The Broadband Forum took the opportunity of Mobile World Congress to announce its first ever certification program, as a crucial component in its drive to develop the full potential of broadband and support the smooth broadband architecture convergence around the world.
The Broadband Forum has long been a globally recognised leader in driving broadband and multi-service network architecture and equipment interoperability testing. Through fifteen years of test plan development and interoperability test events, the Forum has helped the industry establish common standards, reduce the burden of service provider testing and expedite network deployments around the world.
To advance the goal of faster and more cost effective service rollouts, the Broadband Forum is launching a groundbreaking certification program, the Broadband Forum Certification Program, designed to verify adherence to critical IP/MPLS, broadband and digital home/business specifications. These technical specifications address areas of vital importance to the networking industry. These newly released as well as future certifications offered through the Broadband Forum Certification Program are driven by market requirements.
The Broadband Forum Certification Program aims to provide:
- Assurance to service providers that different vendor products conform to the Broadband Forum's globally recognised and adopted technology standards
- Cost savings to both equipment vendors and service providers by offering a single industry-approved test and certification process that significantly reduces testing time and resources
- The vehicle to expedite multi-vendor interoperability
- There is no other comprehensive certification program offered today for global standards based MPLS
- The MPLS Certifications provide comprehensive testing that verifies conformance to architectures and protocols required to implement MPLS
- MPLS is a widely deployed technology in every Service Provider network around the globe and continues to evolve from the core to the edge, and now into the access realm
- The Broadband Forum works very closely with other standards development organisations where complementary work is being developed; i.e. IETF, IEEE, ITU-T and MEF, thus ensuring collaboration and industry alignment
The Broadband Forum Certification Program, initially piloted in the IP/MPLS Forum prior to their Broadband Forum union, currently includes three MPLS Certifications:
- Circuit Emulation Services (Time Division Multiplexing),
- IP & Ethernet (coming soon)
There is now open enrollment for Broadband Forum members in this certification program. Five companies have already participated and their products have passed the BBF.248 test suite:
"The Broadband Forum Certification program will provide assurance that technologies meet industry specifications through an independent testing service. Certification demonstrates that businesses are forming the correct partnerships to deliver an industry-accepted service," said Christopher Mayer, Vice President, Systems Integration & Testing at Verizon Communications.
“The increase of mobile data traffic is putting a lot of challenges on mobile backhaul to provide the required capacity in a cost-effective way. We see MPLS as a viable option for meeting this challenge, and believe this certification program will advance the deployment of MPLS-based backhaul solutions in the market,” said Alain Maloberti, VP, Network Architecture & Design for Orange.
The Broadband Forum Certification Program is now open to all of the Forum’s approximately 200 members, which range from operators and vendors to software developers and testing organisations. The Broadband Forum has authorised Iometrix, a testing authority, to carry out the testing against the Forum’s requirements and test suites.
Bob Mandeville, President and Founder of Iometrix, said: “The new Broadband Forum Certification Program will provide a critical new standardised element of RFPs, thereby reducing service provider testing expense. For vendors, the key is the ability to verify conformance in a single round of tests that is recognised by service providers worldwide. We really see this adding value to the industry as a whole."