CableLabs® Issues Key PacketCable Specifications
Louisville, Colorado, September 13, 1999—Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. (CableLabs®) has released seven PacketCable 1.0 draft specifications for review and comment over the last month to a group of approximately 240 participating industry vendors.
These seven specifications, along with the previously released network-based call signaling specification, represent the majority of the PacketCable 1.0 solution scheduled for public release at the end of October. This marks a major milestone in the PacketCable project and moves the industry closer towards its goal of market deployments in the second half of 2000.
CableLabs manages PacketCable™ as a fast-track effort aimed at developing interoperable interface specifications for delivering advanced, real-time multimedia services over two-way cable plants. 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 multimedia conferencing, IP telephony, interactive gaming, and general multimedia applications.
PacketCable 1.0 defines a single domain solution capable of providing carrier quality voice and video communications services over DOCSIS-enabled cable plants. DOCSIS (Data over Cable Service Interface Specification) is the former name for the CableLabs cable modem initiative now known as CableLabs® Certified™. The PacketCable 1.0 architecture is built around the publicly available PacketCable Network-based Call Signaling (NCS) specification, a cable-specific enhancement to the industry de facto standard Media Gateway Control Protocol (MGCP). The NCS architecture is the preferred market entry vehicle by cable operators, as it provides a complete solution to enable the deployment of packet-based IP telephony services.
The PacketCable 1.0 specification release provides functionality for call signaling, quality-of-service control, PSTN interconnection, security, network management, codec support, billing event messages, and network announcements.
Future specification releases will add incremental features to the NCS architecture, as well as continuing to explore advanced multimedia signaling protocols in providing long-term support for services such as interactive video applications, integrated web/audio/video communication, and network based gaming.
Jill Schmidt, Senior Vice President of Telephony Operations for AT&T Broadband and Internet Services, said, "PacketCable continues to support our deployment objectives for IP telephony equipment by taking advantage of the product maturity of NCS-based solutions for near term deployments, while continuing to drive research and protocol development in the area of distributed signaling architectures for advanced multimedia service offerings."
Mark Coblitz, Vice President of Strategic Planning for Comcast Corporation and chair of the PacketCable project, said, "The PacketCable 1.0 release provides Comcast with the interoperable IP telephony solution we need for market deployment. The upcoming NCS-based interoperability trials will help accelerate vendors' development cycles to enable commercial availability of PacketCable-based equipment."
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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