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IMTC SuperOp! 2015 Unified Communications Interoperability Testing Event Successes

June 24, 2015

The International Multimedia Telecommunications Consortium (IMTC) SuperOp! 2015 event that took place in Porto, Portugal, was the place for the telecoms industry to stress test interoperability. The event for those unfamiliar is designed to hopefully ensure that all boats will rise with the tide regarding deployments of Unified Communications (UC) and various multimedia technologies running the latest versions of industry standard protocols in various types of products and services.

The tests were conducted using software, hardware, UC and multimedia solutions for the enterprise and service providers. The event also tested cloud-based services for interoperability with the aforementioned products and on combinations and variations of IP, 3G and 4G networks using a broad range of protocols and technologies including WebRTC, Microsoft Lync, SIP, TIP, H.323, H.264, SVC and HEVC/H.265.

As the organizers noted, SuperConnect is the culmination of intensive testing and demonstration of interoperability across all participating multimedia and UC solutions including endpoints and Multipoint Control Units (MCUs). This year's conference included:

  • 40+ endpoints, ranging from mobile Android and iOS clients to the 3-screen telepresence systems
  • 8 MCUs
  • 10 management servers and gateways from 16 participating companies

Of significance, particularly for those in the WebRTC Solutions Community was that for the first time WebRTC, Microsoft Lync and HEVC/H.265 technologies were added to the demonstration that also included the more traditional UC capabilities such as SIP, H.323, TIP and H.264 SVC.


Image via Shutterstock

As the headline states, the good news was that the testing in multiple areas was deemed a success.  For example, The IMTC SIP Parity Activity Group testing drew more than 20 product teams from companies including Acano, Avaya, BlueJeans, Cisco, Huawei, Lifesize, Pexip, Polycom, Sonus, Sorenson, Spirent, Unify and Vidyo. Testing focused on key aspects of videoconferencing/Telepresence interoperability, with the IMTC SIP Parity best practices and associated test cases documents providing a framework to test and report results.

The nice thing about the testing was its comprehensiveness.  IMTC notes that interworking across implementations was “very broad.” In fact it explained that the testing went beyond described the best practice documents (e.g. Opus audio, H.264-SVC video, HEVC signaling, and H.323 interworking).  The thoroughness was also exemplified in the multiple call scenarios tested which included point-to-point, point-to-multipoint, and cascaded multipoint conferences.

IMTC also pulled out what it describes as noteworthy firsts at this year’s SuperOp!:

  • SIP Security testing with capturing of the detailed test results and scenarios, establishing a baseline for future events
  • SIP/WebRTC interworking, with gateways provided by several participants
  • SIP/Microsoft Lync interworking, with Lync setup provided by Wipro and Lync gateways provided by the number of participants

The WebRTC reference is non-trivial.  First, the results and clarifications from the event are being used by the SIP Parity AG to improve the quality and clarity of its best practices, and for work it is doing with the WebRTC AG to enhance the scope of SIP/WebRTC interworking targeted within IMTC.

Second, the inclusion of the aforementioned IMTC WebRTC Activity Group for the first time highlighted the importance of WebRTC to SIP interoperability testing. In fact, it was noted that Unify, Sonus, Intel, Pexip, and Temasys, tested their WebRTC applications focusing on interoperability with SIP based solutions for UC and multimedia, that included testing audio and video codecs (VP8, H.264, OPUS), security (DTLS-SRTP) and connectivity (ICE and TURN).

The SSV (Scalable and Scalable Video) interoperability testing was conducted within the SIP Parity AG use cases including Microsoft Lync, H.264 SVC, and HEVC/H.265.

“This year’s SuperOp! results once again illustrate that the IMTC is successfully bringing together industry leading companies from around the world to help ensure that their unique versions of video, audio and UC clients, systems and Cloud services work seamlessly together, by breaking down interoperability and technical barriers to improve overall industry and product performance,” said Anatoli Levine, IMTC President and Director of Product Management at Spirent.

“Feedback from end users consistently ranks cross product/technology interoperability as the highest priority when making new and expansion deployment decisions. With technologies evolving and changing at an ever quickening pace, IMTC SuperOp! is unique because it provides a neutral testing environment allowing all member and non-member companies to come together and test their products and Cloud services during the week long testing event. This in turn allows the testing results to feed back to the individual company development teams so they can improve interoperability with other vendor solutions. This ultimately benefits and improves the end-user experience and helps drive adoption of all types of UC and multimedia technologies.”

There is an old saying in the U.S. that has become increasingly important in the acceleration of the launching of new services over next generation communications infrastructure, “You do not get a second chance to make a first impression.”  It is why testing has become so critical, and is an iterative process as all aspects of the deployment and delivery of UC need to be global in reach and seamless in operation. It is also why IMTC putting emphasis on bringing WebRTC into the fold is good news for the entire UC ecosystem. 

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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