GMI 2008 targeted at IPTV issues

The MultiService Forum's Global MSF Interoperability event (GMI 2008) is going on right now around the world, including at a Verizon Communications lab in Waltham, Mass. While GMI 2006 was more focused on general IP Multimedia Subsystem interoperability, GMI 2008 is taking on the distinctive flavor of IPTV. It's a three-continent, multi-country event involving 22 companies.

This year, according to a press release issued by Verizon to promote its participation, the linked global testbed will test many IMS-related service configurations, but among them will be configurations developed by the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions' IPTV Interoperability Forum (IIF). ATIS' IIF has long been at work developing IPTV standards, and just last week, it unveiled a new client device discovery and connectivity standard.

Still, most IPTV implementations do not use IMS, which has been a concern of IMS standards proponents. IPTV watchers are concerned as well, and they wonder about the relatively new offering's eventual place in a converged IP network if carriers continue to develop it as a silo application. According to Verizon's statement, "GMI participants will work to test early IMS-capable IPTV products, as well as IPTV service-management solutions that are able to analyze the quality of the IPTV service."

Ironically, Verizon does not use a pure IPTV architecture, but rather a cable TV-like QAM architecture to deliver its FiOS TV services. However, Verizon has begun to work with IPTV technologies and applications.

The 22 equipment companies participating in GMI 2008 include: Acme Packet, Alcatel-Lucent, Codenomicon, Empirix, Fujitsu, Huawei, Ixia, JDSU, Motorola, Mu Dynamics, NEC, Nokia-Siemens Networks, Nortel, OSI, Sonus, Spirent, Starent, Tekelec, Tektronix, Telchemy, Teles and ZTE.

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