6 June 2002 -- Following an initial phase of deployment of four multi-service switches in London, Ilford and Reading in England and Glasgow in Scotland - each of which already handles 30-40m voice calls each week - leading to formal product acceptance, British Telecom is to roll out UK-wide Ericsson's ENGINE Integral network solution, part of its Softswitch Solution Program.
Ericsson says ENGINE Integral provides a low-risk, rapid evolution from existing circuit-switched networks to packet-based multi-service networks to a single, all-IP network. It supports all existing PSTN/ISDN services, with full IN support, while meeting real-time QoS and reliability needs, as well as providing other services based on its ATM, IP, Frame Relay, MPLS and X.25 capabilities, such as IP-VPN and leased-line provisioning.
Its introduction in a "hybrid" configuration is the latest phase in BT and Ericsson's Next-Generation System (NGS) partner programme and part of a £270m frame agreement signed in 1999, starting with the migration of BT's backbone to the ENGINE multi-service network. The network will also include Ericsson's network management system.
The deployment is part of the on-going evolution of BT's next-generation network. ENGINE Integral will form the core of BT's multi-service packet trunk network and will provide extra capacity to cope with traffic growth from new and existing services offered by both BT and its wholesale customers.
BT and Ericsson plan to deploy another 19 multi-service switches before end-2002. Once in full service, ENGINE Integral will carry more than 50% of BT's total trunk network traffic.
"This is a major step in the phased development of what we believe is a world-leading next-generation network," said Richard Newman, General Manager of Planning and Delivery of Network Transport at BT Wholesale.
"The units are operating in what is one of the toughest environments worldwide. The nationwide roll-out will make BT's trunk network state-of-the-art and future-proof," said Thomas Eriksson, Head of the ENGINE Core program at Ericsson.