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Document 37


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Document 37

  1. 1. INTERNATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATION UNION Document 37 – E TELECOMMUNICATION STANDARDIZATION SECTOR TSB DIRECTOR’S CONSULTATION MEETING ON IPTV STANDARDIZATION Geneva, 4-5 April 2006 DOCUMENT 37 Source: Psytechnics Ltd Title: QoE measurement and management for IPTV Introduction The incumbent Telcos face a steady reduction in voice revenues, as the market price for voice services becomes commoditised, coupled with increasing operating costs for their existing networks. Their response is a migration to NGNs (Next-Generation-Networks) which utilise lower cost, flexible packet infrastructure and will allow the introduction of a higher value bundle of services to increase ARPU (Average Revenue per User). IPTV is a key component of the Telcos’ strategy to increase revenue and yet will launch into a market where customer expectation for quality is already high, choice (often without leaving your armchair) is broad and service delivery will frequently be via relatively low bandwidth DSL connections. Delivery of competitive quality and the ability to detect service affecting faults ahead of customer complaints will be a vital for the successful launch and penetration of this service and hence the triple-play. There is strong variation by geographical regions in the adoption of IPTV. Deployment in N. America is expected to be smaller than in Europe and Asia, due to the existing high penetration of cable. Forecasts for the number of IPTV subscribers by 2010 vary between 47 million and 72 million with broad agreement that a majority of these will be in Asia (perhaps six tenths) with Europe second (perhaps three tenths) and North America third (perhaps one tenth). The deployment of IPTV into mature markets will present a number of challenges. Quality of experience for the end customer will be a critical success factor. The economics are brutal; customer expectation for quality is already set (by years of broadcast TV, DVDs etc,), initial IPTV will have little service differentiation and will therefore be subjected to intense competition. An additional factor is the need to rely on wide scale use of xDSL: as a long-term solution for many SPs and as a means for a short-term “market land-grab” by those SPs who plan FTTH (Fibre-To- The-Home). So, with little initial service differentiation, wide existing choice and an established level of expectation for quality from the end customer, IPTV must deliver competitive quality (end user experience) per session from the start of its deployment to enjoy economic success. Contact: Dr Mike Hollier Tel: +44 1473 281800 Psytechnics Ltd Fax: +44 1473 281880 United Kingdom Email: Attention: This is not a publication made available to the public, but an internal ITU-T Document intended only for use by the Member States of ITU, by ITU-T Sector Members and Associates, and their respective staff and collaborators in their ITU related work. It shall not be made available to, and used by, any other persons or entities without the prior written consent of ITU-T.
  2. 2. -2- Market development IPTV is a relatively early stage market with no clear industry adoption of a winning architecture and solution set. There have been multiple RFIs published to the industry revealing a number of anticipated delivery networks, including: - delivery to the DSLAM by SDH/ATM and from the DSLAM by xDSL - delivery to the DSLAM by third party network - delivery to the DSLAM by Ethernet network and final distribution by DSL RFI’s are calling for the capability to deliver a managed service and refer to QoE, Quality of Experience, as a key performance indicator. Performance instrumentation points are somewhat driven by commercial demarcation, but there is a consistent interest in: - active testing for Test and Measurement - active testing for content validation - reduced reference testing for synthetic user (sometimes called robot user) provision - passive testing for service assurance: e.g. IP-transport analysis or bit-stream analysis The potential to include a passive quality assessment method in the STB (Set Top Box) has great appeal since it provides measurement information from the end-user location ensuring that the most relevant view of end-to-end performance. A majority of deployments are expected to use MPEG-TS over UDP for delivery, while one major vendor is promoting a TCP-like delivery (with very large buffers) which will exhibit rather different performance. Many planned deployments will lend themselves to performance assessment via active testing to verify content quality and passive IP- transport analysis for service assurance. Careful consideration must be given to a variety of error classes used for objective model training and therefore must be included in the subjective test data used for validation. Comment on standards Timing Performance measurement methods have traditionally been an area where the ITU’s expertise has been an undisputed cornerstone for the industry standardisation. This is highly relevant since it is particularly challenging for SPs, Carriers and Operators to validate such measurement methods for themselves. However, the pace at which new technologies and services are being adopted is increasing, and greater emphasis is needed on setting appropriate measurement standards early in the adoption phase. Where no relevant standards are available it is all too easy for early market entrants with little technical credibility to become a de facto standard. Also, other standards bodies not previously inclined to set quality measurement standards are starting to introduce quality metrics which do not appear to have the strong scientific validation needed to reliably predict end- user experience. Lastly, adherence to agreed timetables and robust project management are essential if timely and relevant standards are to be set that meet the industry’s needs. Standards Scope One of the challenges for a practical standards activity is the selection of a scope which is both maximally relevant to industry requirements and deliverable with available resources. The ITU SGs have demonstrated their ability to address this balance over a succession of projects using industry consultation predominantly via the membership. One consideration going forwards is that the wider application for new video standards embraces new industry segments which may not be well represented by the current membership e.g. certain IPTV infrastructure and software providers and new wave IPTV SPs. This may partly explain why IP degradations were not included in the J.144
  3. 3. -3- selection phase – which excludes the standard as written from this key market. Clearly the ITU SGs can broaden consultation to relevant additional parties. Recommended standards activities In brief, the most urgent quality measurement standardisation activities required for IPTV are: - Active (Full Reference) video method: for Test and Measurement and content validation. This must include IP network degradations representative of the variety of anticipated delivery architectures/technologies. - Active audio (speech + music): for Test and Measurement and content validation. A more practical (lower complexity) and accurate method is required to replace PEAQ. - Active audio/video synchronisation: to assess lip-synch - Reduced Reference video method: for robot-user solutions - Passive (No reference) video bit-steam analysis: for robot-user and service monitoring - Passive (No Reference) video IP-transport analysis: for service monitoring including the STB - Passive audio IP-transport analysis: for service monitoring including the STB Many of these items are within the scope of existing ITU SGs. The rapid evolution of IPTV and mobile video services means that a degree of visionary planning and robust execution is required to maximise the benefit of the next generation of the ITU’s speech, audio, video and multi-media standards. ____________