ATIS sets up telepresence testing program

ATIS' Cloud Services Forum (CSF) has developed a new program to conduct live testing of network interconnection and interoperability of telepresence services in a service provider network environment.

Set to be completed by this fall, the initial testing phase will address various telepresence endpoint types across live service provider networks. The goal of the testing is to help drive interoperability and interconnection in a multi-vendor and multi-service provider environment.

Joining Tier 1 service providers AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) in the initial live testing exercise will be videoconferencing vendors Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO), Huawei and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) Lync. This group demonstrate system interoperability of their respective systems.

The new testing environment builds on ATIS' initial work for telepresence interoperability developed in its Cloud Services Forum (CSF) and Content Distribution Network-Interconnection (CDN-I) initiatives: CDN-I Use Case Specifications report (ATIS-0200003), CDN Interconnection Use Cases and Requirements for Multicast-Based Content Distribution (ATIS-0200004), and the Cloud Framework for Telepresence Service (ATIS-0200005).

"After we finished the CDN-I work, we were just starting to figure out how we'd move up the stack and examine applications and the impact of applications across service providers," said Joe Rostock, Vice President and Chief Technologist at ATIS, in an interview with FierceTelecom. "Now that we have the use cases developed and we have clear alignment from the operators that are going to participate as well as the platform providers."

There are two main elements to the new testing program: interoperability and interconnectivity between service provider networks.

For interoperability, the goal will be to examine what the market is asking for and compare it to what exists in the vendor's platforms and what exists in the networks in the context of VPNs.

"The reason we're doing this work in the Cloud Services Forum is the notion of real-time network infrastructure where you can buy storage or you can buy computing or memory resources on demand," Rostock said. "This takes an application like telepresence and combines it with the notion of a real time infrastructure that would enable it."

In the interconnection phase, they will identify what not only exists today in the current service provider network, but what has also changed.

Since telepresence is an emerging service, ATIS addresses issues that impact both the end-customer and the service provider. In the customer testing phase, ATIS will examine endpoint testing and service experience, while the service provider testing addresses functionality and interoperability between infrastructure components.

Initial testing will focus on "basic interoperability to allow service providers to offer a consistent end-to-end telepresence experience across multiple vendor platforms." Later testing phases will examine enhanced telepresence features including: video scaling; screen layout and presentation of 1, 2, 3 and 4 screen systems; and multipoint telepresence bridges.

No less important is the business aspect to deliver unified communication and telepresence services. Similar to the way service providers exchange information today when they are in a peering relationship, they could establish a transactional environment for new applications like telepresence.

"Similar to B2B environments where operators exchange information about network outages or provisioning information, it's a transactional relationship in the context of a larger service offering," Rostock said. "The same kind of approach will be taken for applications that will be offered to the end-customer like telepresence, and the goal is for unified communications across operators and operator's platforms there will be transactional relationship."

For more:
- see the release

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