PacketCable™ Marks Cable Milestone With Certification of First VoIP Devices
Louisville, Colorado, December 20, 2002—A total of four PacketCable™ devices were certified or qualified in the latest CableLabs® certification test wave, marking an industry first for cable operators. These first PacketCable devices are focused on helping cable operators deliver voice communications using Internet Protocol (IP), an efficient and cost effective means of service delivery.
Multimedia terminal adapters (MTAs) from Arris and Toshiba received the certification status and cable modem termination systems (CMTS) from Cisco Systems and Terayon received the qualification status at the conclusion of Certification Wave 24.
This wave also marked a key milestone for the cable industry in that it was the first wave in which cable modems, home networking devices, and PacketCable devices were evaluated for certification/qualification status. The test wave concluded at the end of last week.
�This combined achievement of our vendor community and CableLabs moves cable much closer to offering a full range of multimedia services, including voice communication,� said Brian L. Roberts, Chairman of the CableLabs Board of Directors and President of Comcast Corporation. �As production volumes increase, and more certified PacketCable products come to market, cable consumers will enjoy more of the incredible benefits that broadband cable can deliver,� he added.
�I believe that the variety of services that cable operators will deliver via PacketCable devices will surprise many people,� said CableLabs President and CEO Dr. Richard R. Green. �Voice communication is the first step and beyond that, the only limitation on advanced service options is the creativity and ingenuity of our vendors and members,� he added.
Glenn Russell, Director of PacketCable and project leader, said certification could not have been accomplished on this timeline without great support from the supplier community. �Their contributions to the specification, interoperability test plan and the certification process have been instrumental in helping the industry achieve this great milestone.�
PacketCable is a CableLabs-led initiative to define a common platform to deliver advanced real-time multimedia services over two-way cable plant. Built on top of the industry�s DOCSIS™ 1.1 (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specifications) cable modem infrastructure, PacketCable networks use IP technology as the basis for a multimedia architecture. A DOCSIS 1.1 network with PacketCable extensions enables cable operators to deliver data and voice traffic efficiently and economically using a single high-speed, quality-of-service (QoS)-enabled broadband architecture.
The PacketCable initiative has followed a similar process to that employed in the successful DOCSIS program. Manufacturers who receive CableLabs certification for their MTAs, or qualification for their CMTS have successfully completed an extensive series of interoperability tests supported by CableLabs membership. MTAs and CMTSs were tested for interoperability in combination with other PacketCable headend components including Call Management Servers (CMSs) supplied by multiple manufacturers. CableLabs testing of CMSs and other PacketCable components is ongoing.
As part of the certification test process, vendors were asked to work in CableLabs facilities in pre-market, pre-competitive testing and evaluation in order to demonstrate compliance with the industry-supported program and technology. As part of the certification process, vendors perform self-certification testing of their products at their own facilities.
The following equipment manufacturers have contributed equipment to the PacketCable interoperability program in 2002: ADC, Alopa Networks, Ambit Microsystems, Arris Interactive, Askey Computer Corporation, Bay Packets, Broadcom, Cisco Systems, Cedar Point Communications, Convergent Networks, Gallery IP Telephony, Hewlett-Packard, Innomedia, Ionic Microsystems, IPfonix, IPUnity, Motorola, Nortel Networks, Nuera Communications, Samsung Telecommunications, Scientific-Atlanta, Siemens NCN, Sonus Networks, Syndeo Corporation, Telcordia Technologies, Inc., Terayon Communication Systems, Texas Instruments, Thomson Multimedia, and Toshiba.
The PacketCable effort began in late 1997 when a team comprised of CableLabs members identified the need for a multimedia architecture to support the delivery of advanced services over the DOCSIS 1.1 cable modem architecture. The intended architecture needed to support several end-to-end functions, including signaling for services, media transport at variable QoS levels, security, provisioning of the client device, billing capabilities, and other network management functions.
The primary purpose of the PacketCable project was to define a services delivery platform that allowed cable operators to deliver real-time multimedia services to consumers over the DOCSIS 1.1 cable modem architecture. Although several existing interface standards addressed various pieces of this platform, a comprehensive and integrated end-to-end architecture did not exist. PacketCable identified a variety of existing interface protocols, and defined new protocols as needed, that were integrated into a single, comprehensive system that became the PacketCable architecture.
CableLabs Certified® or CableLabs Qualified means that the device has passed a series of tests for compliance with the indicated version of PacketCable and has thus demonstrated interoperable functionality with any other "CableLabs certified/qualified" device. Many of these devices provide other functions or are designed to comply with other specifications, in each case tailored by the manufacturer to meet the growing needs of consumers or cable operators in an evolving communication/entertainment sector. While CableLabs encourages such innovation and diversity, the phrase CableLabs certified/qualified should not be understood as an endorsement of these other attributes (or that the product is certified to other specifications or versions), which are solely the responsibility of the company making the additional claims.
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.
CableLabs® is a registered trademark of Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. Other CableLabs marks are listed at http://www.cablelabs.com/certqual/trademarks. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.