The 4th Generation Telephony Concept
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Much of the dynamism present in the telephony industry today has stemmed from mobile telephony. The first generation of mobile telephones were based on analogue technology and were relatively unsophisticated. The second generation systems involved digital technology. Perhaps the most successful of these is the Global System for Mobile (GSM) Communications.
Applied research is now taking place aimed at defining standards for the 3rd generation mobile systems. At a European level, this is referred to as the Universal Mobile Telecommunications Systems (UMTS) and the global standardization effort undertaken by the ITU is called IMT-2000. The direction of this research is to evolve today's circuit switched core network to support new spectrum allocations and higher bandwidth capability. Efforts are also being made to integrate the many diverse mobile environments in addition to blurring the distinction between the fixed and mobile networks.
4th generation telephony supports broadly similar goals to the 3rd generation
effort but starts with the assumption that future networks will be entirely
packet-switched using protocols evolved from those in use in today's Internet.
Today's internet telephony systems are the forerunner of the applications
that will be used in the future to deliver telephony services.
Among the major benefits of the 4th generation approach are the following:
Research IssuesBefore the promise of 4th generation systems can be delivered, a number of research issues must be resolved. These include:
Naming and Addressing
Quality of Service (QoS) Support
Ongoing Project WorkWithin the Network and Telecommunications Research Group , we have developed 4GPHONE, as a demonstrator of some of our ideas on where 4th generation telephony is going. This is comprised of a simple person-to-person telephony application using the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) as the signalling protocol and DSR as the ad-hoc routing protocol.
Media Snippets1997 CableLink Interview showing our first 4th Generation prototype system (NOMAD) coupled with LDAP directory based user location and multi-party micropayments. - Note that this file is very large and may take sometime to download
Future Tense, RTÉ Radio One's weekly science show broadcast an item in 1998 about the work being carried out at the NTRG. You can download the item in three audio formats: