Tuesday, July 24, 2007

DOCSIS 3.0 and PacketCable 2.0 Standards Advance at ITU

CableLabs announced that much of DOCSIS 3.0 and additional key elements of the PacketCable 2.0 specifications have been given "consent" status by a study group of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU-T) placing the technologies on a pathway to become international standards. The meetings of Study Group (SG) 9 occurred in mid-June in Singapore and were chaired by CableLabs President and CEO Dr. Richard R. Green.

The DOCSIS 3.0 specification establishes ways for cable companies to tie multiple 6MHz transmission channels together to deliver data at speeds in excess of 160 Mbps to consumers and at 120 Mbps or more upstream from consumers. DOCSIS 3.0 also incorporates support for IPv6.

CableLabs noted that SG 9 has in the recent past begun the process of producing the second generation of standards known as IPCablecom. These standards, identified as PacketCable 2.0 in the U.S., provide the specifications for delivering advanced, real-time multimedia services over cable operators' networks. The initial set of IPCablecom2 Recommendations, covering the core elements of the PacketCable 2.0 architecture, was consented by the study group in 2006. The additional standards consented during the Singapore meeting add Home Subscriber Server (HSS) functionality to the architecture. The HSS provides key mechanisms needed to support subscriber mobility and roaming.

A new draft standard has been produced that defines service level requirements and an architectural framework for cable networks to provide new services based IPTV. The new draft standard is extensive and includes requirements for network elements as well as CPE, including middleware application interfaces which consist of software libraries that provide uniform access to system services. It leverages existing deployed cable technologies, such as MPEG, DOCSIS, GEM (Globally Executable MHP), and IPCablecom to provide a smooth path for cable operators to integrate IPTV into their networks.

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