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Things in the NGN realm seem much less murky after I explored the runninfoolish link:

http://www.neticus.com/users/msweeney/nextgen.htm


and shortly thereafter read this from FrozenCanuck:

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380365000217001&sort=id


and then went back to the first link above.

Hopefully you'll come away with a working mental image of how and where the NGN components interact (optical networks connecting network communications devices with one another over long stretches, to allow broadband-speed applications to get to the consumer/business pc's, which contain semiconductors and run systems software, which is then stored, managed, and accessed over short distances via wireless and other technologies, portals and B2B software providing the usable, value-added interfaces for us users. In this schematic, especially if you draw it on paper, you can annotate each link in the value chain with the players, as characterized so nicely at the neticus link.

I can't vouch for its complete accuracy, but the neticus characterizations seems to check out well when I cross reference it with a random sample of the various players' product/service descriptions as depicted at their websites, eg Redback does seem to make a "Network and Communication Device," and they do seem to be competing with JNPR and CSCO in that space, albeit with incomplete overlap.

Hope this helps.
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