ETSI announces joint IPTV-IMS test event

Monday, June 8th, 2009
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SOPHIA ANTIPOLIS, France — ETSI is organizing a joint interoperability testing event for IPTV and IMS core networks. IMS (the IP Multimedia Subsystem) is a core element of next generation fixed, mobile and broadcast communication networks. The goal is to ensure complete interoperability of equipment and services coming from different vendors and manufacturers.

The event, delivered under ETSI’s Plugtests™ brand, will take place in Lannion, France, from 16 to 23 October. Two parallel, co-located testing streams will be arranged, providing separate interoperability testing environments for the two technologies. In both streams, test sessions will be scheduled between pairs of participating companies, and the overall results of all sessions will be published in a final report.

Ad-hoc testing will also be permitted, the results of which will not be included in the report. Network operators are invited to attend both streams of this event as observers.

IMS Plugtests™ event

The IMS interoperability test event is the third to be organized by ETSI on this technology. Previous events took place in 2007 and 2008. It is open to participation by vendors of complete IMS core networks, network components, IMS user equipment and application servers.

Participants will evaluate IMS network interoperability, focusing on all aspects of the core IMS standard TS 24.229, including interworking, roaming, topology hiding, as well as support of presence and Multimedia Telephony (MMTel) application services. Testing will be based on test descriptions which form part of ETSI Technical Specification TS 186 011-2 v2.2.1.

IPTV Plugtests™ event

The IPTV Plugtest is ETSI’s first event on this topic. Participation is open to vendors of IMS-aware IPTV user equipment (such as set-top boxes, TVs, etc), IPTV application servers, video media servers, RACS (Resource Admission Control Subsystem) gateways and core IMS products, as well as products that integrate two or more of these functions.

Activities will focus on evaluating the interoperability of IMS-based IPTV equipment following the procedures defined in ETSI IPTV standard TS 102 027: these include start up, broadcast, trick play, content on demand and personal video recording. The interoperability test descriptions which will be the basis of test executions at this event are defined in ETSI TS 186 020.

IPTV can be delivered over various communication mechanisms, but the use of IMS is particularly attractive. The IMS-based IPTV solution allows blending of TV services with other telecommunication services (e.g. voice, presence, and data services). Network services providers can take full benefit of the IMS architecture while providing key end-user services.

Giulio Maggiore, Chairman of ETSI Technical Committee for IMS Network Testing (TC INT), said: ‘The two previous IMS Plugtests events showed a very high degree of interoperability. This raises high expectations for this third event, as it will deal with the full 3GPP Release 7 version of IMS. The added focus on IPTV over IMS will give greater emphasis on IMS Network to Network Interface interoperability for services, since it will address IMS commercial deployments.’

Anthony Wiles, Director of ETSI’s Centre for Testing and Interoperability, responsible for organizing this event, said: ‘IMS plays a key role in ETSI’s approach to IPTV through its TISPAN[i] Technical Committee. Ensuring robust, interoperable standards and solutions is vital if this technology is to be accepted by service providers and users alike. This event presents a major opportunity to achieve that goal. I therefore encourage all interested companies to make use of this opportunity and to participate in the event.’

Technical partners at the event include Orange and the MultiService Forum. The event is sponsored by the European Commission, the Ville de Lannion and the Lannion-Trégor Agglomeration.

[i] TISPAN – ETSI Technical Committee for Telecommunication and Internet converged Services and Protocols for Advanced Networking