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AN OVERVIEW OF INTERNET TECHNOLOGIES & THEIR APPLICATION IN IFE. By Michael Childers President & CEO LightStream Communications Group. “ It is no longer the computer that matters, no longer the telephone or the TV that matters. Only two things matter: the network and the content .”.

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an overview of internet technologies their application in ife


By Michael Childers

President & CEO

LightStream Communications Group


“It is no longer the computer that matters, no longer the telephone or the TV that matters. Only two things matter: the network and the content.”

- Jon Goodman, Executive DirectorEC2, The Annenberg Incubator ProjectUniversity of Southern California (USC)January, 1999

united airlines survey
United Airlines Survey:
  • Video-on-demand (VOD)
  • Laptop power
  • Live TV
  • Internet services  6.9 on a scale of 10
  • Games

Internet… or “Internet-emulation”

the waea tc internet wg has identified a suite of technologies including
The WAEA-TC Internet WG has identified a suite of technologies including:
  • Client/Server Technology (including Intranets & Extranets)
  • Streaming Video
  • Webcasting
  • Broadband Networks
  • Data-Capture, Data-Warehousing, Data-Mining
  • SS7 Protocol
  • MPEG-4 Encoding

The Internet = the global information system that is logically linked together by a globally unique address space based on the Internet protocol (IP) or its subsequent extensions and follow-ons; is able to support communications using the transmission control protocol/Internet protocol (TCP/IP) suite or its subsequent extensions and follow-ons, or other IP-compatible protocols; and provides, uses, or makes accessible, either publicly or privately, high-level services layered on the communications and related infrastructure described herein.

the internet

Phase 1:

  • Pony Express  Packet Transmission
  • Telegraph  Digital Electronic Transmission
  • Telephone  Wire to End User
  • Radio  Access to Multiple Servers
  • Stored Program Computer  Machine Intelligence

Phase 2:

  • Transistors & Solid State Devices
  • Minicomputers
  • Computer Time-Sharing
  • Unix Operating System
  • Packet-Switching Theory
Phase 3:
  • Telnet was created for remote log-in
  • File transfer protocol (FTP) was developed
  • First international connections for ARPANET
  • Ethernet
Phase 4:
  • World Wide Web
  • Encryption
  • Intranets & Extranets
  • HTTP

Phase 5:

  • The Future
another definition of the internet
Another Definition of the Internet

“… a series of private computer networks connected to each other. Each individual private network is composed of a series of connected computers within an organization. Each organization takes responsibility for only the computers in its sphere of influence.”

- “Networking”

SAMS Publishing

the net vs the web

The Internet: The fourth paradigm of universal electronic information distribution. A network of computer networks that uses links from 3rd parties (primarily the PSTN) to connect computers & computer networks. Originated as a data network, connecting scientists, educators, and the military.

World Wide Web: Connects the servers in the networks so as to create hot links between networks, and provides a graphical user interface (GUI) so as to utilize the data. Its primary applications relate to:

  • e-mail
  • file transfer
  • Web-browsing
the emerging global telecommunications infrastructure
The Emerging Global Telecommunications Infrastructure
  • Two enormous global backbones:
    • PSTN - The public switched telephone network
    • The Internet
  • PSTN & The Internet are integrating, supplemented by a proliferation of private networks
  • The drivers:
    • Deregulation in the U.S.
    • Privatization & liberalization of telcom industry internationally
    • Rapid changes in technology
the emerging global telecommunications infrastructure1
The Emerging Global Telecommunications Infrastructure
  • Capable of delivering multimedia… voice, video, data… with significant bandwidth and security
  • Business-to-business (B2B) capability is nearer than consumer-to-business (C2B)… IFEcommerce is almost here
  • Capable of providing cassette-less delivery
the paradigms of universal electronic information distribution
Telephone 

Radio 

Television 

Internet 

Integration into multimedia:

A network capable of delivering voice, data & video simultaneously. A screen with full motion video, audio, text & graphics, with an interactive interface.

The Paradigms of Universal Electronic Information Distribution
characteristics of the internet
Characteristics of the Internet
  • TCP/IP Network
  • Supports the World Wide Web, world’s largest client/server network
  • Accessed via gateways and portals

It is extremely important that the same TCP/IP protocols which underpin the public Internet are also at the core of the future of enterprise networking.

the components of a network are
The components of a network are:
  • Backbone or links - The physical connections of the network
  • Nodes - The terminals that connect to the backbone (PCs, phones, faxes)
  • Protocols - The logical connections of the network & the rules governing structure
  • Applications - The business objectives of network usage
client server networks
Client/Server Networks
  • Server - a computer configured to support multiple clients with shared access to application programs
  • Client - a computer run by individual users entering data, creating reports, querying a database from a server
  • Network - the connection between the client and server
TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol):
  • A suite of networking protocols capable of interconnecting diverse computer platforms.

