Packet Switched Streaming Activity Group is a part of the IMTC testing groups, consists of over 20 companies and helping interoperability happen in the PSS field.
First, what is the PSS activity group?
The abbreviation stands for Packet Switched Streaming Services Activity Group.
The main focus in PSS AG has been testing the 3GPP PSS specifications from release 4 to release 9.
In general the functionalities to test are based on member companies’ needs and wishes, as expressed through group discussion and consensus. In addition to basic streaming the recent testing activities have focused to features like HSPDA, rate adaptation, NAT/Firewall traversal, and fast content switching. The group is not limited to testing 3GPP specifications – for example, one feature which has raised interest in the group has been HTTP streaming according to the IETF draft submitted by Apple; the group developed a test specification and began testing this feature in March 2010.
Also the new 3GPP HTTP streaming specification is clearly one of the features to be tested in near future.
We have 21 members within the group including both server and client companies, and 10-12 of the companies contribute actively to regular calls and testing events. PSS AG gives direct feedback to 3GPP and other relevant SDO’s (e.g. IETF) for clarifications/modifications based on the experiments within the group.
* What does your activity group offer to companies in the PSS field?
First of all, participation in PSS Activity Group and in IMTC activities in general is an excellent way to simply improve your company’s product by finding and fixing possible interoperability issues early. This also helps reducing the time to market for new features deployment. We have an advanced web tracking tool based on test documents which manages test results and provides this information in report format directly to the relevant engineers. Besides face-to-face and virtual testing events remote testing is possible on a continuous basis.
PSS AG membership also enables early involvement on testing and deployment of emerging new standards with other leaders and experts in the industry. From the expert technical discussion within PSS-AG, one can for instance get easily answers to problematic issues which the engineers may be facing.
Active PSS AG participation also serves as de-facto proof for interoperability which is certainly recognized by potential customers.
* What is the role of the group chairmen?
I would say that the main role is facilitating the activities in different areas like hosting conference calls, collecting feedback in general, coordinating test case creation and feature planning, liasons for SDOs, provision of needed tools for testing, planning the events etc. So you could say that the group chairmen are to help the member companies’ to fulfill their common (and individual) needs.
One part of the work is also to represent the group to external parties as well as towards the IMTC organization.
* What are the group greatest achievements to date?
PSS-AG had a significant role in facilitating deployment of the original 3GPP PSS based media services, and it continues to facilitate deployment of new features today. This success has significantly increased the group of member companies participating in tests. The PSS AG has a liaison relationship with different SDOs, and liaisons have been posted regularly on our testing experience. Such liaisons often result in the SDO’s accepting PSS-AG feedback and making changes and improvements to the specifications.
* What are the major goals for 2010?
Naturally we continuously want to keep PSS AG as an interesting and growing forum for interoperability testing, and via that to enable the industry wide deployment of PSS related features and applications. At concrete level the upcoming SuperOP event in June will be the main event of the year, where all basically all features having a PSS test specification can be tested onsite. Feature wise, http streaming from Apple and 3GPP will be perhaps the most significant new features to be tested (or a test spec to be created) this year.
Farid Benamrouche is currently Project Manager of the R&D streaming solutions at NXP Software. He is an expert on wireless streaming protocols ranging from 3G to Bluetooth and various multimedia technologies. Farid is currently Co-Chairman of the Packet Switched Stream (PSS) activity group in International Telecommunications Consortium and was before that actively contributing to the Bluetooth SIG interoperability.
NXP Software is an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) with local sales and support in eight countries, and has established partnerships with key vendors to ensure optimum flexibility, ease-of-integration and interoperability between HW and SW platforms. Their software is supporting customers to translate their innovative ideas into consumer lifestyle experiences that truly stand out from the crowd.
Ari Heikkinen is Director of Programs in PV Finland. Before joining PV in 2007 he worked in various research and management positions in Nokia from 1995 to 2007. Dr. Heikkinen received a Ph.D. in Signal Processing in Tampere University of Technology in 2002. He has several publications and holds 5 patents. In his current role he manages several customer programs related to multimedia communications systems and services. Dr. Heikkinen acts as a co-chair for Packet Switched Streaming (PSS) Activity Group in International Telecommunications Consortium.
PacketVideo (PV) is recognized and awarded pioneer in creating and innovating various multimedia software solutions for both mobiles and connected home devices. PV’s software powers the world’s leading mobile entertainment services and has shipped in over 300 million units worldwide in hundreds of different handsets and CE devices. PV is a US based company with headquarters in San Diego, California. European research and development offices are located in Germany, Switzerland and Finland.