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December 2006: The SatLabs Group has unveiled Version 2 of its DVB-RCS System Recommendations, which forms the basis of the SatLabs Qualification Programme for DVB-RCS interoperability. These Recommendations will allow enhanced interoperability of DVB-RCS systems, notably in the areas of Quality of Service and Management.


Since its creation in 2001, the main goal of the SatLabs Group has been to achieve interoperability between DVB-RCS terminals and systems. Therefore, the Group has defined the SatLabs Qualification Program which provides an independent certification process for DVB-RCS Terminals. The Qualification Program is based on three pillars:
  • the SatLabs Compliance/Interoperability Test Plan, prepared and published by the SatLabs Group;
  • a dedicated SatLabs Test Bed for DVB-RCS interoperability verification;
  • and the SatLabs Qualification Test Laboratory, providing independent competent test and certification services.

Since the availability of the Test Bed in August 2005, 7 terminals from 6 manufacturers (STM, Gilat, Advantech, Newtec, Pentamedia and ViaSat) have successfully passed the 100 test cases proving they implement the SatLabs System Recommendations for DVB-RCS systems.

In order to provide true interoperability, beyond the physical and MAC layers mechanisms defined in the DVB-RCS standard (ETSI EN 301790), SatLabs has now expanded its Recommendations in the fields of Quality of Service and Terminal Management support. The new Recommendations, SatLabs System Recommendations - Version 2, also include DVB-S2 and interoperable Performance Enhancement Proxy (iPEP) support.

These Recommendations are publicly available on the SatLabs web site at Their implementation will allow:
  • Reduced operations costs through standardized management procedures and MIB based on SNMP
  • Improved application performance through the support for differentiated Classes of Service, complying with IP DiffServ recommendations
  • Improved transport layer performance through TCP acceleration and HTTP content “pre-fetching” support
  • Improved satellite capacity usage through DVB-S2 support

“This new version of the SatLabs Recommendations represents a leap forward in terms of DVB-RCS interoperability and is the result of an extensive work carried out by the DVB-RCS stakeholders.” says Xavier Lobao, Chairman of the SatLabs Group, “Version 2 ensures ‘plug and play’ interoperability, even for the most advanced and sophisticated functions and services”.

The SatLabs Group is now upgrading its Test Bed in order to fully support this Version 2 and be able to provide Version 2 certification testing in the first half of 2007.

In 2007, the SatLabs Group will also support interoperability testing by organising ad-hoc testing campaigns that verify interoperability between hubs and terminals from different vendors, with assistance of an accredited test laboratory. This testing will not lead to any SatLabs certificate but will aim at practically proving enhanced interoperability between different DVB-RCS implementations. Furthermore a Hub Verification Program will start, thereby allowing testing of DVB-RCS hub functionality against the SatLabs Recommendations. This will prove to customers they will be able to introduce any SatLabs Version 2 compliant terminals into their network.

Digital Video Broadcasting – Return Channel via Satellite (DVB-RCS) is an open standard that provides a return channel via satellite to systems based on the DVB (Digital Video Broadcasting) standard. The standard is published and maintained by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) with reference EN 301 790. DVB-RCS is a future-proof standard suited for many application scenarios and accommodates a wide range of commercial requirements and options. It specifies the air interface and user terminal requirements, but allows more freedom and flexibility in the implementation of systems and networks. As a consequence, ensuring interoperability between different realisations requires specific testing to guarantee that the basic functions are correctly implemented. The SatLabs Group fosters interoperability among DVB-RCS products through the SatLabs Qualification Programme and interoperability test campaigns.

About SatLabs Group EEIG
The SatLabs Group is an international non-profit EEIG (European Economic Interest Grouping) committed to large-scale adoption and deployment of the DVB-RCS standard. SatLabs membership is formed by service providers, satellite operators, system integrators, terminal manufacturers and technology providers with an interest in DVB-RCS. Besides the interoperability aspects, the SatLabs Group is also working towards cost reduction of the user terminal, terminal installation and satellite capacity. Furthermore, SatLabs actively works on increasing DVB-RCS standard awareness and in the evolution of the DVB-RCS standard. SatLabs Group activities are supported by the European Space Agency (ESA).