Nature of the Research

Posted by Walter on March 13, 2010

The Convergence Research Group in the Department of Computer Science is mainly concerned with current trends in the move towards converged service platforms for next generation telecommunication networks and the Internet. Current and future projects cover areas such as complex service orchestration, policy frameworks for service development, application sharing for e-learning, development toolkits for Internet Protocol television (IPTV) and video-on-demand (VoD), as well as location based services (LBS). These projects mainly involve the creation of upper and middle tier logic, but rely heavily on client software for proper testing and evaluation.

Several free and open source clients are currently in use, but there is no single client that provides researchers with all the required features, leading to difficulties in the testing phases. The JAIN SIP Applet Phone (JSAP) is an open source project which is currently being managed by one of the team members. It possesses some of the basic features which are required, but is in need of several extensions in order to realise full consolidation.

The research aims to provide a unified client to the pool of researchers in the Convergence Group by working closely with them, gathering a comprehensive list of requirements and incrementally adding functionality to the client. In addition, the research would also make strategic decisions such as whether to maintain applet support given the popularity of other web platforms such as AJAX and Flash, justifying the use of the Java Media Framework (JMF) given that Sun Microsystems has ceased its support of it and investigating the appropriateness of candidate protocol stacks that could be included into JSAP such as Mobicents' XCAP and Gstreamer RTSP.


This work was undertaken in the Telkom Centre of Excellence in Distributed Multimedia at Rhodes University, with financial support from Telkom, Comverse, Tellabs, Stortech, Amatole Telecom Services, Bright Ideas 39 and THRIP.