Light Reading

Cable-Tec Expo 2012: 6 Big Takeaways

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
10/23/2012
50%
50%

Cable still learning the ropes on wireless
U.S. cable operators are rapidly deploying Wi-Fi networks and starting to turn up bundling partnerships with Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), but the industry still has plenty to learn about the wireless world. "These are the early innings of the game," stressed Bright House Networks SVP Strategy and Business Development Leo Cloutier at a Light Reading Cable breakfast session sponsored by Cisco and Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC). "We're learning a lot as we go this year," he said.

One area that's just coming into play is the new roaming agreement between Bright House and other major U.S. cable operators. Bright House and Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) are the first to use the new "Cable WiFi" SSID, though other cable Wi-Fi roaming partners are expected to follow suit soon. (See Cable Goes Big With Wi-Fi Roaming and Bright House Lights Up Wi-Fi in Florida .)

U.S. cable could also learn some lessons from European MSOs that have already started to employ "community" Wi-Fi, which splits the signal in a home gateway so an authorized cable modem customer can tap in while they are away from home. Telenet of Belgium has such a project well underway, with more than 600,000 home gateways already capable of sending out a quasi-public Wi-Fi signal, said Jan Haes, the operator's manager of qualify and performance. (See Intel's Docsis 3.0 Chips Also Do Wi-Fi Sharing and Broadcom Brings Wi-Fi Roaming to the Home .)

The 'mid-split' is (almost) real
The nation's Tier 2/3 MSOs are known for taking risks, and they didn't disappoint during a general opening session populated by engineers with independent cable operators. The highlight was when Massillon Cable TV Inc. GM and Technical Operations Manager Kelly Rehm dropped the bomb that the operator is preparing to execute a "mid-split" that will essentially double its upstream capacity. The notion of the mid-split -- the widening of upstream spectrum from 5MHz to 45MHz to 5MHz to 85MHz, has been discussed for many years, but the operational challenges involved (remapping the downstream channels and tweaking the cable plant among them) have relegated the idea to a bullet point on PowerPoint slides and the topic of cable technology fairytales. But no more. Rehm said Massillon intends to move ahead on its mid-split project next year. It's one that the cable industry will be watching closely.

Huawei is not folding the tent
A recent government study indicating that U.S. companies should be wary of doing business with two China-based telecom giants didn't prevent Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. from coming out in force or dampen its enthusiasm for the U.S. cable market. "Nobody cancelled any meetings … and nobody is asking to pull [product] back," said Ron Pitcock, VP and GM of Huawei's MSO business unit. "People look at this as a business decision, not a political decision." At the show, Huawei showed off a line of set-tops, cable modems and tablets for MSOs, and continued to focus its domestic efforts on IMS platforms and gear designed for EPON Protocol Over Coax (EPoC), a budding Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE) standard. Huawei showed off a prototype of EPoC, which it hopes to have in field trials next year. EPoC "is our future in the cable industry," Pitcock proclaimed. (See US vs Huawei/ZTE: The Verdict and Huawei Responds to U.S. Investigation.)

HEVC key to more efficient video future
A big video star at this year's show was HEVC, or H.265, a video encoding format that offers a 50 percent efficiency improvement over H.264/MPEG-4. Motorola Mobility, for example, showed a glorious 4K UltraHD picture running at just 3.5 Mbit/s. While UltraHD is one possible future application of HEVC, it's expected that, in the near term, mobile operators will turn to the technology to keep their Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks from breaking under the strain of the data load coming way of HD video streaming via smartphones and tablets.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable



(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
RDPIII
50%
50%
RDPIII,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:18:44 PM
re: Cable-Tec Expo 2012: 6 Big Takeaways


DOCSIS 3.1 will be a game changer!

craigleddy
50%
50%
craigleddy,
User Rank: Blogger
12/5/2012 | 5:18:43 PM
re: Cable-Tec Expo 2012: 6 Big Takeaways


Indeed. Now the car's out of the garage and it's time to see what this baby can do. But there will be lots of tire-kicking and searching under the hood before it gets on the road.


One of the subtle but important story lines here is that the cable industry is extending the life of Docsis, even before 3.0 really has reached mass scale, so it doesn't reach a way station where everyone gets bogged down in endless debate over what comes next. There still will be lots of debate over D3.1 specs and whether FTTH or other alternatives are needed, but the authors appear to have addressed a lot of key criteria.


Rouzbeh Yassini offers good perspective in the Light Reading video on this topic.


 


 

AESerm
50%
50%
AESerm,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:18:42 PM
re: Cable-Tec Expo 2012: 6 Big Takeaways


Good combination of mostly emerging technology. (Notice how Expo seems to embracing some of the space held by the ET event?) A few comments:


* D3.1. I thought the ZTE/B'House and Cisco (Hranac/Mattingly) papers would be more controversial. But the former makes the case for DPoE and EPoC in greenfields alone, ceding the ground to 'advanced DOCSIS' in existing plant.


