Reflections: Andrew Coward, Juniper Networks

"Certainly IPTV, with the choice of programming, the on-demand capabilities, and... the ability to deliver HDTV, will make a compelling alternative to existing TV services." -- Andrew Coward, Juniper Networks' chief technology officer for Asia-Pacific

Q. What was the top IT news of 2005?
Despite all the headlines on IPTV, for me it was the sum of the smaller news items coming from many of the service providers and carriers across the region, such as the roll-out of MPLS (multiprotocol label switching) networks to support business applications, voice and video on an IP infrastructure. In so many ways, this lays the foundation for all next-generation services, not just IPTV, but also the migration of traditional business services such as ATM and Frame Relay to MPLS.

Andrew Coward, Juniper Networks' chief technology officer for Asia-Pacific, highlights IPTV as one of his focus areas in 2006

What was the most memorable IT project experience you had in 2005?
For Juniper, it was the commissioning of the CN2 network, China Telecom's nationwide next generation IP core infrastructure. The network is designed to support the massive growth in Internet users in China, which is now over 100 million users, and it uses MPLS and IPv6 technology to deliver next generation services to consumers and businesses. The scale of the deployment and the advanced technology used represent a milestone in the adoption of IP and MPLS for all forms of long-distance communication.

What are the top three technology priorities for Juniper in 2006?
The focus is on upgrading broadband networks with IPTV capabilities, ensuring secure networking for businesses and consumers and enabling service providers to deliver managed data services to business customers. Across Asia, the majority of broadband connections are delivered by service providers using Juniper equipment today. The Juniper products used to provide these services have been designed around the ability to deliver what the industry has called triple-play: voice, video and data/Internet. Many of our service provider customers are intent on delivering IPTV through 2006, and as a result, you can imagine much of our focus will be on enabling these networks with the technologies and configurations to make this happen.

Certainly IPTV, with the choice of programming, the on-demand capabilities, and the ability to deliver HDTV, will make a compelling alternative to existing TV services

PCCW in Hong Kong has been an excellent example of this trend during 2005, and with Juniper, it has been able to scale its IPTV network to support hundreds of thousands of subscribers. Ensuring the security of computer networks in both the enterprise and in the service provider remains a top priority for Juniper. We will continue the development of products and technologies in this area to ensure our customer's networks remain secure.

As an extension of this, we know that the majority of enterprise and small-business customers often look to their service provider to ensure the reliability and security of their network. Therefore, Juniper is intent on delivering the managed service tools and products needed by service providers to provide an assured and secured experience across the entire network of Enterprise customers, as they make the migration from legacy leased line and Frame Relay networks.

What are the top three technology trends/issues in 2006?
I think the trends are very much aligned with Juniper's priorities for 2006; certainly IPTV, with the choice of programming, the on-demand capabilities, and (in the plans of some operators) the ability to deliver HDTV will make a compelling alternative to existing TV services. The need for security and the need to have expertise manage the security on behalf of an enterprise is self-evident as the growth in financial transactions and e-commerce continues unabated.

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