LANs & WANs:

  • Network transmission facility for a network confined to one location is a local area network (LAN), and for multiple locations, a wide area network (WAN)
Internet- A network of networks using TCP/IP to connect computer networks (LANs, WANs) around the world.

World Wide Web - Graphical user interface (GUI) providing hot links and access to Websites. Comprised of servers that support HTTP.

HTTP - Hypertext transport protocol, a higher-level application protocol used to transport HTML

HTML - Hypertext mark-up language that structures the information that resides on the servers that make up the Web

intranets extranets
Intranets & Extranets

Internet - A public data network subsidized by government agencies in large part.

Intranet - A private TCP/IP client/server network

Extranet - A collaborative TCP/IP network linking a particular company with its suppliers, customers and distributors. Permits access to some of the intranet.

the difference between the internet pstn
The Difference Between the Internet & PSTN
  • PSTN was designed for voice; the Internet for data
  • PSTN is a circuit-switched network; the Internet is packet-switched
  • Ethernet & Token Ring versus PPP
  • Media Gateway Control Protocol (MGPC)
  • “Dynamic” bandwidth
one lane road vs multi lane highway
One-Lane Road vs. Multi-lane Highway

“A good analogy is that a traditional phone line is like a one-car, one-lane road, while a packet line is a multi-car, multi-lane highway.”

- James Flanigan

The Los Angeles Times

the pstn current day infrastructure
The PSTN Current Day Infrastructure:
  • 4 Khz from pole to house (“the last mile”)
  • Remote Terminal to Central Office (CO): T1, T3 or OC-3 (“local loop”)
  • CO to CO: OC-48
  • Cross-country: OC-48 and above
  • Fiber of choice in 1999: OC-192
t carrier characteristics
T-Carrier Characteristics:
  • T-carrier is copper.
  • T1 runs with a Time Division Multiplexer (TDM) giving 24 channels per line.
  • 4-8 separate conversations multiplexed on each channel; with intelligent compression, 288 voice channels can go over T1
  • “T-carrier” refers to T1, T3, T4, FT1 & FT3 (“F” refers to “fractional”; T4 is not available to end-users)
  • Telcoms have run T-carrier since the 1980’s
  • TDM offers all of the benefits of digital transmission (improved bandwidth utilization, enhanced error performance, improved security, & upgradability)
t1 is part of at t s usa digital signaling package and is based on the following
T1 is part of AT&T’s USA digital signaling package and is based on the following:
  • 24 channels of 64 Kbps
  • 8 bit coding per voice sample for each of 24 channels with timing pulse before each group
  • 8000 samples per second
  • 125 micro seconds per frame
  • 1 frame:24 channels, 8 bits each, 1 bit for frame sync = 193 bits per frame
  • .4 - .6 ms to detect loss of sync
  • 50 ms to correct & re-establish communications
  • Net speed of 1.544 Mbps

“T” standards are North America only; E/J standards are used elsewhere. T1 speed (N. America) = 1.544 Mbps; E1 speed (Europe) = 2.048 Mbps; J1 speed (Asia) = 1.544 Mbps.


… the total frequency available on the carrier for transmission of data measured in 3 network levels ---

  • Narrowband - A single 64 Kbps channel or some number of Kbps channels, but less than wideband.
  • Wideband - Multichannel capacity between 1.544 Mbps and 45 Mbps under U.S. standards, 2.048 Mbps to 34 Mbps by European standards.
  • Broadband - Multichannel capacity beyond 45 Mbps U.S., 34 Mbps by European standards.

T1 = 24 Channels

T3 = 28 x 24 = 672

OC-192 = 192 x 672 = 128,984 separate connections

photonic switching transmitting light as light
Photonic Switching… transmitting light as light

Multiplexing = compressing data to increase the number of channels available for transmission.

Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM)= dividing fiber optic transmissions into separate wavelengths, each one carrying different content (similar to the way radio stations broadcast at different wavelengths without interfering with one another).

Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing = advanced WDM in which the colors of the infrared spectrum continue to be divided into more and more channels, and amplified via erbium-doped fiber amplification.

a chronology of dense wavelength division multiplexing dwdm
A Chronology of Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM)

1995: Wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) sends data at 20 gigabits per second using 8 colors & 2.5 Gbps laser pulses in each color

1996: WDM increases to 16 color bands, doubling throughput

1997: 40 color bands are offered commercially with 10 Gbps lasers for single-fiber outputs of up to 400 Gbps

1998: 80 band systems are announced, to be installed in 1999

2000: 160-color fibers & terabit speeds are predicted

a plethora of bandwidth
A Plethora of Bandwidth

“So much additional capacity will be coming onstream that some analysts wonder what the world will do with it all. Not even the enormous appetite of Internet traffic, which will surpass the volume of voice calls any day now, will eat it all. The looming glut heralds good tidings for every company that has a phone line.”

