Deliverable 05 is final: Endorsed document addressing the benchmark and roadmap

The term "Next Generation Networks" is used today in all sectors of the telecommunications community, but has no commonly agreed meaning. The term suggests a target architecture, to which the existing heterogeneous network situation will evolve. However, earlier studies and publications from the EC/ACTS community (e.g. NI Guidelines) have concluded that, for several reasons, evolution towards such a single solution is unrealistic.

What occurs in practice is that network evolution is driven by the emergence of a new technology that finds cost-effective applicability usually in one specific part of the network. The influence of its introduction then spreads gradually to other parts of the network (the speed of which is determined by investment costs, existing infrastructure, willingness of users to pay, regulatory aspects, ....). It is never the same technology that spreads through all parts of the network (a single solution will never be the most efficient for all circumstances), but each breakthrough opens opportunities for related developments in other parts of the network.

Some examples that come to mind are:

New implementations therefore are (and always will be) technologically diverse, but some common global driving forces can be recognised:

The roadmap will identify the current state-of -the-art technology developments in the various sectors of the network, and check them for compatibility and ability to meet the above criteria. Deployment time-scales will be indicated. The roadmap will assess the opportunity for migrating the technologies to other parts of the network, or highlight the opportunities for interworking with other emerging technologies. Bearing in mind the challenges of bringing broadband to the mobile environment, fixed-mobile interworking should be a particular focus.

Previous deliverable D04 described a demonstrator for SMONET-NGNI choosing particular technologies for implementation. The purpose of this document is to look at other possible technologies that could be used to solve the problem of locating services in ad-hoc networks. However, since different networks and wireless technologies have been described in detail in previous deliverables, this deliverable will concentrate on explaining different solutions to service discovery, description and delivery. Furthermore the work of the standardisation bodies and the European projects are relevant for the benchmarking and this roadmap report. This were also be keep in mind to write this report for the area of services.

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