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The challenge of new services
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Basic architecture principles


The first TINA Workshop was held in 1990. This was the first occasion to assess in the telecom community the common need for improving the way services are designed and the common opportunity for tomorrow's services offering according to increasing customer demands. It was also discovered that similar studies on a software architecture were being conducted in many parts of the world.

These led in 1993 to the creation of the TINA Consortium
for cooperatively defining a common architecture. Some 40 telecommunications operators, telecommunications equipment and computer manufacturers joined the consortium. A Core Team, consisting of engineers from member companies, was created in New Jersey, USA, to join forces towards the achievement of a common goal.

In Telecom 95 exibition, TINA-C Worldwide Demonstrations confirmed the feasibility of the TINA principles. As the architecture began to take shape, the people back in home companies began to build prototypes to validate the architecture and provide their feedback to the Core Team.

mossotto.jpg (10022 byte)Towards the end of 1996, the TINA Consortium entered a phase of consolidating its results with the goal of making TINA real in the shortest possible time. Major progress was seen in different areas, e.g., extension of the Service Architecture to new classes of services, consolidation of the Network Resource Architecture and adoption of many features of the DPE architecture by the industry. TINA-C has been interacting with standards bodies and industry consortia, including ATMF, DAVIC, ITU-T, TMF and OMG in order to achieve harmony of mutual specifications and avoid duplication of work.

By the end of 1997, TINA-C has delivered a set of validated architectural
resulting from five years of collaboration, and decided to continue
for three more years with a new structure, in order to resolve specifications for
particular business interactions within the overall commercial vision and facilitate
the market-driven adoption of the architecture. In the new structure, the
Consortium is driven by Working Groups, Special Interest Groups and
Contributing Projects from Member Compaines that will enhance the architecture in selected areas such as Intelligent Networks, Internet, Mobility, Service Management, DPE.

Since 1998, TINA-C has been conducting demonstrations of the use of the architecture in real business scenarios, refining and finalizing the architecture specifications, and continuing to liaise with other standards bodies and fora.


Martine Lapierre:
Third President of TINA

Sadahiko Kano:
Fourth President of TINA
During 1999 and 2000, TINA-C has been delivering a set of harmonized responses to Request for Proposals, in particular on IN to TINA Adaptation Unit, on Compliance and Testing and on IP Control and management. A strong, coordinated policy towards standardization bodies has been adopted, in order to ensure the continuity of TINA work after the termination of the Consortium on December 31, 2000.

While TINA-C member companies have been cooperating in defining common specifications, they have been competing in developing and providing software packages conforming to these specifications. Hence, TINA-C has been characterized as :


The challenge of new services

With increasing globalization, a continuing explosion in mobile services, the ever closer integration of voice, data and video and widespread penetration of Internet, the global telecommunications marketplace has become one of the fastest-growing, fastest-changing markets in the world.
The Internet has emerged as a key player of the multimedia age. Its impact parallels all the developments in telephony and other traditional telecommunications. They use different technologies and provide different features. Specifically, the internet technology largely relies on intelligence in user terminals, while in the case of traditional telecommunications, intelligence resides within the network. Developers of services over the Internet directly benefit from the boost in computer power and software capability. The strength of traditional telecommunications is high security, reliability and quality of service. When integrated, these two technologies will offer an unprecedented opportunity to provide versatile multimedia and information services and innovate the way these services are created and provided.
Even within traditional telecommunications, there is no end to the emergence of new services, for example: generalized mobile services, multi-media conferencing and VPN. Each service requires new sets of communications capabilities. However, as the scale and complexity of the marketplace continues to grow, many of these opportunities are now turning into threats. The industry is seeing customer needs outstripping its ability to deliver. It is seeing the cost of entry into the marketplace growing every year. And far from evolving gracefully to accommodate new services and capabilities, it is being forced into ever more expensive step-changes in infrastructure and underlying systems. In a world already replete with a multitude of services, the addition of each of these intricate services is a daunting challenge and can be a nightmare for those who create, deploy and manage the service. If systems from multiple vendors are used, it is even more problematic.
In the face of these developments, there are several questions to be answered. How can we harness the new technical opportunity? How can we provide versatile multimedia services over the Internet and traditional telecommunications networks? How can we keep in check the potentially exponential increase in cost of creating, deploying and managing these services? And, how can we incorporate flexibility in the service software for current and future network technologies? These are the questions that many telecommunications operators and equipment manufacturers have put on top of their agenda since the beginning of the 90's. They believe that what is needed is a solution that takes a new approach, but can also interwork with existing systems and standards. The answer is to define a new software architecture that capitalizes on the latest advances in computer and telecommunications technologies to rationalize the organization of complex software for services and network management. The answer is TINA.

Basic Architecture Principles

TINA logically separates the high level applications and the physical infrastructure from the need to directly communicate with each other. This isolates the more stable Control and Management aspects from the very dynamic technology thrust and commercial service needs, thereby creating an enduring software Architecture.

TINA integrates all the control and management functions into a unified, logical software architecture.

TINA is supported by a single Distributed Processing Environment (DPE). This means that instead of being forced to reside on a particular system at particular geographical locations, the control and management functions can be flexibily placed in the network.

A number of clear separation points, called Reference Points, are defined. They provide for clear separation of the roles of each player in the industry and will allow each player to enter the marketplace and flexibly expand its business.

For more information, refer to Principles of TINA