ATLANTA—The Bell Labs component of Lucent Technologies Inc. Tuesday unveiled research in progress that the companys services unit will soon market to telecommunications carriers. The research focuses 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 Labs, told eWEEK. “That translates that into higher cost for their enterprise customers.”
Projects underway at Bell Labs include “iOptimize,” which automatically finds new routes for network services when a link is dropped, and “Mascot,” which reduces network-switching overhead by connecting several switches together and determining the lowest-cost configuration. Researchers at Bell Labs, in Murray Hill, N.J., are also working on DDoS attack prevention, database reconciliation and Border Gateway Protocol route stabilization, among other things.
The technologies eventually could be deployed directly in enterprise networks, but Lucent has not yet adapted them for that purpose, Lucent officials said.
The sampling of research in development, on display at the SuperComm show in Atlanta this week, showcases Lucents redoubled focus on services, from technology deployment and maintenance to more typical consultative services such as network design, planning and integration. Tuesday Lucent launched a new set of services under the auspices of its Professional and Managed Services unit.
In the aftermath of rapid innovation in the 1990s, carriers are looking for help making multiple vendor technologies work together. Lucent, along with many other telecom vendors, is offering its services to simplify the web of 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 the complexity—trying to provision across the different technologies—a lot of the management capabilities are not standardized.”
An increasing focus on open architecture and multi-vendor gear in telecom networks also poses challenges to carriers. Lucent, which wants to continue to play a role as the large carriers try to re-invent themselves, has boosted Bell Labs profile at customer sites, sending researchers out into the field.
“We strongly believe their business is marketing services and creating a strong business relationship,” said Stef van Aarle, vice president of marketing and strategy at Bell Labs. “Well mind their network so they can mind their business.”
Tuesday, Lucent announced that BellSouth Corp. chose its Metropolis DMS Access Multiplexer to maximize the optical processing capacity of the network. Network congestion in large metropolitan areas makes it harder for service providers to deliver efficient IP services, and the Metropolis helps carriers get around the bottlenecks.
Also Tuesday, Lucent 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, will be available in January 2004.