PacketCable™ Qualification Process Ready for 2002
Louisville, Colorado, November 6, 2001—Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. (CableLabs®) has announced that its PacketCable™ test program is ready to qualify vendor product in 2002. The project now has frozen its specifications to all non-critical changes and is updating test plans and procedures.
�CableLabs and the vendor community have made great progress in demonstrating product interoperability," said Cameron Gough, Director of Advanced Voice Services for AT&T Broadband. �The availability of new products qualified by CableLabs in 2002 will allow the cable industry to accelerate deployments of PacketCable-based multimedia services such as Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP)."
Glenn Russell, director of PacketCable, said: �We spent 2001 working with a great selection of suppliers in our laboratories and we have found that our specifications are robust and mature." Russell added that revisions to the specifications are limited to critical changes. He added that a final test plan will be issued this year.
In addition to stabilizing the specifications and test plans, CableLabs has worked very closely with the vendor community to establish a working prototype of the PacketCable architecture in the Louisville labs. This advanced interoperability test bed consists of products with common elements of PacketCable-specified functionality. Vendor products are selected for participation in this network through a two-step process: (1) vendors must first submit a checklist of their implemented functionality for assessment by PacketCable, then (2) vendors must come to CableLabs to demonstrate that functionality as part of a system-wide integration effort. Any vendor product with matching, interoperable functionality is eligible to participate. Ultimately, this functional network will consist of components that have demonstrated strict adherence to the specifications and that have received �qualified" status by the PacketCable Certification board.
�The PacketCable testing program focused on infrastructure build-out, automation, quality control, and process management this year. Now that much of the required functionality is emerging in PacketCable network elements, we are focused on verifying conformance to the specifications," Russell said. There will be four PacketCable certification waves in 2002.
To date, more than 40 PacketCable vendors have brought their products to CableLabs for experimentation and assessment. At this point, all defined network elements are present and functional in the PacketCable lab. There are more than a dozen MSO technical trials with components based on PacketCable specifications under way. Those activities are expected to increase significantly next year in preparation for commercial deployments in late 2002 and into 2003.
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 DOCSIS 1.1 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.
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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