Building a telecommunications service encompasses many activities including market research, conceptual design, investigation of feature interactions, implementation, deployment, management, operation, customer services, billing, maintenance and upgrade. Although these are activities in almost any software development, the engineering of telecommunications services presents unique difficulties: extreme reliability is needed, telecommunications systems must operate continuously, services must be available concurrently with other (possibly conflicting) services, services need active management, and the telecommunications environment is multi-vendor and international.
Developing telecommunications services is thus very complex and expensive. A small number of companies have produced dedicated environments for creating services. As the range of open services to be provided increases, vendor-independent approaches will be needed. Service engineering is an interdisciplinary task that requires techniques from many areas such as communications protocol design, network architecture, software engineering, theoretical computer science, operating systems, user interface design and cognitive science.
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Last Update: 17th July 2006