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Guidelines for interoperability in networks and atm deployment

Objective

The primary objective of GINA is to harmonise, enhance and disseminate guidelines about Network Evolution, Network Interoperability and ATM deployment, reflecting the latest findings and results of trials within ACTS (which will be run on a "chain-basis" by projects in the Network Interoperability Chain Group) but also reflecting the findings about the world-wide evolutionary trends in Network Interoperability and the development and deployment of ATM.
Guidelines are needed by users (residential users as well as small, medium and large enterprises), by telecom and computer vendors, by PNOs and service providers, by telecom/IT SMEs, but also and equally important by regulators, social and legal advisors, by the Parliament, the Council and other politicians.
The second objective of GINA is to provide logistic and administrative support, co-ordination and assistance in the concertation process within the Network Interoperability Chains and Chain Group, in order to achieve high quality during the production of guidelines.
The third objective of GINA is to document the guidelines in a structured, comprehensible, up-to-date, frequently reviewed and upgraded form in simple wording, free of jargon and intricate technical terminology, and supported where necessary, by short but basic clarification of the telecom/IT technology to a non-technical audience.
In the world of telecommunications, the right information at the right time is the most important issue for decision making at both the strategic and research levels. GINA provides timely and accurate information in the form of "guidelines", collated from the results of ACTS projects, (refined through the concertation mechanism of chains), Standardisation Bodies, research activities world-wide and public information available from scientific magazines, conferences and exhibitions.
The scope of GINA is targeted towards Broadband Network evolution, Broadband Deployment and Interoperability in the liberalised telecommunications environment.
GINA uses a diversity of means for the dissemination of the results of the Guideline generation activity of the NI Group, such as organisation of conferences, brochures and newsletters (a newsletter is produced for each new chain concertation meeting), information available on the GINA server, publication of the guidelines in book and CD-ROM form (at the end of the years 2 and 3 of the project) and support of the contributions to Standardisation Bodies by the individual projects of the NI Chain Group.
The GINA server stores overview information in a number of public web pages and work in progress in a cooperative work space, based on the BSCW product (developed under the ESPRIT Programme at the Institute for Applied Information Technology, a research unit of GMD, Germany's national research centre for information technology).
In October 1996 GINA supported successfully the INTERWORKING'96 conference in Nara, Japan. The next full NI workshop is planned for 25 March 97 jointly with the ATM Developments'97, conference, in Rennes, France. The NI Guidelines will be enhanced taking into account the results of this workshop.
The first set of Guidelines is expected to be ready by mid 97. To further validate this information, GINA has planned an international distributed conference in June 97, at the same time and in conjunction with the Global Networking'97 Conference, in Calgary, Canada organised by ITC/ICCC. GINA plans to have joint sessions with Global Networking'97 on the global information society and related telecommunication infrastructure needs.
Expected Impact
In order to facilitate interoperability and network integration in broadband communications, a general need exists to bring easily accessible information to all sector actors such as telecom and computer vendors, network operators, service providers, but also and more important to end-users, user associations, corporations, telecom/IT SMEs, regulators, bankers and politicians. GINA will provide them with practical information and rules resulting from consensus based on trials and sharing of experience.
GINA has a major objective to keep information circulating, by filtering and compressing loose inputs to reduce review work and introduce a clear structure and hierarchy in the ever increasing volumes of information. The quality of common output resulting from merging a multiplicity of sources (internal and external to the ACTS programme) and from the adaptation to the concerned audience is expected to have a catalysing effect on the interactions between the ACTS programme and the key actors of broadband deployment at large.
The dissemination of Community wide guidelines about network evolution, Network Interoperability and ATM deployment
reflecting the latest findings and results of trials within ACTS, which will be run on a chain-basis by projects in the Network Interoperability Chain Group,
but also reflecting the findings about the world-wide evolutionary trend in Network Interoperability and the development and implementation of ATM.
will also be to the benefit of future specific broadband applications.
GINA is thus a project providing service to various interested sector actors, many of them presently unfamiliar with the complexity in the telecom/IT world environment.

Main contributions to the programme objectives:
Main deliverables
20 guidelines on interoperability in broadband networks (issued October 1999). The guidelines are available on-line on the INFOWIN/INFOBRIDGE public web site. A supplement of 10 new guidelines will be issued by February 2000.
Contribution to the programme
GINA has strongly contributed to harmonise, enhance and disseminate Guidelines about network evolution and network interoperability. These guidelines reflect the findings and results of trials within ACTS. This objective was met through the active support of- and participation in "Chains" of projects in the Network Interoperability (NI) Chain Group.
Technical Approach
GINA accumulates a fund of know-how in the integration and operation of broadband services by ACTS projects involved in the "chain"-activities and by keeping track of and participating in ACTS-external events on Broadband Development. While the work is in progress, the draft of the guidelines are permanently accessible on-line on the GINA-server, to facilitate teleworking within GINA and to be open for questions, comments and feedback by ACTS-Researchers and by External contributors.
After a first period of 8 months, GINA made a release of the set of guidelines produced in the NI chain group. The information will be available on the GINA server, with pointers from other servers, in particular those belonging to the INFOWIN project. After 2 years GINA will make available a guidelines-manual, accessible on-line via its own server and via INFOWIN, and in CD-ROM and book-form.
Common information dissemination mechanisms such as INFOWIN or WP5 of the NICE project will be used to the maximum extent possible.
Summary of Trials
The GINA project does not include an own testbed or demonstrator. Guidelines will take account of the results of major integration trials, such as the COBUCO project which is a member of the NIF chain within the NI chain group.
As to the guidelines themselves, internal verification in terms of GINA objectives corresponds to a special quality control arrangement, i.e. a validation/ endorsement procedure by a panel of ACTS researchers and external contributors, or possibly by researchers working for projects in a specific Domain.
Key Issues
to identify what users really can expect from the range of ATM products and services.
to compare viable solutions which are being proposed to end-users
to identify likely-successful and possibly-failing products and services.
to arrive at compatible implementations.
to identify technology gaps representing potential bottlenecks as well as niche markets and/or opportunities for manufacturers and PNOs.
to specify products' requirements to the benefit of manufacturers and users.
to clarify how ATM will develop in Public, Corporate and Value added Networks.
to stimulate the uptake of ATM products and services.
to promote the use of open interfaces.
to support cost-effectively wide area connectivity.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

Universite Libre de Bruxelles
Address
Cp230 Bd. Du Triomphe
1050 Brussels
Belgium

Participants (7)

ALCATEL SEL AG
Germany
Address
Lorenzstrasse 10
70435 Stuttgart
Baltzer
Italy
Intrasoft
Greece
Italtel Società Italiana Telecomunicazioni SpA
Italy
Address
Castelletto Di Settimo Milanese
20019 Milano
Martel
Switzerland
Rijksuniversiteit Gent LCI
Belgium
Telscom
Switzerland