BT has given the first demonstration of its Parlay technology, which will let outside developers create intelligent services for PCs to communicate directly with the BT network.
At BT's top-security laboratories in Suffolk last Friday, more than 250 IT companies, rival telecoms operators, software developers and suppliers watched a demonstration of Always Connected, a call forwarding application written using the Parlay specification.
Currently, intelligent network services, such as call forwarding and number portability, reside on BT's network. The Parlay API allows software developers to write telephony applications that sit on a user's PC and match up with code in BT's network.
Instead of the intelligence being in the network, it is configured at the desktop, allowing more flexibility of the service for the user.
BT believes that the Parlay specification will speed up the convergence of IP networks and the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). BT has no plans to license its Parlay technology but hopes it will become an open standard that everyone will use.
"The beauty of IP is that it is an open platform, so anyone can have a stab at creating applications for it, and the massive growth in IP traffic proves this," commented Simon Weedon, telecoms analyst at Deutsche Bank.
"BT has realised it needs a less proprietary platform, to enable its network to be more useful. Now it must add value to its network and provide as many gateways into it (as possible) to keep the traffic from going elsewhere."
- More network news, p23
THE PARLAY API
The Parlay API is an intelligent interface at the edge of BT's network that can connect with PC applications. The framework interface allows BT to define and provide controlled access to its network resources by parties outside the network. The framework includes authentication and billing capabilities to guard against malicious or unbilled use of network resources. The API contains specific instructions on how functions such as call routing and Email operate in the network.
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