Only the most mainstream telecom news makes its way into major newspapers and magazines. Yet the initiatives that go on behind the scenes in the telecommunications industry have a profound effect and often shape the market for years to come. Those don't make the headlines so much.
So we looked back to find out what topics were the headliners for you this year. Here are your top five topic winners:
- Routers and Switching
- Telecom OSS/BSS
- Mobile & Cellular Carrier Networks
- IPTV and Video on Demand
Now that you know the topics, click through to the main subject pages and have a look around for any SearchTelecom tips and feature stories you might have missed this year. You'll also find our Editor's Picks.
Your page views made it clear how much interest there is in all-things MPLS. If you haven't been there yet, check out our MPLS topic page for a wide range of expert technical information, including the 10 MPLS myths and half-truths – not exactly a list you'll find just anywhere. Our Editor's Choice picks point you to content we don't want you to miss.
- 10 MPLS traffic engineering myths and half truths.To clear up misunderstandings about what MPLS traffic engineering can and can't do, consider these MPLS TE myths and half-truths that address quality of service, network convergence and network congestion.
- Making the case for Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPNs.It's not a simple Layer 2 or Layer 3 choice. If you want to implement true convergence onto a single core infrastructure, your core network should support the transport of public IP and private IP (VPN), as well as a number of legacy Layer 2 WAN and LAN technologies.
- Point to multipoint MPLS.Learn how point-to-multipoint MPLS benefits video distribution and data that requires highly scalable and reliable transport.
- IPv6 network's a go for Verizon, others.IPv6 has become a focus for Verizon and other service providers as IPv4 addresses disappear. Upping the tension is the looming U.S. federal government mandate to make the switch.
2. Telecom Routing and Switching.
This topic page was barely edged out by MPLS in your rankings, so whether we're talking about 2007 switching trends, the future of IPv6, Border Gateway Patrol ( BGP) troubleshooting, Layer 2 vs. Layer 3 VPNs or dynamic routing, this is the page to bookmark.
- Dynamic routing essentials.Learn how dynamic routing works and the most important routing protocols -- OSPF, EIGRP, RIP and BGP -- as well as how to configure them.
- Border Gateway Patrol (BGP) troubleshooting: Simple approach.In BGP troubleshooting, a structured approach can quickly lead you from initial problem diagnosis to the solution. This article focuses on a simple scenario with a single BGP-speaking router in your network.
- IP networking moves from routing to switching.Metro area network traffic will surge as services like IPTV grow. As a result, optical and Ethernet switches will outpace router growth, even on Internet core backbones where routers have been traditionally deployed.
- IPv6 deployment: Time for action – really.The telecom industry is facing its third set of urgent IPv6 deployment warnings, and this time it's for real. This tip tells service providers how to get ready to move from IPv4 to IPv6 and start testing their entire configuration.
- IPv6 readiness heightened as IP addresses dwindle.The move to IPv6 has been under discussion for years, but as IPv4 address space dwindles, industry experts say now's the time to take IPv6 seriously.
3. Telecom OSS and BSS.
Telecom OSS/BSS ranks third in your polls? This choice shows SearchTelecom readers know that if you're not managing your operations and billing systems well, your fortune cookie will tell you that good fortune will elude you. Check back for much more in 2008.
- Operations support systems: Fundamentals of working with OSS.Operations support systems (OSSs) are a stalwart of the telecom industry, but have been experiencing significant changes of late. Learn about the major types of OSSs and how technology and business changes are affecting them.
- Service provider billing fundamentals.Operations support systems (OSSs) are a stalwart of the telecom industry, but have been experiencing significant changes of late. Learn about the major types of OSSs and how technology and business changes are affecting them.
- Revenue assurance a critical tool for telecom success.Proper revenue assurance can help limit the amount of money lost to faulty billing systems, redundantly provided services and fraud. The problem is, many service providers don't want to know how easily revenue can leak away.
4. Mobile and Cellular Carrier Networks.
Wireless broadband and the technologies being used to implement it, as well as the evolution of 3G and then 4G mobile and cellular networks make the need to keep up with the fast changes a telecom business imperative. You spoke and we're listening. We're on it.
- 4G cellular to advance wireless broadband.4G cellular advances wireless broadband with LAN-like capabilities, more throughput, and an all-IP infrastructure that further narrows the gap between cellular and wireless LANs.
- Wireless broadband deployment : Calculating bit density.When looking at wireless broadband deployment, geographic population density must be weighed against bandwidth limitations to plan what services the chosen technology can support.
- UMTS: The 3G upgrade path to GSM.When looking at wireless broadband deployment, geographic population density must be weighed against bandwidth limitations to plan what services the chosen technology can support.
- 3G: The CDMA alternative.CDMA2000 is a third-generation (3G) mobile wireless technology that can support mobile data communications at speeds ranging from 144 Kbps to 2 Mbps. This column discusses the history and specifications of CDMA and explores its benefits.
- IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) lags mobile application delivery.IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) was designed to deliver new mobile applications to users and enable billing by their mobile network operators, but mobile video applications have moved ahead, leaving the need for IMS in question.
- Femtocells can deliver higher ARPU for telecoms.Telecoms need to target the most profitable markets with femtocells while avoiding service cannibalization, and stop focusing on them as cost cutters.
5. IPTV and Video on Demand.
Our Magic 8 ball sees this topic only getting bigger in the few years. Delivering video content via IP networks is challenging service providers and vendors, and we're addressing IPTV architectures, as well as troubleshooting and ensuring video quality. Check out our picks below.
- Video networks: The fundamental structure.The fundamentals of video over broadband data networks, including video delivery, content network, IPTV or triple play networks, are presented in this tip.
- Implementing video on demand.Video on demand (VoD) implementation best practices are discussed, as well as VoD service, delivery and management models.
- Thin-bit pricing threatens broadband service advantages.To fix declining revenue per bit for network providers worldwide, the industry needs to differentiate "thin bits" from "fat bits" and adopt a telecom settlement model that rewards all service-delivery contributors.
- Telco fiber deployments threaten cable operators.Telecom fiber deployments for services like video and IPTV could threaten the incumbent cable providers as telcos strive to become multiple service operators (MSOs).
- Cisco rolls out appliance to enhance carrier Ethernet and IPTV.Cisco released a new appliance to bring fiber to multi-tenant units and enhanced its IP NGN Design Carrier Ethernet SLAs to better accommodate services like IPTV and video.