Thursday, April 6, 2006

CableLabs Issues Specifications for Advanced IP Services

CableLabs issued a series of new PacketCable specifications covering areas such as existing standards-based SIP (Session Initiation Protocol), security, quality of service, network address translation (NAT) & firewall traversal, and device provisioning. The specifications will enable cable operators to deliver IP-based communication and entertainment services to customers' televisions, personal computers, and fixed-line and mobile phones.

The specifications were developed in alignment with the Internet Protocol Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) architecture developed by the 3GPP - 3rd Generation Partnership Project, a collaboration of a number of key telecommunications standards bodies. Using widely accepted standards-based protocols such as the Internet Engineering Task Force's (IETF) SIP, these specifications will offer operators a flexible way to deploy network capabilities as required by their specific service offerings, while maintaining interoperability across a variety of devices from multiple suppliers.

These documents extend the industry's PacketCable architecture, originally defined in 1999 and now widely deployed over cable broadband networks. According to recently published market data, nearly 3 million cable customers receive digital voice service from PacketCable-based networks with that number expected to grow to 6.5 million by year-end.

"This is a huge step for our industry in its quest to extend the IP service delivery capabilities of our network," said Comcast Corporation Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning Mark Coblitz. "We are nearing a position of being able to provide IP services to a much greater range of consumer devices and that is exciting," Coblitz added.

"The PacketCable 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 John Coppola, Director, DOCSIS Technology and Engineering, Cox Communications, Inc. "I look forward to the commercial availability of these new generations of PacketCable products," he added.

The specifications are available online.

See also