Members Area
Sept 2004: The SatLabs Group will start the selection of the Qualification Test Laboratory, which is one of the pillars on which the SatLabs Qualification Programme for DVB-RCS interoperability sits. For that purpose, the SatLabs Group will start a Request For Information (RFI) process, in order to determine potential qualified test laboratories.

The main goal of the SatLabs Group is to achieve interoperability between DVB-RCS terminals and systems. Therefore, the Group has defined the SatLabs Qualification Program which will provide an independent certification process. 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 qualification, under development and planned to be available within Q4 2004; and the SatLabs Qualification Test Laboratory, providing independent competent test services.


The major part of the SatLabs Qualification Program is an exhaustive testing using the SatLabs Test Bed. In the qualification testing a terminal must show its capability of passing about 100 test cases contained in the SatLabs Compliance/Interoperability Test Plan. Terminals passing all the tests will be granted a SatLabs certificate and will be allowed to carry the SatLabs Mark. The goal of the Qualification Program is to prove basic interoperability capabilities in DVB-RCS terminals. Therefore, tests are carried out at intermediate frequency, with a satellite channel simulator, and test basic IP data transport. This means that network operators must, additionally, carry out the usual acceptance testing of their specific system and network requirements (e.g. applications, networking, quality of service, service/operational specificities, over-the-satellite testing, radio-frequency performance). The SatLabs Qualification Program is expected to be launched at the beginning of 2005, once the SatLabs Test Bed is validated and the SatLabs Qualification Test Laboratory is appointed. The Qualification Program is accessible to SatLabs members.


Until the formal certification process is ready, the SatLabs Group supports interoperability testing by organising ad-hoc testing campaigns that verify interoperability with assistance of an accredited test laboratory. This testing does not lead to any SatLabs certificate but it aims at practically proving basic interoperability between different DVB-RCS implementations. To date, three companies (EMS Satellite Networks, Nera and Newtec) have embarked into such adhoc campaigns and have successfully verified interoperability between their DVB-RCS products. Such interoperability testing, completed during Q3 2003, helped provide a deeper common understanding of the SatLabs recommended features of DVB-RCS terminals and the underlying requirements of DVB-RCS interoperability.


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 interim ad-hoc interoperability test campaigns.


About SatLabs
The SatLabs Group is an international non-profit association 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.