Cisco unveils next-gen services testbed

The networking giant's Singapore facility will offer public and private sectors a platform to build and deliver services over the country's enhanced broadband network.
Written by Sol E. Solomon, Contributor

Cisco Systems announced Friday a technology center in Singapore to help retail service providers (RSPs) build and deliver services over the country's national broadband network (NBN) initiative.

The networking vendor will invest up to US$18 million over the next three years to develop the Enabling Platform Innovation Centre, or EPIC@SG, according to a company statement. It will also hire engineers and key managers to staff it, and expects to bring in additional talent to support on-going development work when needed.

When operational in July 2009, EPIC@SG will provide government agencies, enterprises and RSPs with a platform to conceptualize, develop, test and deploy new services for businesses and consumers that are ideal for an ultra-high-speed broadband network, said Cisco.

First announced in March 2006, the next-generation NBN targeted for 2015 will have access speeds of up to 1Gbps.

All applications developed in EPIC@SG will be standards-based, built on an open Internet protocol platform and accessible on any device.

According to Cisco, the creation of up to 30 next-generation services and new RSPs developed through the center is expected to add US$150 million to US$270 million in revenues to Singapore's economy, as well as create up to 1,800 high-value IT jobs by 2015.

Cisco Services executive vice president Wim Elfrink, who is also the company’s chief globalization officer, said the facility is Cisco's first EPIC center in the world. "EPIC@SG is a key component in our global strategy to bring innovation centers closer to where we see new business models and new world services emerging," Elfrink said in the statement.

Organizations, said the company, can also use EPIC@SG as a "living lab for next-generation services" to test the scalability and impact of new services on the local and regional markets, before the services are implemented on a global scale. The center is also expected to be a training hub for local technical talent in next-generation networking, applications and services.

Cisco said a key benefit for organizations working with EPIC@SG is that upfront capital investment in infrastructure and equipment is not required--the center offers all the necessary equipment, tools, labs and workspaces. This helps to lower significantly the financial barrier of entry, it added.

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