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Advanced Methodology for Interoperability Testing

Major players in mobile media industry participate in final phase of six-month testing program by IMTC PSS Activity Group

Paris, December 13, 2002: The Packet Switched Streaming Activity Group (PSSAG) of the International Multimedia Telecommunications Consortium (IMTC) recently completed a series of rigorous and comprehensive interoperability tests, at an interactive meeting in which 12 mobile media industry leaders participated: Emblaze Systems (Israel), Ericsson (Sweden), Fraunhofer IIS (Germany), Hantro Products Oy (Finland), Mobixell Networks (Israel), Motorola (USA), Nextreaming (Korea), Nokia (Finland), PacketVideo (USA), RealNetworks (USA), Royal Philips Electronics (The Netherlands) and Vidiator Technology (USA). The meeting was hosted by the MP4 Business Unit of Philips Electronics in Paris. Two more vendors which did not take part in the meeting but participated during the cycle are CMG (USA), and Siemens AG (Germany).

This meeting was the fifth in a series of phases to test and validate end-to-end streaming between relevant components. Encoding and content authoring were tested in addition to PSS servers and clients. The testing points used were based on a range of different combinations of codecs and profiles. More than 3500 results were documented during the live meeting and over 10,000 testing points were successfully documented throughout the entire six-month trial.

Improved and more thorough testing procedures and policies were used together with a new fast and reliable test-tracking tool, developed specifically for interoperability testing, to control the large number of testing points covered during this six-month trial. Using this kind of advanced tracking tool, vendors are able to concentrate on technical issues, investigating and tracking thousands of results in a relatively short time frame.

The group established a liaison relationship between IMTC and 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Program) and made significant contributions throughout, particularly where the tests revealed areas where the 3GPP specifications could be improved. Moreover, the group has published an 'Implementation Guide' containing clarifications and interpretations to the Packet Switched Streaming specifications, in order to encourage the development of interoperable solutions.

"Our rigorous procedures and pioneering device, specifically developed for interoperability testing, have helped raise the group's profile," says Adi Plaut, Chairman of the PSS Activity Group. "The PSS AG currently has sixteen members and the numbers are expected to increase to 20 by early 2003. The factors behind this expansion are twofold: Firstly, the mobile media industry anticipates that Packet Switched Streaming will emerge as a significant technology of the future, enabling exciting new applications in mobile multimedia communications. Secondly, the PSS AG not only offers a platform where different players in the market can analyse their R&D results in a realistic environment, but also acts as a highly professional and advanced, cost effective test tracking tool." A summary of the tested components of each vendor and more information regarding the group and the tests can be found at the IMTC PSSAG homepage (http://www.imtc.org/activity_groups/pss.asp).

About the PSS Activity Group
The PSS Activity Group was set up by IMTC in October 2001 to test the implementation of Packet Switched Streaming techniques (according to 3GPP Technical Specifications 26.233 and 26.234) for delivering/streaming multimedia content over wireless networks. The group began its first test cycle at the end of 2001 with three participants. There are now 16 members, representing the major market leaders in mobile multimedia: CMG (USA), Emblaze Systems (Israel), Emuzed (USA), Ericsson (Sweden), Fraunhofer IIS (Germany), Hantro Products Oy (Finland), LGE (Korea), Mobixell Networks (Israel), Motorola (USA), Nextreaming (Korea), Nokia (Finland), PacketVideo (USA), RealNetworks (USA), Royal Philips Electronics (The Netherlands) and Siemens AG (Germany), Vidiator Technology (USA).

About the IMTC
The International Multimedia Telecommunications Consortium (IMTC) is an industry-leading non-profit organization whose mission is to promote, encourage, and facilitate the development and implementation of interoperable multimedia conferencing solutions based on open international standards. The IMTC hosts interoperability testing events and demonstrations throughout the world. Over the past three years the IMTC has hosted more than 60 interoperability-testing events to test T.120, H .320, H.323, H.324, SIP, and Voice over IP products and services with each other. The IMTC Board of Directors includes representatives from Avaya, Cisco Systems, France Telecom, Intel, Nokia, Polycom, RADVISION, Ridgeway, Siemens AG, Sony, TANDBERG, Telverse, and WorldCom. The San Ramon, California based consortium comprises close to 100 member organizations from around the globe. Membership is open to any interested party, including vendors of audio, document, and video conferencing hardware and software; academic institutions; government agencies; and non-profit organizations. The IMTC is making Rich Media happen Anywhere, Anytime. Further information on IMTC and the PSS Activity Group can be found at http://www.imtc.org.

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