ADTRAN to Lead Broadband Forum’s Advanced Application-Level Traffic Generation Testing


ADTRAN is bringing a new project to the Broadband Forum, with the goal of helping standardize application level traffic on broadband networks. ADTRAN is working with members of the Broadband Forum on a project stream that will help network operators better understand and manage traffic demands on networks in the age of Netflix.

“This initiative will benefit service providers, vendors and testing labs by fundamentally allowing them to manage the increasingly complex subscriber traffic on the network as application and service parameters change and evolve,” Broadband Forum CEO Robin Mersh said of the initiative.

ADTRAN brought the project to the Broadband Forum’s recent members meeting and is already working with the organization on an architecture to set up the testing environment. The first project is slated to reach completion by the end of this year with additional milestones reaching completion in 2019.

“When you hear about application-level traffic, that can mean any number of things. The 800 pound gorilla is over-the-top video like Netflix. This kind of video can account for as much as 50 percent of network traffic and it’s speed adaptive so it’s using up a lot of resources. If we can put a better understanding around those demands and set some standards it’s going to be tremendously helpful to network providers,” said ADTRAN scientist and project lead Ken Ho in an interview with CivSource.

ADTRAN’s work with the Broadband Forum is designed to deliver on the creation of a test traffic model that emulates real-time domain behavior of multiple applications from multiple subscribers. This will give network providers the ability to do trial runs of network infrastructure and technology that reflect how they might work in a real life scenario.

The project will also work on creating a reference implementation for use in test cases in Open Broadband Labs and in other test environments as developed by the Broadband Forum and other industry stakeholders. This work also supports ADTRAN’s efforts to increase adoption of software defined networking, which is designed to provide an application layer over legacy and current infrastructure so that service can be maintained and upgraded over time without interruptions or outages.

Initially, the testing will focus on residential broadband with the goal of adding business network use cases in the future. “Our goal is to create models that improve consistency and portability. Data and video demand on the network is only going to grow over time,” Ho says.