“The content and performance delivered to the consumer on these converged systems are the end game for the telecommunications carriers,” notes
NTS provides these test suites to two different types of customers: the carrier that seeks to deliver a Triple Play solution and the equipment manufacturer that provides the necessary equipment at the NTS’ NAIL (Network Architecture and Interoperability Laboratory) facility in
The NAIL provides a telecommunications infrastructure of both legacy and next generation equipment in a test environment. Voice interoperability can be validated with the NAIL's four Class 5 central office switches: Lucent 5ESS, Nortel DMS100, Siemens EWSD and Nortel CS2000 softswitch. Numerous Legacy Digital Loop Carrier (DLC) platforms and DSL Access Multiplexers (DSLAMs), produced by Adtran, Alcatel, Calix, Catena, ECI, General Bandwidth, Lucent, Marconi, Tellabs/AFC and others, are available for interoperability testing.
Data interoperability can be validated with DSL Forum certified test beds for ADSL, ADSL2, ADSL2+ and VDSL2 broadband modem testing and certification against the variety of host DSLAMs listed above. Video solutions are provided with Harmonic, Inc. encoders for both video overlay and IPTV video streams.
The NAIL also contains an FSAN (Full Service Access Network) compliant test bed for end-to-end FTTP (Fiber to the Premise) and FTTN (Fiber to the Neighborhood) passive optical network and component testing.
Complementing the NAIL's test bed infrastructure is a battery of state-of-the-art test equipment for bulk voice and data traffic generation, copper and optical loop simulation, and QoS (Quality of Service) measurement for voice (legacy and VoIP), data and video services. A number of SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) devices are also available to validate interoperability.
Triple Play is a very broad definition that requires further clarification in order to understand the true impact of Triple Play services on a carrier's network. Variations include the type; legacy circuit-switched or VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and number of voice services being delivered; the data services being delivered; and the delivery speed. Also there are variations in the type of video services provided; a few broadcast channels, hundreds of channels, movies on demand, HDTV, interactive gaming, video conferencing or a mixture. And finally, the last mile connection to the customer; by means of copper wire, fiber directly to the premises, wireless or, a mixture of technologies. Regardless of the technology, subscribers ultimately insist that any new offerings be equal to or better than what they are currently getting in both quality and quantity of services.
The carriers must select the various new network elements from a number of different equipment manufacturers, and then face the task of network integration and ensuring interoperability between the new devices. A second challenge is the seamless integration into the existing network infrastructure. Manufacturers conduct tests at NTS to prove and validate to the carriers the interoperability of their equipment with the other network elements the carrier is considering to use. While the largest of the carriers often have internal test laboratories, the midsize and smaller carriers and the equipment providers rarely do.
For more information or a generic article on the demands for Triple Play systems and the contingent testing requirements, contact The Rankin Group, Ltd.
About National Technical Systems, Inc.
National Technical Systems, Inc. is a business-to-business services company providing organizations in the aerospace, defense, information technology (IT) and high technology markets integrated testing, certification, quality registration, systems evaluation and engineering solutions. For additional information about National Technical Systems, visit its web site at www.ntscorp.com.
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