LONDON Two of the biggest communications equipment suppliers, Cisco and Alcatel, have joined the successor to the Infranet Initiative Council (IIC), prompting the enlarged group to form an open standards-based forum that will link with an established standards organization.
The new, yet unnamed and member-funded group will continue the ambitious work started by the IIC to develop the architecture for an IP infrastructure able to support a broad set of services as well as quality-of-service (QoS) and security-for-all applications.
The new group said standards bodies being considered to host the initiative include the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) and the European ETSI organization.
The original IIC effort started last year, inspired mainly by Juniper Networks, and included just over a dozen major network operators and equipment suppliers such as British Telecom, Siemens, Lucent Technologies, Qwest Communications International, China Telecom, Ericsson, France Telecom and Tellabs.
A statement from BT supporting the addition of Cisco and Alcatel suggests the British operator was one of the carriers who pushed hardest for their inclusion in the initiative, thereby opening up the forum.
"We see this expanded initiative as a way of working together with other leading suppliers and service providers to define the standards and architecture that will enable the infrastructure for the global network economy of the future," said Andy Green, CEO, BT Global Services.
Cisco and Alcatel are among the suppliers chosen by BT for its pioneering 21st Century network upgrade.