Wednesday, February 1, 2012

ICAP to establish testing and certification program for EPON equipment

PISCATAWAY, USA: The IEEE Conformity Assessment Program (ICAP), in collaboration with the IEEE P1904.1TM Working Group, announced an initiative to establish a Conformity Assessment Program for the IEEE P1904.1 Service Interoperability in Ethernet Passive Optical Networks (SIEPON) standard, which is under development.

The goals of the Program are to drive adoption, encourage industry collaboration, and provide a process for the equipment vendors to test and certify their products in ICAP Authorized Laboratories. ICAP, serving in the role of Certification Authority, will administer the Program. ICAP will coordinate the activities of the participating laboratories, issue certificates to vendors whose products have satisfied a rigorous battery of compliance tests, and maintain a registry of certified products.

“SIEPON follows the collaborative focus of Ethernet Passive Optical Networks (EPON), supporting participation from vendors throughout the Passive Optical network (PON) ecosystem in parallel with telecom service providers,” commented Julie Kunstler, principal analyst, Communications Components, Ovum. “ICAP’s approach of partnering with multiple labs throughout the world extends the collaboration to testing and certification, the next stage in service interoperability.”

IEEE EPON is the market-leading fiber-access technology, with worldwide deployments supporting more than 60 million subscribers today and an anticipated subscriber base of more than 100 million by the end of 2013. EPON deployments support a diverse suite of business and residential services, including IPTV, VoIP, commercial-grade data services, and cellular backhaul. Given the large and accelerating global deployment, there is a strong demand from network operators for fully interoperable, “plug-and-play” solutions, available from a diverse community of suppliers.

Sponsored by the IEEE Communications Society, the foremost international forum for the exchange of ideas on communications and information networking, the IEEE P1904.1 SIEPON working group is developing a complete and testable standard that offers clear-cut guidance to component manufacturers, system manufacturers, network operators, and testing laboratories.

The IEEE P1904.1 draft standard describes the system-level requirements needed to ensure service-level, multi-vendor interoperability of Ethernet Passive Optical Network (EPON) equipment. These specifications complement the existing IEEE 802.3 and IEEE 802.1 standards that together ensure interoperability at the Physical and Data-Link layers.

“The SIEPON community will reap significant benefits from this important new initiative. An IEEE Conformity Assessment Program will provide a reliable testing and conformance methodology, thus validating devices in the EPON ecosystem and accelerating its adoption. We are proud to be working with the IEEE P1904.1 community on this global program,” commented Peter Lefkin, MD of ICAP. “This collaboration will combine proven methods for testing equipment designed to meet the SIEPON specification with the brand recognition of IEEE certification for products that meet the criteria of an IEEE Conformity Assessment Program.”

Network operators who deploy Fiber-to-the-x (FTTx) technology will have the validation and assurance that products bearing the IEEE SIEPON certification mark have undergone thorough testing and evaluation prior to procurement. As part of this effort, ICAP has established relationships with experienced testing laboratories with a global presence.

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