CableLabs® Releases New Interim PacketCable™ Specifications
Louisville, Colorado, November 28, 2000—Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. (CableLabs®) has completed the second phase of the PacketCabl™ project and has released several new PacketCable interim specifications and technical reports.
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, telecommuter services, and other integrated multimedia applications.
The newly released specifications describe call signaling, quality-of-service (QoS), and event messaging extensions to the PacketCable architecture that will enable cable operators to directly exchange multimedia traffic over managed-IP backbone networks. Known as the PacketCable interdomain specifications, these new documents build upon the capabilities defined by the PacketCable 1.0 suite of specifications released last year, and extend those capabilities to cover a national or international footprint. The interdomain capability is important because it will facilitate the introduction of new consumer-oriented services by enabling the establishment of end-to-end multimedia IP sessions between subscribers on different cable networks.
Last year's release of the PacketCable 1.0 specifications had defined the fundamental requirements for signaling, QoS, codecs, client provisioning, billing event message collection, PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) interconnection, and security interfaces necessary to implement a single-zone PacketCable solution for residential internet protocol voice services. (A zone is expected to typically support from the tens of thousands to a few hundred thousand subscribers.)
The interdomain specifications expand the architecture by enabling communications between PacketCable zones, either within one cable operator's network or between the networks of different cable operators. Each of the PacketCable specifications has undergone a thorough review by the vendor community as well as CableLabs' member companies. They are available at www.cablelabs.com or www.packetcable.com.
"These powerful extensions to the architecture represent terrific new developments for the PacketCable project," said CableLabs President and CEO, Dr. Richard R. Green. "Having a publicly available set of Interdomain specifications will provide vendors with greater opportunities for product development and new feature creation," he added.
Future additions to the PacketCable specifications will define protocol support for enhanced capabilities, such as multimedia conferencing and interactive gaming.
"The PacketCable Interdomain specifications will provide the basis for open, multi-vendor solutions, which will enable the industry to utilize the best of what the vendors have to offer in a flexible way," said Xiaolin Lu, Chair of the PacketCable Technical Committee and AT&T Broadband Vice President of Strategic Engineering and IP Networks. "We are very pleased with the progress that CableLabs, cable operators, and the vendors have made in developing the PacketCable specifications and look forward to the commercial availability of PacketCable-based products. We believe that these specifications provide the foundation to deploy cost-effective technologies that will enable the industry to migrate from circuit to packet solutions in an evolutionary way," he added.
Several of the vendors participating in the PacketCable project already are developing products based on the specifications. Some of these products will be demonstrated in the CableNET® 2000 booth at the cable industry's Western Show, November 29 to December 1, in the Los Angeles Convention Center.
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 web sites at www.cablelabs.com; www.packetcable.com; www.cablemodem.com; www.cablenet.org, and www.opencable.com.
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