommunications Services), supported by EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) under grant GR/M00275. The colloquium was endorsed and supported by IEE (Institution of Electrical Engineers).

Venue

The colloquium took place on Monday 4th December 2000 in the Faraday Room, Institution of Electrical Engineers, Savoy Place, LONDON WC2R 0BL. See the online map for details of its location. The nearest underground station is Embankment, with Charing Cross and Covent Garden as alternatives.

Format

Key industrial and academic speakers covered the broad spectrum of the topic through formal presentations. There was ample opportunity for informal discussion with the speakers and fellow delegates. There were no proceedings, but copies of presentations were made available where possible via the web.

Who should attend

The colloquium was of particular interest to industrial and academic workers in the field of telecommunications. This included technical managers from telecommunications organisations, service development engineers, and researchers from industry and university laboratories.

Organisers

The FORCES consortium includes industrial and academic partners throughout the UK. The project management committee comprises British Telecom, CITEL Technologies, Ericsson UK, Marconi Communications, University of Glasgow, University of Kent, University of Lancaster, University of Stirling (Coordinator).

Programme

Speakers are hyperlinked where possible to their home web page or email address. Titles of presentations are hyperlinked where possible to the slides (gzipped PowerPoint, PostScript or PDF).

TimeSpeakerTitle
09.00-09.30Registration
09.30-09.45Ken Turner
University of Stirling
Colloquium Context
09.45-10.30Martin Cookson
BT Adastral Park, Ipswich
Serving the 3G Network
3G (Third Generation) networks provide a common IP network for voice and multi-media, including mobility, and can be accessed via either fixed or wireless mechanisms. The huge investment in 3G mobile licences is an incentive to develop extra services above and beyond basic telephony and data services. Service control provides an infrastructure to deliver services, particularly those of a real-time nature. The talk covers the progress in developing service control in the context of the 3G all-IP network (3GPP release 2000). To achieve the objectives for service evolution, mass service development and cost-effective services, three technologies are being pursued for service control. These are CAMEL, APIs and SIP service extensions. The talk will also cover the way in which services are created and delivered.
10.30-11.00Tea/Coffee
11.00-11.45Mark Ryan
University of Birmingham
Features Interacting Everywhere
Feature interaction is a well-known problem in public-switched telephone systems, but it also occurs in other kinds of telecommunication system such as mobile telephony, email and the web. Indeed, feature interaction can occur in almost any kind of software system. The talk will give examples of features and their interactions in telephone systems, lift systems, email, emacs (the editor), and a tape-deck. The talk will also cover our approach to defining features and classifying their interactions, and the verification methods that we use.
11.45-12.30Jim Henderson
Real-Time Engineering, Glasgow
Out of the Box - The Invasion of The Pervasive Computer
Fuelled by the rapidly developing fields of wireless technologies (WAP, Bluetooth, 3G), the development of PC and web-site on a chip, and the advent of good voice recognition facilities, the world of the Pervasive Computer is almost upon us. The computer will no longer be recognisable as a box in a corner or on your desk, and there will be no trailing wires or keyboards to give it away. Although embedded systems have been with us for some time, their lack of interfaces and restricted programming flexibility have limited their applicability. This is about to change with the power of a full PC becoming available in very small packages, permanently connected to the Internet by wireless technology, and responding to voice or visual input. PCs like this will invade the factory, transport, the office and the home. This talk will explore the underlying technologies and the potentially vast application arena for the Pervasive Computer. It will also consider the impact on bandwidth availability when common, everyday devices start to flood the airwaves with wireless communication.
12.30-13.45Buffet Lunch
13.45-14.30John Dunlop
University of Strathclyde
It's a Mobile World
The explosive growth of the Internet is expected to produce a tremendous increase in the demand for wireless multimedia services. First and second generation wireless networks have proven capable of providing voice and low-rate data services. However, their current air interfaces are inadequate for satisfying the higher data rates that have been specified by the ITU for IMT-2000. In order to satisfy third generation requirements, GSM networks will evolve to GPRS/EDGE technology and ultimately utilise a new air interface based on wideband CDMA. In addition to the air interface evolution a revolution is also destined to occur in terms of total deregulation of the mobile environment, and the introduction of point-of-service contract negotiation. This will introduce the concept of Virtual Service Provider, in which the service provider will not control the means of delivery and will be required to negotiate in real time with service carriers. The talk will review some of the technological advances which are occurring in mobile communications networks designed to make this vision a reality.
14.30-15.15Rod Mitchell
BlueSky Technology, Edinburgh
Convergence and The Benefits to Businesses
Convergence in a number of different guises has been talked about for over 10 years. This talk will discuss how IP has now turned discussion into reality. Businesses can realise significant cost savings and derive real efficiencies and benefits through the deployment of converged communications. The traditional PABX as we know it will disappear. Telephony is becoming simply another application utilising a company's IP infrastructure. The talk will look at a number of case studies to illustrate these points. Implementation of these types of solutions requires certain skills, as migration rather than wholesale replacement is the likely upgrade path. Traditional voice dealers and networking integrators will need to evolve. The talk will therefore also look at a new breed of company, the convergent reseller, and what it takes to create one.
15.15-15.45Tea/Coffee
15.45-16.30Nigel Davies
University of Lancaster
Service Discovery and Interaction Technologies for Pervasive Computing
This talk will describe the range of service discovery and interaction technologies currently available, and assess their suitability for supporting future pervasive computing environments. The talk will include details of industrial and IETF initiatives such as UPnP (Universal Plug and Play), HAVi, Jini and SLP (Service Location Protocol), as well as research projects such as HP's Cooltown platform. Particular emphasis will be placed on home network applications. A number of case studies will be presented based on work carried out at Lancaster University, Microsoft Research and Sony US Research Labs.
16.30-16.45Dave Marples
Telcordia, Morristown (USA)
Colloquium Summary

Registration

Registration was with the FORCES project coordinator, not with the IEE:
Prof. Ken Turner
Computing Science and Mathematics
University of Stirling
STIRLING
Scotland FK9 4LA
01786-467-423   01786-464-551
Registration on the day was possible, but was strongly encouraged before 27th November so as to finalise catering.

The registration fee was £45, which included tea/coffee breaks and buffet lunch. Payment was possible by cheque, credit card or debit card. Receipts were issued at the colloquium. No refunds could be made, but registered delegates could be replaced by other individuals.

Thanks to support by EPSRC, the fee was waived for the first ten registrations from UK academic staff and the first ten registrations from UK research students. These free places were allocated in order of application up to 27th November, beyond which the standard fee applied.

Programme Committee

Prof. Gordon Blair (University of Lancaster)
Dave Marples (Telcordia, Morristown, USA)
Prof. Ken Turner (University of Stirling)


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