Meeting the promise of triple play services

Triple play services combine the delivery of data, voice and video content over a single unified network and can even be extended to quadruple play with the addition of a wireless network. Triple play services provide access to on demand content and offer end users a better, personalized experience. However, implementing and deploying triple play services require an extended network infrastructure, including content delivery systems and applications, as well as billing and provisioning systems.

Today, companies that offer triple play services are mainly telephone and cable companies striving to be a single provider of communications and entertainment services. To ensure the highest quality end-user experience in content access, information delivery, customer service and provisioning, these companies are expanding their infrastructure to include triple play testing services for voice, video and data.

While many companies have current applications that focus on Internet access, VoIP and IPTV, they still need to consider application and quality of service testing for the triple play network. Independently, data, voice and video traffic is always constant. Bringing these three services together in a triple play network is a complicated proposition where companies need to be careful not to disrupt any area of service. To manage this complexity, companies are turning to triple play network testing tools to ensure quality of service and to cover their transport/network, content

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and application needs.

Choosing the right testing tools is crucial. Before triple play services can be reliably delivered, companies must choose a platform that will effectively manage their disparate network technologies, since deployment of disparate management systems will greatly reduce the profitability of these services.

Companies like Spirent Communications, Agilent Technologies, JDSU and Ixia, among others, have testing tools that measure both video delivery quality and quality of service. They have expanded their tool set to their cover triple play services testing needs. In addition, Alcatel, Cisco, Empirix and others have also added on additional tools for VoIP quality testing in order to analyze network traffic, video protocols and voice quality.

Triple play testing tools enable companies to monitor the following:

  • Time-sensitive nature of voice and video content
  • Network bandwidth and performance
  • Coexistence of data services such as Web, e-mail and FTP with voice and video

Testing tools ensure that any voice, video or data peaks or disruptions do not affect the overall quality of the services. In addition to reliability and availability, companies also need to ensure that their testing tools handle security and scalability.

Overall, companies need to ensure that the end users get a high-quality, reliable experience when accessing triple play services, making infrastructure testing essential.

This was first published in December 2005

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