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Platform for engineering research and trials

Objective

EXPERT is enhancing the RACE II testbeds of EXPLOIT and TRIBUNE with new ATM access equipment, including an ATM Passive Optical Network and an integrated service CPN switch, making it even more representative of a future broadband network. The platform is being used to determine critical factors in ensuring integral ATM network performance, i.e. the integration of different service types (real-time and non real-time) and their control to ensure the maintenance of end-to-end QoS. A major role of the platform is also the support of the ACTS Programme, through the participation in European and inter-continental trials and the hosting of other ACTS projects in order that they can fulfil their objectives.
EXPERT is already validating and demonstrating the ability to maintain end-to-end QoS in a mixed (real-time and non real-time) environment (including ABR) through the implementation of a range of integrated traffic control functions including signalling, Connection Admission Control, Usage Parameter Control, routing mechanisms and resource management schemes.
The platform is already being used as the basis for several ACTS projects to validate their own results, and also to facilitate inter-Programme, international and inter-continental trials.
The platform with its wide variety of broadband equipment, also serves as a practical showcase for the ACTS Programme as a whole.
Expected Impact
By providing an well-organised substantial platform for the purpose of making Operation Trials within Europe and abroad, EXPERT contributes significantly to the ACTS Programme. Its own hardware and software developments are in areas which are critical in order to turn ATM technology into commercial services. The many issues surrounding the exploitation of statistical multiplexing are also being evaluated in EXPERT to give PNOs vital information for the dimensioning of networks and users confidence that requested QoS can be maintained.

Main contributions to the programme objectives:
Main deliverables
Advanced broadband signalling capabilities and their usage for providing QoS to IP applications and for Video-on-Demand selection, with dynamic bandwidth allocation implementations for resource management developed an open interface between access and core networks.
Contribution to the programme
Advanced knowledge in key aspects of broadband communications, which fed into both standards (especially ETSI) and the development of commercial products from European manufacturers. The project also supported others in their experiments, validations and demonstrations and played a major role in all EU distributed conferences, enabling the linkage from Europe to Canada and Japan.
Technical Approach
The EXPERT platform now contains 14 ATM switches, ATM/N-ISDN and ATM/Frame Relay interworking units, medium adapters to enable cells to be transported over PDH transmission systems, the support of 2 Mbit/s circuit emulation, terminal adapters for the attachment of standard workstations, PCs, TV and video equipment (including 3-D), CD-audio and N-ISDN terminals. Current versions of ITU-T and ATM Forum signalling schemes are also installed, and will be upgraded during the lifetime of the project. ATM access equipment (including an ATM Passive Optical Network) and an integrated services switch have been developed within the project and recently integrated into the platform. New interworking capabilities to mobile networks, will be contributed by projects with which EXPERT is collaborating.
Multimedia applications and sophisticated traffic generation and analysis equipment (including a new network performance evaluation tool) will be used to demonstrate the optimal integration and control of a wide variety of traffic sources.

Available Applications:
Basel
ISABEL
PC audio/video (M-JPEG)
N-ISDN
PC data retrieval
TV/Video (CBR)
H. 261 coding
CD Audio

Leidschendam
ISABEL
N-ISDN
JVTOS and MMMS
PC audio/video (M-JPEG)
"In-Person"
PC multimedia retrieval
"Cinebase" video retrieval
H.261 coding
3-D video (MPEGII)
Summary of Trial
The collection of broadband facilities offered by EXPERT (applications, terminal equipment, ATM switches, signalling capabilities and network interworking units) is unique in Europe. The EXPERT project will therefore provide the platform for a number of trials to be performed by other ACTS projects in the fields of mobile, multimedia (in the Finnish Multimedia Programme), charging and signalling for ATM, telecommunication and CATV network integration, tele-learning and TMN aspects.
Own project developments will enable trials of cost-effective ATM access and multi-service integration to take place. With the development of a new network performance evaluation tool the project is also validating traffic engineering aspects for optimising the utilisation of broadband network resources.
Through the involvement of common partners, EXPERT expects to make joint trials with the Swiss, Dutch, Finnish, UK, Danish and Norwegian National Hosts. EXPERT is currently taking part in the G7/GIBN application trial for "Virtual Classrooms" in conjunction with similar broadband facilities of the "CANARIE" testbeds in Canada .
Successful trials for the distribution of large data files, collected by satellite, to sites in Europe have also already been carried out with the DGXII "Centre for Earth Observation"; further trials are expected.
Key Issues
Integral network performance (the combination of source parameters, traffic control and resource management schemes)
End-to-end QoS (under mixed traffic conditions)
Cost-effective flexible ATM access equipment (an ATM Passive Optical Network)
An integrated services switch for the CPN environment
Broadband signalling (ATM Forum and ITU-T)
Support of other ACTS projects and Operational Trials
Inter-Programme, international and inter-continental collaboration
Validation of new features and their transfer into commercial operation (e.g. via National Hosts)
Raising the awareness of broadband communication capabilities

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

ASPA
Address
Berner Technopark, Morgenstrasse 129
3018 Berne
Switzerland

Participants (28)

Alcatel BELL
Belgium
Alcatel STR
Switzerland
Ascom Tech
Switzerland
Association Swiss Telecom PTT/Ascom
Switzerland
Deutsche Telekom
Germany
Ecole Polytechnique de Lausanne
Switzerland
Helsinki Telephone Company
Finland
Intracom SA Hellenic Communications
Greece
Italtel Società Italiana Telecomunicazioni SpA
Italy
Address
Castelletto Di Settimo Milanese
20019 Milano
Laboratoire d'Electronique de Philips
France
Lake Communications
Ireland
Lucent Technologies
Netherlands
Mikroelektronik Anwendungszentrum Hamburg
Germany
NATIONAL TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF ATHENS
Greece
Nokia
Finland
Queen Mary and Westfield College
United Kingdom
Address
Mile End Road
E1 4NS London
Royal PTT Nederland, KPN Research
Netherlands
Simulog
France
Technical University of Cluj - Napoca
Romania
Technical University of Dresden
Germany
TeleDanmark
Denmark
Telefónica de España
Spain
Telenor Research and Development
Norway
Teltec
Ireland
UNIVERSITAET STUTTGART
Germany
Address
Holzgartenstrasse 17
70049 Stuttgart
UNIVERSITAT POLITECNICA DE CATALUNYA
Spain
Address
Jordi Girona 31
UNIVERSITY OF ANTWERP
Belgium
Address
Prinsstraat 13
University of Ghent
Belgium