Skip to Main Content
Summary form only given. Telecommunications industry is facing two dominant trends. First, broadband access in the form of cable, fiber to home and WiMAX (IEEE 802.16) is providing a high-bandwidth pipe to people's home and to small-medium businesses. Second, there is a fundamental shift from circuit-switched networks to packet-switched networks. The implication of broadband access is an opportunity for providing richer multimedia applications and services. Applications such as multimedia streaming require high bandwidth; whereas applications such as voice over IP (VoIP), push-to-talk (PTT), online gaming require low delay/jitter; yet applications like video conferencing require both high bandwidth and low delay/jitter. QoS, therefore, means low latency, low delay/jitter, low loss, adequate bandwidth and above all, good end-user experience. However, all the metrics do not necessarily apply to all applications and hence it's a challenge for the service provider to build an infrastructure that can provide end-to-end QoS for applications with variety of QoS needs. The second trend towards converged networks and services implies the need for a unified service architecture that is independent of the access network. The unified service architecture needs a SIP-based signaling and control infrastructure to support QoS-control on a per-user (or per-class-of-users) and per-application or (per-class-of-applications) basis. While basic mechanisms are provided by IETF protocols, a carrier grade implementation of such QoS control requires a more robust and systematic design of the service infrastructure. Unified signaling plane for QoS control is not enough to guarantee QoS of multimedia services. There needs to be equivalent carrier-grade support for the bearer plane as well. DiffServ-aware MPLS traffic engineering is fulfilling that need. The talk addresses the above issues and describes how service providers are building carrier-grade networks to support quality of service in converged access-agnostic networks. There is a special focus on 3G wireless access.