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workinggroups.jpg28 Apr 2005: The SatLabs Group is busy working to increase the extent of DVB-RCS interoperability and reduce the cost of service provision, in addition to setting up the SatLabs Qualification Program and the definition of requirements associated with basic interoperability.

The SatLabs working groups (WG) are:
  • Quality of Service
  • Management and control harmonisation
  • Interoperable Protocol Enhancing Proxy (i-PEP)
  • Terminal installation
Quality of Service
This WG aims to define a common approach for implementing Quality of Service (QoS) in DVB-RCS systems. Today no one common approach exists, which is needed to achieve full service-level interoperability. A common understanding has been reached on how capacity allocation is to be interpreted by the various manufacturers. Agreements on a basic definition of Classes of Service (CoS) and associated Per-Hop Behaviours (PHBs) have been reached as well as on mechanisms to map CoS into DVB-RCS capacity request mechanisms. These definitions will be further elaborated into a specification. The final outcome will be a blueprint for mapping DiffServ traffic classes into DVB-RCS capacity requests.

Management and Control Harmonization
This WG is focused on the definition of requirements for a DVB-RCS harmonised management and control plane in order to improve interoperability. In the short term the group aims to define harmonised management functions and mechanisms for access (star) networks. In the longer term other network scenarios will be considered (star and mesh networks using transparent and regenerative satellite systems) for both management and control functions. In particular, a definition of requirements for a common DVB-RCS Connection Control Protocol supporting emerging real time peer-to-peer applications in several network scenarios will be addressed.

PEP interoperability
This WG intends to collect requirements related to transport protocol enhancements for interactive Internet use over satellite. In addition, the group will address requirements on higher layer layers, such as Web caching or pre-fetching. The group has decided that SCPS-TP is the preferred choice for an accelerated transport protocol for use over satellite. As a second step the group will produce a specification for the use of SCPS-TP transport protocol in its specific DVB-RCS setting. Internet traffic over satellite is impacted by the GEO delay, and many proprietary solutions are being offered. All these solutions are incompatible with each other. SatLabs PEP WG intends to promote a minimal interoperable solution for this so that terminals and hubs of various vendors can interoperate.

Terminal Installation
The aim of this WG is to define methods for the low cost installation of DVB-RCS terminals. Current practices are expensive and limit the acceptance and appeal of DVB-RCS terminals. By making the installation of terminals easier and cheaper to perform, the uptake of DVB-RCS will become more effective. A preparatory study is in its final stages, and currently under final review. The final expected outcome is an identification of methods, which will simplify and reduce the cost of installing terminals. The study will also provide information as to how the methods can be realised. The WG will then work on common practises that can be applied in different DVB-RCS terminals and systems.
In addition to these working groups the SatLabs Group is working to reduce the cost of user terminals by means of defining a common specification for critical components and interfaces.