- Robert Rosenberg, Insight Research

Business Week, December 7, 1998

the impact of bandwidth on content delivery
The Impact of Bandwidth on Content Delivery

At speeds of 1 terabit per second, you can transmit over 1 fiber half the thickness of a human hair:

  • All the world’s television channels at once, or
  • About a half-million movies at the same time
fiber optics
Fiber Optics
  • Fiber optics provides a container to move light pulses from point-to-point
    • Light moves at 186,000 miles per second
    • One-way traffic per fiber strand
    • Fastest known signal carrier, handling giga-, tera-, & peta-bits per second
    • Conversion from electrical to optical to electrical signals (although not necessary with photonic switching)
  • Fiber provides the basis for new networks & higher loads
    • Multiple strands of fiber (2-4-8-16-32++)
    • Light amplification & signal regeneration
    • Long distance
    • Multimedia
  • With dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) & erbium-doped fiber amplification (EDFA), fiber provides almost unlimited bandwidth
integrated services digital network isdn
Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN)
  • A suite of services based on transmission, switching, and signaling & control.
  • An evolving architecture intended to be a bridge between existing and future technologies:
    • Analog  digital
    • Copper  fiber
    • Electrical  optical
    • Narrowband  broadband
    • Single function  multi-function
    • Message control  network control
    • Limited services  integrated services

The U.S. Telecommunications Act of 1996

… opens competition between layers & leads to the integration of telecommunications systems.

Telecommunications companies offering integrated communications systems & solutions, delivering multimedia… voice, video & data… like the original phone service in its nature: reliable, flexible, inexpensive, & secure.


British Telcom (BT) was privatized in 1984; telcom deregulation is emerging in Japan. By the end of 1998, 80% of the world’s telcom markets were scheduled to liberalize. European Union & WTO directives will cover 90%+ of global telcom markets.

the open system interconnection osi model
The Open System Interconnection (OSI) Model

Layer 1 - Physical Layer: Converts the data unit into an electrical or optical signal for transmission over the network.

Layer 2 - Data Link Layer: Provides error detection/correction, & controls node-to-node communications

Layer 3 - Network Layer: moves data units from one network to another, routing data through intermediate networks if necessary.

Layer 4 - Transport Layer: Controls data from the origination host to the destination host to ensure it is received in the same order

Layer 5 - Session Layer: Maintains a dialog with the destination host application in a connection-oriented protocol

Layer 6 - Presentation Layer: Responsible for providing code & character set translation (e.g., ASCII or EBCDIC) & is now used for compression and encryption.

Layer 7 - Application Layer: Provides management functions to support distributed applications.

sonet sdh atm
  • SONET/SDH (Synchronous Optical Network/Synchronous Digital Hierarchy)
    • A set of international standards designed for broadband communications over single-mode fiber optic systems
  • ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode)
    • A cell switched network that carries traffic over virtual circuits
call forwarding to the airplane seat
Call Forwarding to the Airplane Seat
  • Signaling System 7 (SS7)
    • The protocol used to set up & tear down phone calls.
    • The SS7 network is a completely separate network from the phone network used to transmit voice data.
    • The SS7 network is the largest data communications network in existence today.
  • Local Number Portability (LNP)
    • As phone companies compete for local phone service subscribers, phone numbers must be portable from one service to another.
what is mpeg 4
  • A form of compression
  • Coding of Audio Visual Objects
  • Next Generation Multimedia Communication Standard
    • New Video & Audio Coding Tools
    • Merging of Natural & Synthetic Data e.g., computer graphics & video
    • Robust Bitstream Syntax
    • Flexible Systems Layer for Interactivity
the participants
  • 300 Experts from 20 Countries
    • From Industry and Academia
    • Including:
      • AT&T, Motorola, Sony, Matsushita, Toshiba, Microsoft, Phillips, Rockwell, Ericsson, M.I.T., Scientific Atlanta, UC Berkeley, Sharp, General Instrument, U of Rochester, France Telecom, & others
binary information format for scene bifs
Binary InformationFormat for Scene (BIFS)
  • Complete framework to build animated scenes
    • 2D & 3D graphics primitives,
    • audio, video & synthetic MPEG-4 objects
  • Supports Interactive or Non-Interactive Streaming Environment
    • Simple object manipulation (repositioning, hiding, changing attributes, etc.)
    • General types of events (hyperlinking, triggers, etc.)
  • Additional Interactivity via…
    • Translating applications events into local scene description updates
the technology of streaming video

Microsoft Netshow Theater:

