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News

Bold Communications comments on 21CN implementation

Bold Communications : 13 August, 2009  (Technical Article)
British Telecom's gradual implementation of the replacement of its PSTN network has implications on the security industry, according to Bold Communications
British Telecom have decided that 21CN is not going to be implemented in the 'big bang' way originally planned. According to OFCOM, following a strategic review of its plans for 21CN, BT has decided to step back from this vision of a complete replacement of its PSTN network. While manufacturers of central station equipment and alarm panels have been furiously testing their products for 21CN compliance for last few years, it has now been decided that exchanges will be upgraded when equipment reaches end of life rather than over a fixed period. According to OFCOM, "In the short term,…there are risks that Next Generation Technology (NGN) investment will deliver neither cost savings nor new products. As a result, Communications Providers are increasingly looking for safer investment opportunities, focusing on projects which are more likely to deliver new or enhanced services, and extending the lives of existing assets."

This change in outlook creates considerable uncertainty. Although most Communication Providers expect 21CN technology to be adopted in the future, it is no longer possible to say with any degree of certainty how, when or where this will happen. For the security industry, this raises some fairly significant questions such as how is this piecemeal approach of having different types of telecomm network available over the coming years is going to impact on security data communications. There are those who might also reflect on whose fault is it going to be if something goes wrong.

OFCOM have published a consultation document on the adoption of NGNs in the light of the changed approach. As a supplier of communications equipment for the security industry, Bold will continue to work with network providers, security industry associations and other manufacturers to mitigate the effects of this new 'creeping' 21CN.

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