The UK’s technical forum for communications interoperability, NICC, last month brought together the industry’s leaders for the NICC Open Forum. With platform innovation, next generation access, demand attentive networks, nuisance calls and cyber security high on the agenda, the annual conference addressed the evolution of the UK’s telecoms network infrastructure and future innovations.
NICC Chairman, Sir John O’Reilly, welcomed delegates while Paul Rosbotham, NICC Director and TSG Chairman began proceedings with an overview of NICC activities. This incorporated a review of the standards published and delivered in 2013, and a glimpse at the work planned for 2014, including exchange-based VDSL2, vectoring use cases, DSM techniques, corporate signalling interfaces, PBXs, nuisance call tracing, and emergency services over IP.
Sir John O’Reilly, NICC Chairman, said: “It is an exciting time within the industry and with our agenda and the calibre of our speakers, 2013’s Open Forum reflected the evolving marketplace. In the past twelve months we have made steady progress in key areas including basic voice architecture, VDSL2 test plans, and signalling amongst others, however the discussion is now very much on developing these and creating standards to enable end-to-end new and existing telecoms services to operate successfully.”
The morning session comprised of the UK’s top telecom innovators, including George Williamson, Chief Engineer and Director Access Network Strategy, Openreach, who provided the keynote speech on platform innovation waves and internet access, while drawing out key lessons for NICC. Trevor Linney, Head of Access Network Research, BT, spoke about the evolution of next generation access, highlighting its benefits, possible future architectures and how NICC efforts support its development. Gavin Young, Head of Fixed Access Competence Centre at Vodafone and a member of the IET Communications Policy Panel, gave the IET Panel’s thoughts on demand attentive networks for improved quality of experience over network infrastructure, while Neil Cook, CTO of conference sponsor and member, Cloudmark, shared his insight on nuisance calls and nuisance SMS.
Neil Cook, CTO of Cloudmark, added: “We’re proud to sponsor the NICC Open Forum as it brings everyone together under one roof to scope and help formulate the UK’s interoperability standards. As a NICC member we can contribute and help shape and steer the direction of the industry, helping to improve communications for the future, particularly in the area of nuisance calls and texts.”
Mike StJohn-Green, Independent Consultant and ex-GCHQ, opened the afternoon session with an overview of the shape of cyberspace and cyber security, while Dr Stuart Eves, Lead Mission Concepts Engineer, Astrium, addressed the issue of solar storms. Raj Sivalingam, Associate Director Telecoms and Spectrum, TechUK (formally known as Intellect), provided an update on the issues facing spectrum, and Rob Spindley from BT Signalling Design spoke on behalf of NICC about the work that’s been carried out to support the industry in tackling nuisance calls.
NICC is considered by Ofcom to be the UK Telecommunications Network Design Authority and is a source of advice to Ofcom and Government departments on the harmonisation of technical interconnection arrangements. As a basis for its work on standards, NICC adopts where possible and adapts when necessary existing ETSI and International standards. NICC will endorse existing ETSI and International standards with changes to meet the requirements that exist as a result of the UK historical and current regulatory environments.