& cplSiteName &

Cable-Tec Expo '09: The Hot List

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
10/12/2009
50%
50%

Cable's premier technology show, the SCTE Cable Tec-Expo, will have some company when it sets down in Denver, Oct. 28 through 30.

This year's show, for the first time, will be tied into a larger week-long event, Cable Connection - Fall, collocating several other cable-themed conferences, including the annual Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM) Summit. (See Down in Denver? and Cable-Tec Expo Tries Something New.)

So there will be plenty of sessions and events to keep everyone busy (or distracted). To help cut through the noise, here are the topics we think will be hot, and some items that will be on our to-do and to-see lists in the Mile High City, where it's expected to be sunny and 70 degrees (Fahrenheit).

Gateways to IPTV
The Expo will likely include early versions of cable multimedia gateways, which are QAM-IP, Docsis 3.0-powered set-top hybrids delivering both MPEG- and IP-based digital video streams. Thanks to technologies like the Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) standard, these devices will also be capable of shuttling high-definition video streams throughout the house for display on IP-capable video displays. (See Gateway to (Video) Heaven? and Will Intel Go Inside Cable Multimedia Gateways? )

These über boxes aren't expected to deploy until 2011, but vendors will likely be giving showgoers a taste of what's to come.

Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) showed off its cable "transport gateway" at the IBC show in Amsterdam. No doubt we'll see it in action in Denver, too. We also won't be surprised to see something from other suppliers such as Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Advanced Digital Broadcast (ADB) , and Ubee Interactive .

Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) says it plans to develop a multimedia gateway after snapping up set-top box and software specialist Digeo Inc. , but the deal's not even closed yet, so we probably won't see anything until sometime next year. (See Digeo Gives Arris Multimedia Gateway Potential and Arris Digs Digeo .)

Cable IPTV
The gateway could give cable operators a way to gracefully migrate toward IPTV. Of course, there's already plenty of other work going in that direction.

Some vendors, including BigBand Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: BBND) and Harmonic Inc. (Nasdaq: HLIT), are advocating cable modem termination system (CMTS) "bypass" architectures that feed IP video through dense edge QAMs. Others, including Arris, say it's quite possible to deliver it all through an integrated CMTS architecture. RGB Networks Inc. is also pushing for a do-it-all, centralized device. (See RGB's TV Everywhere Offer: A Video God Box , BigBand Pushes IP Video Convergence, and BigBand Lays Cable IPTV Groundwork.)

MSOs, meanwhile, are weighing all of those possibilities now (and we may see a new class of network edge product emerge from all these discussions... much more on that soon).

In the meantime, all these vendors are sure to be waving the cable IPTV flag at this year's show, trying to grab the attention of the operators and explain why their wares offer the best option. And, who knows? Maybe we'll even have a domestic cable IPTV deployment deal or two to report.

Docsis 3.0 heading upstream?
So far, the vast majority of Docsis 3.0 deployments have been about downstream channel bonding. Casa Systems Inc. remains the only CMTS vendor to gain Docsis 3.0 qualification for a product that does upstream channel bonding, though Arris has an upstream channel bonding deployment underway in Japan.

Those examples remain rare, but it's likely that all the CMTS players, including Cisco and Motorola, will want to show they're closing in on these capabilities, in anticipation of more upstream channel bonding tests, or even deployments, in North America next year.

In the meantime, we're still waiting for Javelin Innovations (what used to be Vyyo Inc.) to re-emerge with its new upstream-boosting product strategy. Cable-Tec Expo offers Javelin the obvious venue to make its big reveal. Hint, hint. (See Vyyo's New Name & Game and Vyyo Gear Lives On (at Arris).)

PacketCable 2.0: ready for its closeup?
Cable's getting the urge to converge services, and it's expected that many of the major MSOs will get there with PacketCable 2.0, a platform that borrows heavily from the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS).

Comcast is already moving that way, with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) reportedly on board to help. (See Huawei, Ericsson Get a Piece of Comcast's IMS Action .)

