VANTAGE will unite the service flexibility of ATM and the access flexibility of satellites to provide a pan-European interconnection service. This project will include trials with a variety of earth station technologies and access techniques to interconnect isolated users, to extend National Host networks out to remote users, and to show that ATM's flexibility in the management of signalling allows satellites to be seamlessly embedded in the terrestrial network.
The first trial has been successfully completed within budget and the Project is well on target for the second.
VANTAGE provides a service platform allowing a variety of other projects to develop and evaluate their applications and technologies. For some projects this platform may provide the only interconnection possibility.
VANTAGE will provide a unique opportunity for empirical exploration of the capabilities, strengths, weaknesses, and impact of the IBCN in advance of its wide terrestrial.deployment.
VANTAGE will demonstrate the capability of European industry to develop, and of European government to coordinate, world-leading equipments, systems and services.
To the extent that the system is ultimately exploited, VANTAGE provides the opportunity for Europe to establish world leadership with a "first" operational system setting de facto international standards.
VANTAGE will provide the enabling technology to extend a variety of (many novel) applications and services beyond their current urban limits.
The validity and success of objectives has been confirmed by increasing user demand for access to VANTAGE from both within and beyond ACTS.
Relationship to other Projects
The VANTAGE project will elaborate on concepts developed, and techniques explored and evaluated in the former RACE program.
In addition to trialling applications from within the project, VANTAGE also offers a connection service to applications from other ACTS projects and to National Hosts.
Main contributions to the programme objectives:
Three satellite-switched, in-band managed, multimedia network demonstrations.
Contribution to the programme
Demonstration of seamless integration of satellite-based switches into terrestrial ATM and IP networks.
VANTAGE will implement a novel architecture using a conventional transparent satellite, with its earth stations, as a distributed ATM switch. This project will be the first time such an innovative architecture has been trialed.
Summary of Trial
A series of three major trials, each of several weeks duration, will be mounted, with at least four simultaneous sites provided from project resources. User access will be by standard interfaces (from a few bits to many megabits per second), and total capacity will be increased through the project to over 20Mb/s.
The trials will allow a variety of users to verify, test and optimise their applications under satellite-connected conditions. The users include both the VANTAGE partners themselves and other projects within the ACTS program. The former will use the service trials to :
Extend a core network to remote and isolated users;
Explore the possibilities offered by ATM of providing a unitary network over a heterogeneous mix of transmission technologies;
Demonstrate the extent to which ATM's flexibility in the management of both in- and out-of-band signalling permits the seamless extension of core networks via satellite to isolated communities with a uniform level of service.
Offer use of the VANTAGE infrastructure to other ACTS or non-ACTS projects for developing, testing, demonstrating or trialing new applications and services.
By using this approach VANTAGE will allow "switch-in-the-sky" capabilities to be provided and operationally tested whilst avoiding the need for high cost, high risk, specialist satellite development or major terrestrial infrastructure.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts