amtc 98 provides forum for interoperability

July 1, 1998

amtc `98 provides forum for interoperability

By ROBERT PEASE

The 1998 Annual Multiplexed Telephony Conference (amtc) is just weeks away, and the watchword is "interoperability." From Sunday, August 23, through Thursday, August 27, amtc will provide a forum for sharing industry information among users, suppliers, and manufacturers of the multiplexed technologies and fiber optics that constitute the backbone of today`s telecommunications networks. This year`s event, the first in what is expected to be an annual series, will be held at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis Hotel in Atlanta, GA.

Technologies to be explored include Synchronous Optical Network (sonet), dense wavelength-division multiplexing (dwdm), time-division multiplexing (tdm), and Asynchronous Transfer Mode (atm). The primary mission of amtc is to optimize interoperability between all elements of multiplexed and associated telecommunications technology and encourage cooperative efforts from all stakeholders in the advancement of the industry.

Conference attendees will include representatives from interexchange carriers, local and long-distance telephone companies, independent carriers, research institutions, manufacturers, suppliers, and many others representing companies involved in the industry from around the world.

amtc will offer a program designed to provide information to both the seasoned veteran as well as to professionals new to the telecommunications field. Bell Communications Research (Bellcore--Morristown, NJ) will present three tutorials during the technical portion of the program that are designed to bring the novice up to speed in the fundamentals of dwdm, sonet, and atm technologies. At the same time, other sessions will offer more-advanced information on technologies and applications in a variety of categories through presentations conducted by experts in the field. A special optional course, "Understanding Emerging Technologies in 1998," will be available to ensure that amtc `98 provides a preview of what lies ahead in the industry.

This year`s plenary session has been designed to be both stimulating and thought-provoking. The keynote speaker is George Gilder, president of Gilder Technology Group Inc. (Housatonic, MA). He is also a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute, where he directs Discovery`s program on high technology and public policy. According to a recent study of speeches, Gilder was President Ronald Reagan`s most frequently quoted living author. In 1986, President Reagan presented Gilder with the White House Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence. In 1996, Gilder was made a Fellow of the International Engineering Consortium. Although the subject of Gilder`s amtc address remains unrevealed, organizers of the conference say it will be a great kickoff for the annual program.

Another highlight of the program will be special guest speaker Lt. Col. (Ret.) Oliver North, catapulted into prominence for his involvement in the Reagan administration`s support for the anti-Communist forces in Nicaragua and the rescue of American hostages held in Beirut, Lebanon. North is also a combat-decorated Marine, a best-selling author, founder of a small business, an inventor who holds three U.S. patents, and former candidate for the U.S. Senate. He currently hosts his own nationally syndicated radio show, The Oliver North Show, from Washington, DC.

Preceding North`s appearance will be David Miller, senior vice president of Clear Communications (Lincolnshire, IL). His paper, entitled Service Differentiation & the Bottom Line--An Insider`s Report, will explore how telecommunications providers can explore ways to differentiate their service offerings from those of their competitors.

Intertwined with the keynote and guest speakers are two invited papers. The first, following Gilder`s keynote address, will be by Bill Magill, senior analyst and principal for NationsBanc Montgomery Securities, LLP (San Francisco, CA). Entitled The Appeal of All-Optical Networking (or How Wall Street Learned to Love the Photon), Magill`s talk will address the shift of the telecommunications industry from electronic to optical networking, and how the development and adoption of photonic technologies is now shaking up the industry.

From Tuesday through Thursday, the daily format of the show will consist of three parallel technical sessions, running for 1.5-hour blocks, separated by breaks and lunch (see table). During these sessions, contributed technical papers and panel discussions on relevant topics will be delivered. In all, about 60 papers will be presented and later distributed to attendees in a bound book of proceedings and on cd-rom. Subject areas for the sessions include multiplexing, network management, service and reliability, fiber, network planning, connectors, and applications.

Host companies will sponsor various meal functions and other events, including the Sunday Welcome Reception, the Wednesday evening "Interactivity" Theme Event, hospitality suites, and private parties. This will help assure high value with minimal cost to the amtc `98 attendees. A large supplier exhibit area will be open on the exhibition level of the hotel each evening following the close of the technical program Monday through Wednesday to generate additional interaction between users and suppliers. q

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