Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
Home networks and home environments are developing so fast that a new generation of residential gateways is needed in order to allow emerging services and the huge amount of available bandwidth to take advantage of this evolution. New protocols, applications, devices and services are appearing day after day and in order to properly cope with them, gateways must continuously be evolved. This article presents a novel architecture developed so as to allow the automatic update and configuration of residential gateways. While data flows are treated following a conventional procedure, it is for signaling messages that the architecture proposes an application layer processing. This allows for an easier deployment of new modules capable of understanding the different signaling protocols that are needed to set up the corresponding services. These different modules (Configuration Agents) can be dynamically installed or uninstalled by Service Providers and can also interact with the rest of the layers of the architecture in order to configure the whole platform. This architecture has been validated by means of experiences within a SIP enabled environment to allow the automatic provisioning of QoS guaranteed services to next generation smart homes.