  • A distributed system hosted on a collection of standard servers running Windows NT
  • Operates on ATM networks using classical IP over ATM
  • Has both Internet & intranet applications
  • Utilizes MPEG-4
  • A variable bitrate (VBR) adaptation layer handles data traffic; a constant bitrate (CBR) adaptation layer handles voice & video
the core technologies their applications
Core Technologies:

Fiber Optics


Optical Data Storage

Digital Electronics

Distributed Computing

Applications Suite:

 Broadband Networks

 Broadband Networks

 Data-Capture, Data-Mining

 Streaming Video

 Client/Server

 Streaming Video

 SS7 Protocol

The Core Technologies& Their Applications
technology trends
Technology Trends

Convergence… of technologies such as video, audio and data-processing into multimedia

Integration… of companies, industries, and entities like the PSTN and Internet into the GTI

Evolution… of protocols, which are in a state of constant change, and of the technologies themselves

tunable lasers
Tunable Lasers

“A new class of commercially available components - (widely tunable semiconductor lasers) - provides the means to both manage the back-up and inventory-control problem and to enable flexible future networks where individual optical channels can be routed through the network to meet changing customer demand. These components which can switch wavelengths in less than 20 nsec, eventually will additionally be used to route not only optical channels, but also individual data cells or packets, vastly increasing the throughput of data networks and switches…”

tunable lasers and erbium doped fiber tunable laser sources
Tunable Lasers and Erbium-doped Fiber Tunable Laser Sources

“The key to this capacity is a semiconductor laser that can be tuned by current injection into the single chip to emit light at any wavelength in the erbium-based band… This single component can replace the multiple-wavelength lasers currently used, first as a back-up and then as a direct substitute.”

- LIGHTWAVE, December 1998

Core Technologies  Next Generation Technologies

edf tls s

“Data-transmission systems are relying more and more on wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) technology. In fact, WDM has become dense-WDM (generally meaning 200-GHz interchannel spacing)… Although not a new technology, recent improvements in fiber-optic components and a better understanding of fiber lasers have allowed instrument manufacturers to produce EDF-TLS’s (erbium-doped fiber tunable laser source) with impressive performance specifications.”

- Michael Carlson, Scientific Product Manager

EXFO E.O. Engineering Inc.

characteristics of new technologies
The future is:

Digital vs. Analog

Fiber vs. Copper

Broadband vs. Narrowband

Interactive vs. Passive

Asynchronous vs. Synchronous

Communications vs. Information

Open Systems vs. Proprietary

Network Control vs. Message Control

Integrated Services vs. Limited Services

Optical vs. Electrical

Deregulation vs. Regulation

Data vs. Voice

Characteristics of New Technologies
the socio economics of internet technologies
The Socio-Economics of Internet Technologies

“The Internet is positioned to become the primary framework for communication, commerce and information exchange for the next decade.”

- International Engineering Consortium

the future of ife
The Future of IFE
  • Cassette-less electronic delivery
  • Integrated entertainment, info, communications & e-commerce
  • Call-forwarding to the aircraft
  • Increased capacity on the server
the future is multimedia
The Future is Multimedia

“Meanwhile the traditional home telephone will become a multimedia instrument, communicating on the Internet and sending and receiving a host of data, from medical information to videos of relatives and friends.”

- James Flanigan

Los Angeles Times, January 17, 1999

accessing the benefits for ife
Accessing the Benefits for IFE

“It is no longer the computer that matters, no longer the telephone or the TV that matters. Only two things matter: the networks and the content.

- Jon Goodman, Executive Director

EC2, The Annenberg Incubator Project

University of Southern California (USC)

January 1999

wireless applications in ife
Wireless Applications in IFE
  • Satellites - Perhaps we should refer to the Satellite Technology WG the question of linking the ground-based Internet to the IFE system inflight.
  • We then need to add non-satellite wireless as an additional technology group.
proposal that the internet wg become the internet emerging network technologies wg reporting on
PROPOSAL: That the Internet WG become the “Internet & Emerging Network Technologies WG” reporting on:
  • Client/Server Technology (including Intranets & Extranets)
  • Streaming Video
  • Webcasting
  • Broadband Networks
  • Data-Capture, Data-Warehousing, Data-Mining
  • SS7 Protocol
  • MPEG-4 Encoding
  • Wireless (except Satellite)
“It is no longer the computer that matters, no longer the telephone or the TV that matters. Only two things matter: the network and thecontent.”

- Jon Goodman, Executive Director

EC2, The Annenberg Incubator Project

University of Southern California (USC)


LightStream Communications Group

6767 Forest Lawn Drive, Suite 215

Hollywood, CA 90068-1057 USA

Telephone: 323.850.4020

Fax: 323.851.6307