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08.10.1999 - (idw) Fraunhofer-Netzwerk Wissensmanagement

Hitachi, Ltd. and GMD-FOKUS today announce that they are to develop a Policy Based IP Meter System as a core component of a new solution for next generation Internet services accounting.

From 1997, Hitachi, Ltd. and GMD-FOKUS have been collaborating on developing new network technologies, such as Mobile Intelligent Agent technology and its application to network management systems, and Active Network Architectures for providing new network infrastructure.

Meeting in June 1999, the Hitachi and GMD-FOKUS Executive Committee agreed that Hitachi and GMD have entered a new stage of R&D collaboration aimed at development of new Internet Protocol (IP) network technologies for next generation service provisioning platforms. The first step towards the new stage is the collaboration on the development of Policy Based IP Meter Systems which are enabled by Hitachi's QoS guaranteeing technology for IP network and GMD's network metering technology.

Recently, IP as robust and global carrier protocol among multiple network technologies is gaining ever growing popularity not only among computer networking specialists but also among traditional telecommunication bodies. Moreover, a range of new, value added services based on IP has emerged.Internet Service Providers (ISPs) face the challenge from customer demand for high quality of service (QoS) of, e.g. voice and video delivery over the Internet, reliability of all service components, and of course, more bandwidth.

To answer the growing demand for QoS, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is engineering the architecture that will provide both end-to-end QoS guarantees and robustness at the network backbone level. Vendors have already been shipping QoS assured IP devices based on this architecture, and some of the ISPs have started providing value added services. As customers are ready to pay for service quality, it is being widely recognized that so called flat rate charging for Internet services is no longer appreciated by ISPs that support QoS assured IP.

The Policy Based IP Meter System will provide an efficient and economically viable solution for differentiated charging for QoS assured and other value added IP services. The Policy Based IP Meter System will consist of multiple, possibly heterogeneous meters controlled and configured by policy rules issued by ISP management software, and follows IETF standardisation efforts for real-time flow measurements and policy framework definitions. The Policy Based IP Meter System will also be able to perform its measurement function in Gigabit routers without disturbing forwarding performance. Furthermore, it will be able to flexibly react on a wide range of changes of IP traffic flow characteristics and charging requirements.

Instrumentation of the Internet with metering devices will bring benefits to all: to Internet Service and Content Providers, to backbone network operators, and to end-users. It will allow ISPs to offer their customers different classes of services (digital TV broadcasting, videoconferencing, IP telephony, distributed interactive gaming, and of course fast Web surfing) at competitive and fair prices. Value added services may be introduced in parallel to existing best-effort ones and their accounting will rely on actually used network resources. Network operators - typically traditional telecommunication companies - will benefit from the possibility to retain their legacy billing systems now receiving a new impetus with accounting for IP services running over their cables and fibres. Last, but not least, the Policy Based IP Meter System will allow large customers and single human end-users to validate and verify both the
quality of consumed services and the would-be applied charge for these services.

The one year joint project, known as IPMM (IP Meter Modules) has started and produced preliminary results proving that the defined roadmap is promising and that the defined objectives will be met by the IPMM team in Hitachi and GMD-FOKUS - Global Networking.

Mr. Mitsuhiko Kodaira, General Manager of Strategic Planning of the Hitachi's Information & Telecommunication System Group, said: "The Policy Based IP Meter System proposed is very encouraging. We expect it to be a technological trigger, boosting future IP network technology and solution."

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Radu Popescu-Zeletin, Director of GMD-FOKUS added, "we are very pleased with the scientific and the development results achieved so far within the Hitachi-GMD FOKUS cooperation. The IPMM project will provide the basis for our collaboration towards the next generation Internet."

Tokyo, Berlin, October 8, 1999

Press Contact:

UK: Masao Takebayashi, Hitachi Europe Ltd., Phon: +44 -1628 -585000, e-mail:

Japan: Atsushi Konno, Hitachi, Ltd., Phon: +81 -3 -3258 -2056, e-mail: atskonno@cm.head

Germany: Dr. Georg Carle, GMD-FOKUS, Kaiserin-Augusta-Allee 31, D-10589 Berlin,
Phon +49 -30 -3463 -7149, Fax: +49 -30 -3463 -8000, e-mail:

Prof. Dr. Michael Smirnov, GMD-FOKUS, Kaiserin-Augusta-Allee 31, D-10589 Berlin
Germany, Phon +49 -30 -3463 -7113, Fax: +49-30-3463-8000, e-mail:

Ute Schütz, GMD-Information and Corporate Communication, Phon: +49 -02241 -14 -2603, Fax: -2606, e-mail:

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