PacketCable network is a technology specification defined by the industry consortium CableLabs for using Internet Protocol (IP) networks to deliver multimedia services, such as IP telephony, conferencing, and interactive gaming on a cable television infrastructure.
The PacketCable technology is based on the DOCSIS base with extensions that enable cable operators to deliver data and voice traffic efficiently using a single high-speed, quality-of-service (QoS)-enabled broadband (cable) architecture.
The PacketCable effort dates back to 1997 when cable operators identified the need for a real-time multimedia architecture to support the delivery of advanced multimedia services over the DOCSIS architecture.
The original PacketCable specifications were based on the physical network characteristics of operators in the U.S. For the European market, Cable Europe Labs, maintains a separate, but equivalent effort, EuroPacketCable, based on European network implementations.
PacketCable 1.0 comprises eleven specifications and six technical reports which define call signaling, quality of service (QoS), codec usage, client provisioning, billing event message collection, public switched telephone network (PSTN) interconnection, and security interfaces for implement a single-zone PacketCable solution for residential Internet Protocol (IP) voice services.
PacketCable 1.5 contains additional capabilities over PacketCable 1.0. It superseded previous versions (1.1, 1.2, and 1.3). The standard covers 21 specifications and one technical report which together define call signaling, quality of service (QoS), coders, client provisioning, billing event message collection, PSTN interconnection, and security interfaces for implementing a single-zone or multi-zone PacketCable solution for residential Internet Protocol (IP) voice services.
Version 2.0 introduces IMS Release 7 IP Multimedia Subsystem into the core of the architecture. PacketCable uses a simplified IMS in some areas and enhances it in some cable-specific areas. PacketCable defined Delta specs related to the most important IMS specs from 3GPP.
VoIP services based on the PacketCable architecture are being widely deployed by operators: