A new breed of interoperability testing is making itself heard above the din
of industry sponsored bakeoffs and showdowns. Recently, several vendors have
moved beyond traditional "in-house" labs to test the level of
interoperability with their technologies. Below is a list of initiatives
sponsored by carriers and vendors that have recently begun testing live over
the Internet. Some are for testing with a particular vendor's technologies;
some are geared to an industry-wide acceptance of a particular protocol. But
all of these testing initiatives portend one goal: Greater interoperability
for next-generation networks.
telecom technologies' INIP Powered Virtual Lab
The INIP Powered Virtual Lab, from telecom technologies, inc., is an
online resource for real-time status of the INIP Powered Interoperability
Lab. The INIP Powered Interoperability Lab is designed to stimulate
interoperability between vendors' products and softswitch technology. Within
the lab, partners undergo testing for interoperability with the
INtelligentIP softswitch in order to provide carriers with products that can
optimize technology within next-generation networks.
The Virtual Lab is designed to enable visitors to gather information from
the INIP Powered Interoperability Lab, as well as actually see into the lab
from anywhere in the world. Building on telecom technologies' previously
launched initiative called the INIP
Powered Partner Program, this program uses the interoperability lab to
bring about true interoperability between the softswitch and the
applications and hardware developed by partners. Almost 50 vendors have
already signed up to become "INIP Powered." For more information,
visit their Web site.
IMTC's iNOW! Compatibility Program
The International Multimedia Telecommunications Consortium's (IMTC) iNOW!
Activity Group recently announced that it is completing the worldwide
rollout of the IMTC iNOW! Compatibility Program. The purpose of this program
is to create a reliable, common set of procedures for testing and announcing
the interoperability of Internet telephony equipment and software
implementation based on the IMTC iNOW! profile.
With the IMTC iNOW! compatibility program in place, business
organizations, carriers, and Internet telephony service providers have
greater assurance that iNOW! compatible products will provide "plug and
play" interoperability in multi-vendor, Voice over IP network
The IMTC iNOW! profiles are standards-based frameworks for implementation
of interoperable IP telephony equipment and services. The IMTC iNOW!
Interdomain Profile is based on the ITU's H.225 Annex G, H.323, and T.38
standards. This profile addresses gateway-to-gateway and
gatekeeper-to-gatekeeper interoperability in both phone and fax services.
The Terminal Profile is based on the ITU's H.323 Annex F, H.323 Annex J,
H.323 version 3, and H.225.0. This profile addresses terminal-to-gatekeeper
and terminal-to-gateway interoperability for both phone-to-terminal and
Level 3 Communications' (3)Works
Level 3 Communications recently took the wraps off their new voice
certification program, (3)Works, designed to ensure interoperability between
Level 3's new (3)Voice services and third-party IP applications and
equipment. With this new offering, companies will be able to evaluate the
compatibility of their products and services with Level 3's offerings
completely over the public Internet. One of the main benefits here is the
elimination of the need to send employees and equipment to off-site labs for
interoperability testing. 3Com, Allied Riser, BroadSoft, Cisco, dynamicsoft,
TalkingNets, telecom technologies, and others have all started participation
in Level 3's new initiative.
Level 3 invites participants to apply for the program via e-mail at email@example.com.
iBasis' SIP Test Network
iBasis, Inc., announced that it is launching a test environment on its
global network for Internet developers who want to trial new applications
and services powered by SIP (Session Initiation Protocol).
Launching the iBasis SIP test network is an effort to accelerate the
introduction of new, enhanced multimedia Internet applications that increase
demand for IP-based communications. SIP developers will be able to test new
applications on the iBasis Network and connect their services to wireless
and wireline phone networks around the world. In support of this test
activity, the company has deployed SIP-ready access nodes on their global
network. Using these access nodes, Internet developers can now leverage the
international iBasis network to test new multimedia Internet devices,
applications, and services by routing voice, video, audio, and other content
to virtually any location in the world.
Developers interested in testing new SIP-ready devices, applications, or
services on the network can learn more about the iBasis SIP test environment
and apply for trial eligibility at www.ibasis.net/technology/sip.htm.
Ubiquity's SIP Center
The SIP Center is a portal for
businesses to access commercial and technical information relating to SIP
and to exchange views. The Web site differs from other SIP sites in that the
core objective here is to bring together all the players in the SIP arena to
accelerate the commercial development of the protocol. The idea is that the
SIP Center will serve as an open forum, serving the industry as a whole.
Ubiquity is offering their User Agent as a free of charge download, and
in doing so they hope to ensure a favorable beginning to the initiative. In
addition to the free User Agent software download, Ubiquity will host two
forums, and will keep visitors to the site up-to-date with the latest SIP
developments. The company also plans to offer access to their SIP Proxy
Server for testing purposes. The Proxy Server is intended to be a highly
scalable, resilient, permanent "bake-off" facility. It is
available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is hosted on a Sun
(Solaris) system on the UUNET backbone, with 1.2 Gbps of connectivity to the
U.S. and mainland Europe. Companies and organizations are invited to submit
white papers, press releases, and news items to be published on the
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