BT has announced a £multi-million investment in a first of its kind global voice platform based on internet protocol (IP). The program, which will see the current legacy TDM network replaced by an MPLS-based network across more than 30 countries worldwide, will dramatically increase the scale and capacity of BT’s global voice capability and facilitate the deployment of advanced services for customers. The project, part of BT’s 21CN initiative, is due to be completed in March 2008.
The resulting IP voice network provides customers with a flexible road map which allows them to evolve their voice estate to IP for voice. The new network has a distributed packet-based architecture that provides many advanced multimedia features with traditional voice quality. It also enables voice and multimedia applications, hosted or premises based, to be seamlessly integrated with data services. This is an important landmark for call centres, video conferencing and fixed to mobile applications.
Tom Craig, president, IP Networking, BT Global Services, said, “A single integrated voice platform with MPLS enables customers to leverage the true benefits of globalization, avoiding the complexities and overheads of a patch-worked networking environment. The investment also allows BT to easily integrate all of its global networks to achieve improved cost control and customer integration to convergence.”
The new MPLS network will provide BT with an increased capability to handle larger volumes of traffic and provide additional functionalities and enhanced features such as the ease of integration with any existing servers, standard interface for multiple applications, and the ability to deploy more integrated multimedia services such as audio and video conferencing, and video streaming. In addition, the network has been designed to ensure long-term flexibility and quality of service for both BT and its customers.
The first phase of the program has already been successfully delivered, offering services over the new platform in 12 countries. The new platform will be rolled out to three new countries per quarter while the legacy platform will be withdrawn in 2008.
Tom Craig added: “This investment once again highlights our long-term commitment to provide a high-quality service for our customers. Through increased scalability and access to the global MPLS capacity, this program will enable us to provide a superior service to our customers. On this IP network, customers will be provided with next generation services at better value.”