What is it?
Convergence is the consolidation of all communications - voice, data (Internet, ATM, Frame Relay, etc), and video (broadcast TV and video on demand) - onto a single network infrastructure. By placing all communications into digitized packets, convergence makes it easier to combine communications into new or more cost-effective applications, while helping companies reduce capital and operational expenses on telecommunications services.
(from Cisco.com - http://newsroom.cisco.com/dlls/2004/hd_051904c.html)
Why would my company want to do this?
Convergence networks save you time, save you money, and deliver unique applications. For end users, converged or "Unified Communications" gives your enterprise critical competitive advantages in today's fast changing business environment by leveraging your IT communications infrastructure to facilitate interaction and collaboration. For network operators, deploying and supporting a single network infrastructure which provides transport for many data types saves on capital and operational expenses.
Convergence Internetworking for the Service Provider:
Convergence Internetworking is about the ability to design and deploy singular network infrastructures which are used to deliver a wide variety of telecommunications services to the end user. Key drivers for this revolution in the means of delivery of networked services include:
- Growth of data communications requirements in all market segments
- Industry development of advanced digital media technologies
- Growth in end user demand for new telecommunication services
- Increased competition due to accelerated government deregulation
The impact of these factors has caused a paradigm shift in a number of traditional broadcasting and telecommunications services markets. Incumbent and competitive service providers alike, in industries ranging from National Internet Service Provision to Regional Video Broadcast Distribution to Local Voice Telephony have been re-thinking their means and methods of doing business. Consumers will benefit from a wider range of telecommunication services delivered through multiple, competitive channels in a cost effective manner.