And recent activity in home products and provisioning support suggests that cable's getting ready to advance the IMS ball. More cable vendors, including some well entrenched ones, are expected to announce renewed support for PacketCable 2.0 later this month, so there could be signs at the Expo that major MSOs are starting to get serious about IMS. (See Incognito Provisions PacketCable 2.0 and PacketCable 2.0: Back on the Front Burner.)

Cable FTTP
MSOs have long said that hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) still has legs. But cable operators have been pushing fiber deeper into the network, and it's obvious they're headed towards fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP).

A big cable FTTP push is still years away, but the industry already has RF over Glass (RFoG) infrastructures that let MSOs offer FTTP in greenfield deployments while preserving their headends, cable modems, and set-top boxes. RFoG on its own doesn't give operators much of a speed boost, but versions that add PON capabilities will.

RFoG and cable FTTP still represent a small market, but many vendors, including CommScope Inc. , Calix Networks Inc. (NYSE: CALX), Aurora Networks Inc. , Alloptic Inc. , Arris, Motorola, and Cisco (and so many, many others) have bought tickets to this budding deployment sweepstakes. They'll be at the show demonstrating the kinds of gear that could fit into a future FTTP spec. Docsis 4.0, anyone?

Speaking of specifications, the SCTE has been working on an RFoG standard since March 2008. We'll be on the lookout for a progress report. (See SCTE Moves on RFOG.)

Waxing wireless
Whether teaming up with Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) for WiMax or opting to go it alone with WiFi or Long Term Evolution (LTE), some of the largest MSOs are keen to get wireless strategies off the ground. (See Cox Wireless: Soup to Nuts , TWC Pinpoints Two WiMax Markets, and Comcast Maxes Out in Portland.)

Deployment news mght be hard to come by at a technology show (though we can hope Cox Communications Inc. might share something new about its big project). But vendors new to the cable scene could be there to show what they've got -- including gear for wireless backhaul.

At least 52 Expo exhibitors are first-timers, according to SCTE organizers. There's little doubt that several from this group will be of the wireless persuasion.

Getting interactive
The SCTE will include technical workshops on tru2way and Enhanced TV Binary Interchange Format (EBIF), two platforms that promise to bring new levels of interactivity to the cable industry. While the tech-heavy Expo might not include much deployment news, it could be a good place to get updates on those technologies. Likewise, the CTAM Summit could include updates on Canoe Ventures LLC , the cross-MSO advanced advertising project. (See Canoe Preps ITV Ad 'Template' and Canoe Mothballs Targeted Ad Product .)

What's up with Huawei?
Finally, everybody's favorite vendor will be at the Expo. We already know Huawei is primed to sell optical and wireless gear to cable MSOs, but it's evidently chasing cable set-top business, too. (See Huawei Takes On US Set-Top Market.) How grand are Huawei's cable ambitions? We'll be there, cameras and notebooks in hand. Just try to run us off.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:53:53 PM
re: Cable-Tec Expo '09: The Hot List


Based on talks of new pavillions at SCTE Expo and a session dedicated to the topic at the CTAM Summit earlier in the week, 3DTV's certainly going to be another hot topic next week in Denver.


Others that we'll be following closely: remote-storage/network DVRs, 'TV Everywhere' and Advanced Advertising/Targeted Advertising.  RS-DVR tech will be on the floor at Expo, but TV Everywhere and Canoe will be big session topics at Summit.  Also, tru2way was muted at the fall Cable Connection, but CTAM has a session dedicated to cable's retail and CE activities, so we'll be interested to get an update on that front, too.

Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
NEXT COURSE
Friday, September 30, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & the Great Migration
Robert Howald, Vice President, Network Architecture, Comcast
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Wednesday, October 5, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & Smart Cities
Joe Kochan, COO & Co-Founder, US Ignite
Friday, October 7, 1:00PM EDT
Gigabit & DOCSIS 3.1
Ty Pearman, Director, Access Architecture, Comcast
Wednesday, October 19, 1:00PM EDT
Securing a Virtual World
Rita Marty, Executive Director, Mobility and Cloud Security, Chief Security Office, AT&T
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: SDN/NFV Pose New Interconnection Possibilities

9|28|16   |   04:37   |   (0) comments


Network operators should develop new APIs and business processes for reselling virtual assets to each other, says CenturyLink's Bill Walker. That will enable them to build digital business portfolios that help them avoid becoming commodity transport providers.
LRTV Interviews
Level 3: Overcoming Terror of Being Supplier, Integrator & Developer

9|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Travis Ewert of Level 3 Communications said there is terror in becoming supplier, integrator and developer, but it can be overcome and be cost effective.
LRTV Custom TV
Introducing IoT World News

9|27|16   |   01:43   |   (0) comments


Self-driving cars, medical sensors, smart cities... and refrigerators. In order to address the huge scope of IoT, KNect365 has created a unique online community that will help businesses to understand and monetize the opportunities that live within the IoT market. We look forward to welcoming you to IoT World News -- your gateway to a better connected future.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T: Re-usable Functions Next NFV Key

9|27|16   |   06:03   |   (0) comments


The next generation of NFV has to break functions down into re-usable software chunks, making everything much more cloud-like.
LRTV Interviews
Masergy on Security: Attackers Gaining Upper Hand

9|27|16   |   5:10   |   (2) comments


At Light Reading's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Ray Watson, vice president of Global Technology at Masergy, says that because of the growth in virtualization, the threat landscape is shifting in favor of the attackers. As a result, service providers need to think beyond just defending the perimeter and take a more holistic approach to security.
LRTV Interviews
Verizon Takes Next Step on Biz Virtualization Journey

9|26|16   |   4:38   |   (2) comments


At September's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Light Reading sat down with Victoria Lonker, director of Product and New Business Innovation at Verizon, to chat about where the carrier is with delivering virtualized services to business customers.
LRTV Interviews
Global Services: The $40B Face-Off

9|26|16   |   05:53   |   (1) comment


More service providers than ever before are battling it out to win a slice of what is now a $40 billion global communications services pie, explains Ovum Principal Analyst David Molony.
LRTV Documentaries
MEC Congress: The Key Takeaways

9|22|16   |   03:25   |   (3) comments


Three key takeaways from the Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) Congress in Munich, Germany.
Wagner’s Ring
Time to Shut Up About 'Dumb Pipes'

9|22|16   |     |   (12) comments


Service providers can't compete with OTT players. It just isn't in their DNA. Instead, service providers need to embrace what they're good at -- providing reliable, secure connectivity.
Wagner’s Ring
Keeping Your Tech Career Going After 50

9|21|16   |     |   (13) comments


How do you keep your career moving forward when you're past the half-century mark?
LRTV Interviews
Peering Into the Digital Future

9|20|16   |   04:25   |   (0) comments


Nick Thomas, practice leader of digital media at Ovum, talks about how digital transformation in the technology, media and telecom sectors will enable the development of a new range of applications and services for enterprises and consumers and how the upcoming Digital Futures event in London will examine ...
LRTV Custom TV
Napatech Tackles NFV's Major Challenge

9|7|16   |   08:42   |   (0) comments


One of the main challenges for network operators introducing NFV is to combine performance and flexibility in a cost-effective way, but there is a solution, explains Napatech's Dan Joe Barry.
Upcoming Live Events
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Verizon CFO: Eat Our (Fixed) 5G Dust!
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/22/2016
WiCipedia: The Women Helping Women Edition
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 9/23/2016
Eurobites: Telefónica Taps Juniper for Network Security
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 9/26/2016
Open Source Getting on My Nerves
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/26/2016
Google, Facebook Gaining Network Equipment Clout
Patrick Donegan, Chief Analyst, Heavy Reading, 9/26/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders and UXP Systems CEO Gemini Waghmare discuss the strategic importance of digital identity for operators in the midst of transformation.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Animals with Phones
There's Nothing Like Missing a Full Minute of Pokémon Go Click Here
Live Digital Audio

A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.