PacketCable™ Ends Round 2 of Testing, Releases Draft Compliance Test Plans
Louisville, Colorado, July 21, 2000—Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. (CableLabs®) has successfully completed the second round of PacketCable™ interoperability testing of the year, and has begun releasing the compliance test plans (CTP) that will provide a tool for gauging conformance of vendors' products with the PacketCable interface specifications.
A group of 15 vendors participated in the interoperability event, testing a variety of equipment that has been developed according to PacketCable and DOCSIS specifications. DOCSIS (Data over Cable Service Interface Specification) is the set of specifications that CableLabs maintains and uses in the certification of cable modems.
While this PacketCable event was focused largely on continued assessment of the test environment and compliance test plans (CTPs) being developed by the industry, there were a number of new PacketCable network equipment vendor participants who conducted basic interoperability testing.
"The PacketCable vendors are continuing to make progress with their product developments, and the results of their efforts are showing up in our testing activities. We still have plenty of work ahead, but are encouraged that our combined efforts are leading to a robust platform for objectively measuring conformance to the PacketCable specifications," said Sheldon Webster, Test Design Engineer for PacketCable. "We are making great headway in implementing these tests in our lab and appear on target for launching our first formal compliance testing wave by the end of the year," said Tom Thompson, Project Director for PacketCable Testing.
Participants in the latest round of testing included: ADC; Arris Interactive; Askey International; Broadcom; Cisco Systems; Ericsson; Motorola; NetSpeak; Philips; RadVision, Inc.; Samsung; SecureCable; Texas Instruments; Thomson Consumer Electronics; and Zarak Systems Corporation. These companies bring the total number of vendors who have participated in PacketCable interoperability events to over 35. The next testing cycle is scheduled for late July, and will expand the range of vendors, equipment and protocols being tested, with continued focus on shaping the compliance testing program.
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.
CableLabs' PacketCable Testing Program is rapidly gearing up for formalized compliance testing, with several detailed test plans released "Draft" to NDA vendors on June 30th. (NDA vendors are companies that have signed a CableLabs non-disclosure agreement.) "This first release of test plans establishes test cases for 7 of the 11 specifications released 'Interim' late last year," Thompson said. "We have addressed close to 1200 requirements to date." The remaining CTPs will be released over the next few months with the full set available by year end. There are close to 30 companies participating in the development of the CTPs, providing more than 60 engineers to the effort. An additional crew is defining the test environment necessary to implement the test plans and automate the testing process.
The initial compliance testing waves will target PacketCable access components—embedded multi-media terminal adapters (MTA), cable modem termination systems (CMTS), and call management servers (CMS). Future waves will expand in scope to provide coverage for PacketCable-specific elements in the backbone portion of the architecture.
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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