The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) is setting up a Specialist Task Force to investigate common identification schemes for next generation networks.
Without a common identification scheme, proprietary methods would fragment the industry and hinder the deployment of effective next generation technologies.
The ETSI warned that consequences of failing to agree on a scheme included the "loss of the opportunity to provide a harmonised approach, resulting in the implementation of de facto identification schemes which will cause market fragmentation and thus hinder the efforts of industry to bring effective internet capabilities to the market."
As a result of this warning, the organisation has until 28 November to recruit experts for a special task force to "obviate the potential loss of standardisation effort" in the next generation market.
Otherwise, "proprietary solutions will be forced on the market with inevitable consequences on intellectual property rights and interworking," ETSI said.
The Institute said that although existing telecommunication networks such as GSM and UMTS have adopted various numbering, naming and addressing schemes for user and terminal and service identification, "none of these schemes are universally applicable - resulting in the use of several solutions which impact adversely on performance and security."
The Special Task Force will be charged with developing a common naming and addressing scheme for the initial specifications of next generation networks, while side-stepping some of the difficulties imposed by current legacy systems.
But "any consequential enhancement to include these crucial features will undoubtedly have an adverse effect on system performance and render the solution vulnerable to security attacks," warned ETSI.
The task force will be responsible for delivering a report by June next year containing the results of a first assessment of identification requirements for users, terminals, networks and next generation services, including results of an initial analysis of current identification schemes.
A second ETSI guide, to be ready by February 2003, will comprise the results of a detailed study into the technical areas for harmonisation, including contributions for the appropriate standardisation scheme "to ensure the preferred mechanisms for universal identification schemes are incorporated in the standards for next generation networks."
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