PacketCable™ Completes 1st Round of Interoperability Testing for 2000, Assesses Initial Compliance Test Plans
Louisville, Colorado, April 17, 2000—Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. (CableLabs®) has successfully completed the first round of PacketCable™ interoperability testing of the new year, and is well under way in its preparation for the compliance testing program that will be in operation by year-end.
PacketCable is a CableLabs-led initiative aimed at developing interoperable interface specifications for delivering advanced, real-time multimedia services over two-way cable plant. Built on top of the industry�s highly successful cable modem infrastructure, PacketCable networks will use Internet protocol (IP) technology to enable a wide range of multimedia services, such as IP telephony, multimedia conferencing, interactive gaming, and general multimedia applications.
During the week of March 6, a group of 17 participating vendors tested a variety of equipment that has been developed according to PacketCable and DOCSIS (known as CableLabs® Certified™ cable modems) specifications. While this event was largely focused on assessing the test environment and executing the initial compliance test plans (CTPs) being developed by the industry, there were a number of new PacketCable network equipment vendor participants.
CableLabs� PacketCable Testing Program keyed on functionality testing last year. Now with 11 specifications released as �interim,� CableLabs is working with PacketCable vendors to create a robust set of test plans that will measure product conformance to those specifications. "Similar to the cable modem initiative, these CTPs will be used to measure vendor product conformance to the PacketCable specifications in order to determine which products are compliant," stated Ed Miller, Director of PacketCable. "Cable operators have asked vendors to achieve compliance status in preparation for wide-scale deployment next year."
To date, several hundred evaluations have been performed successfully across dozens of different combinations of vendor equipment. Evaluations included basic voice calls, multi-codec calls, feature demonstrations, device provisioning, and billing output. In this most recent round of testing, 5 different test platforms were used to assess protocol, voice quality, and the test cases themselves.
"This was a good trial run for our test cases," said Tom Thompson, Project Director for PacketCable Testing. "We will continue with functional testing moving forward, but now it�s time to dig much deeper into the specific protocols. We are confident that our test plans are on target and will provide an effective measure for specification compliance."
Participants in this round of testing included: Netergy Networks (formerly known as 8x8); Agilent; Ameritec; AP Engines; Broadcom; Cisco Systems; Catapult Communications; Com21; Ericsson; Motorola; NetSpeak; Philips; RadVision, Inc.; SamSung; Texas Instruments; Toshiba; and Zarak Systems Corporation. These companies bring the total number of vendors who have participated in PacketCable interoperability events to over 30. The next testing cycle is scheduled for May, and will expand the range of vendors, equipment and protocols being tested, with continued focus on shaping the compliance testing program.
About CableLabs: Cable Television Laboratories (www.cablelabs.com) was founded in 1988 by members of the cable television industry. A non-profit research and development consortium, CableLabs delivers innovations that enable cable operators to be the providers of choice in their markets. Cable operators from around the world are members. CableLabs maintains additional web sites at www.cablenet.org.
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