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Top 10 Predictions for Telecom Infrastructure

Although the telecommunications industry has seen its share of ups and downs over the past five years, IDC believes all signs point toward a more secure future as a host of IT technologies transform the telecommunications infrastructure.

IT technologies -- such as ATCA, Linux, and service delivery platforms (SDP) -- will supercharge the network, making it more efficient and able to deliver new applications faster. "Due to the highly specific nature of the installed telecom infrastructure and the high degree of vertical integration, IDC believes the rollout of IT technologies in the telecom arena will take longer than expected � more likely 10 years than 5 � and require a high degree of customization and integration," according to Lee Doyle, group vice president of Network Infrastructure.

According to IDC, the next five years the telecommunications industry will be about three key issues:

-Restructuring the network to provide significant capital expenditure (capex) and operating expenditure (opex) savings.
-Enabling the network to quickly and efficiently deliver a wealth of high-value business and consumer applications.
-Consolidation of wireline and wireless networks to deliver fixed/mobile convergence.

The evolution of the $100+ billion market will provide significant opportunities and challenges for NSPs, NEPs, and IT vendors. IT vendors (e.g., Intel, IBM, HP, and Microsoft) are likely to compete and partner with traditional network equipment vendors, such as Lucent, Nortel, Alcatel, Motorola, Ericsson, and Siemens. IMS is providing the vision for the next-generation layered network architecture that will be adopted by most leading NSPs and cable companies.

New wireless technologies (such as WiFi, WiMAX, and high-speed data over cellular) will enable the mobile workforce and combine with the fixed network to deliver high-speed voice, data, and video to the promised "anytime, anywhere" user.

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