Terminal at High Speed for European Stock Exchange Users
The objective of the project is to develop a terminal that will be a key component of an open system able to meet the telecommunication needs of the future European Capital market (in accordance with the new directives recently issued by the European Community).
The technical approach is founded on the following basic ideas:
The capability of the ATM layers to federate bearers services protocols. By encapsulating the exchanged data units in ATM cells, it will be possible to interconnect incompatible networks without modifying or disturbing the already operating proprietary applications software (OSI upper layers).
The possibility to display on a single screen information exchanged between several Stock Exchanges and their brokers thanks to appropriate transaction and multiwindow display software.
The possibility to provide video-conferencing services associated to the trading application and using the ATM network.
The exploitation of these basic ideas leads to the design of the User-Network Interface and the Man-Machine Interface of a universal Stock Exchange terminal.
The scope of THESEUS is:
The protocols adaptation into ATM at both terminal side and Stock Exchanges side
The display and transaction application at the terminal side with the objective of developing an European System capable of federating the existing systems without modifying or perturbing the already operating proprietary software.
The implementation of video-conferencing interactively with the trading application
Summary of Trial
Two sets of demonstrations will be carried out:
one with National Hosts networks
the other one with facilities available in the frame of another ACTS project (VANTAGE).
A group of potential customers will participate in the field trials to evaluate the THESEUS concept and to verify whether the THESEUS terminal meets the user requirements.
The analysis carried out during the project first period has revealed some important technical issues that need to be solved to permit a realistic implementation of an ATM network between brokers and Stock Exchanges.
Presently several vendors have developed all the necessary components to set up private ATM networks based on proprietary solutions.
For the public networks, the situation is not so advanced and THESEUS has as objective to connect a standalone terminal to a Stock Exchange mainframe through a public network. The fulfilment of this objective raises some problems, in particular:
Access: The local loop which connect the broker to the closest local Stock Exchange has to be defined (type of link, bandwidth,...) ; the ATM boards or switches must be compliant with the PNO's interface.
Communication reliability and protocols adaptation : native ATM and TCP/IP over ATM will be tested. SSCOP over ATM for data transfer will not be tested because of the non availability of market products.
Point to multipoint communication : one of the services provided by THESEUS is the dissemination (broadcasting) of financial information (price listing,...) from the Stock Exchange to the brokers. the feasibility of this type of service on ATM will not be tested because the operators do not provide these services yet on ATM. This will be solved instead in the trials by using multi point to point links.
Application portability : it is mandatory that the existing applications that are supported by X25 protocols can easily migrate towards ATM protocols.
ATM over satellite.
API : Winsock 2 will be used as a standardised ATM API for the Theseus Terminal.
To prove the feasibility of making complex transactional trading applications and systems migrate to ATM so as to take advantage of a standardised interface and be ready for the increase of bandwidth due to the increase of traffic and to take benefit of the addition of new services such as video-conferencing.
The proposed terminal should be a tool to accelerate the implementation of the E.C. directives concerning the opening of the European Stock Exchange market.
The THESEUS project will harness ATM technologies for the benefit of the European financial services and securities industry with the ambition of improving the quality and competitiveness of the European financial industry against other global financial centres in the United States and Japan.
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