Lucent Boosts Services Profile

Vendor showcases Bell Labs research.

The Bell Labs component of Lucent Technologies Inc. has unveiled research in progress focusing on ways to recover wasted bandwidth, help service providers reduce operating expenses and, in turn, reduce prices for users.

"If theres wasted capacity, service providers are running a more costly network than they need to run," Jeffrey Jaffe, president of Research & Advanced Technologies at Bell Laboratories, told eWEEK. "That translates into higher costs for their enterprise customers."

Projects under way at Bell Labs include iOptimize, which automatically finds routes for network services when a link is dropped, and Mascot, which reduces network-switching overhead by connecting several switches and determining the lowest-cost configuration. Researchers at Bell Labs, in Murray Hill, N.J., are also working on distributed-denial-of-service attack prevention, database reconciliation and Border Gateway Protocol route stabilization, among other things.

Eventually, the technologies could be deployed in enterprise networks, but Lucent has not yet adapted them for that purpose, officials said.

The sampling of research and development, on display at the Supercomm show in Atlanta last week, showcased Lucents tighter focus on services, from technology deployment and maintenance to more typical consultative services such as network design, planning and integration. Lucent also launched a set of services under the auspices of its Professional and Managed Services unit.

Other Bell Labs Projects

  • Möbius helps operators carry higher traffic volumes over existing Synchronous Optical Network networks
  • Wireless RF Optimi-zation helps operators deploy mobile infrastructure quickly and maximize performance
In the aftermath of rapid innovation in the 1990s, carriers are looking for help making multiple-vendor technologies work together. Lucent, along with other telecom vendors, is offering its services to simplify innovations that were cobbled together.

"People underestimated how hard it would be to get their hands around the new network complexity," Jaffe said. "Standards provide the basic elements that allow the interoperability, but when it comes to managing complexity—trying to provision across different technologies—a lot of the management capabilities are not standardized."

An increasing focus on open architecture and multivendor gear in telecom networks also poses challenges to carriers. Lucent, which wants to continue its role as the large carriers try to reinvent themselves, has boosted Bell Labs profile at customer sites, sending researchers into the field. "We strongly believe their business is marketing services and creating a strong business relationship," said a spokesman for Lucent Worldwide Services in Murray Hill. "Well mind their network so they can mind their business."

Lucent last week also rolled out a compact switch slated to help small carriers reduce operating expenses. The iGEN switch, which was built to help carriers migrate to IP networks and offer more customized services, is slated to be available in January.