* CCAP. The whisper campaign has begun on which products are more CCAP than others. Who's going to make those calls?


* Wireless. Intrigued to hear software-defined networks (a popular LR topic) figure in paper by Husnain Bajwa of Ericsson (via BelAir) on Cable Wi-Fi and Small Cells.


* Midsplit. Masillon was also early on DTAs, but two years into it sounded some regrets. Other ambitious tier 2/3s are pushing relatively hard on Wi-Fi, FTTX (RFoG), SDV (hosted variety). Midsplits still sound like a mess to me. 


* Huawei. Can't discount their might. Any outsider who's visited HQ comes back transformed. What I've heard of their mis-steps are those of any company that hasn't taken their Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends/Influence People) lessons to heart.


* HEVC. Still wondering whether CE industry will skip 4K for 8K. Either way, this will help. But my how MPEG2 has just long legs, with encoding geeks still wringing out more efficiencies.


Possible runner-up: newly minted ESAM, one of the signaling protocols that will help operationalize multi-screen/TVE (it converts SCTE 35 into XML format). 

From The Founder
Against the odds, Huawei is growing its telecoms networking equipment business in the US -- that should be ringing some alarm bells for domestic vendors.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
Metaswitch's New CEO Martin Lund Discusses His Role

9|2|15   |   11:27   |   (2) comments


Technology industry veteran Martin Lund joins Metaswitch Networks this week as the company's new CEO. In this interview, Lund discusses his new role and the industry's progress with Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders. Lund believes that the industry disruption caused by SDN and NFV is creating opportunities for companies like Metaswitch – network software providers ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Nominum on Leveraging the Power of DNS to Deliver Superior Subscriber Experiences

9|2|15   |   07:13   |   (0) comments


Nominum CEO Gary Messiana talks about the challenges service providers face in competing for a much more sophisticated customer, a customer that has heightened expectations for more personalized and compelling digital experiences. Providers are focusing their efforts on delivering higher value subscriber services, retaining their existing customers and increasing ...
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Jeff Miller, ActiveVideo

8|28|15   |   19:05   |   (0) comments


Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Vodafone: Mobile Money Is About Customer Trust

8|27|15   |   06.36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading spoke with Vodafone's Ian Ravenscroft about the unique responsibilities and opportunities facing operators handling customers' financial transactions over the network.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Palo Alto Networks on Expanding in the Carrier/Service Provider Market

8|26|15   |   07:54   |   (0) comments


Alfred Lee from Palo Alto Networks tells Steve Saunders about their new chassis-based system, the PA-7080, and how it can benefit service providers compared to legacy firewalls.
LRTV Custom TV
Global Services Forum Preview

8|25|15   |   02:36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders talks about Huawei's upcoming Global Services Forum with the help of Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan and Teresa Mastrangelo.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Infoblox on DNS Threat Index

8|19|15   |   04:39   |   (0) comments


Dilip Pillaipakam from Infoblox talks to Steve Saunders about his company's core network services.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Ihab Tarazi, Equinix

8|14|15   |   20:18   |   (1) comment


Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the dramatic changes in the data center, cloud and interconnect markets and discusses the impact of SDN and NFV in the coming years.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
The Netformx Ecosystem

8|14|15   |   09:39   |   (1) comment


Ittai Bareket, CEO of Netformx, talks with Steve Saunders about the Netformx Ecosystem, which employs cutting-edge prescriptive analytics to help solution providers maximize profits.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa Networks on Leveraging VNFs

8|12|15   |   07:37   |   (0) comments


Kumar Mehta, founder and CEO of stealth mode startup Versa Networks, talks with Steve Saunders about how providers can best leverage virtualized network functions (VNFs).
LRTV Custom TV
Transforming the Network Through OPNFV

8|5|15   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Sandra Rivera, VP Data Center Group; GM Network Platforms Group, Intel Corporation, on OPNFV Arno and how the industry is coming together to accelerate the deployment of NFV and transform the network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei ONS Product Demo

8|3|15   |   6:01   |   (0) comments


Huawei shows at Open Networking Summit 2015 in Santa Clara how its SDN and NFV solutions embrace openness.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Cisco's cloud and virtualization portfolio can increase business agility and innovation by building a more flexible network architecture.
Hot Topics
T-Mobile CEO Plays Data Traffic Cop
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/31/2015
CEO Chat With Bill Gates
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 8/31/2015
Time to Monetize Cable WiFi
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 8/31/2015
Carolina Town Becomes First US 10-Gig City
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 9/3/2015
Ex-AlcaLu Boss Tasked With Bolstering Altice
Iain Morris, News Editor, 9/1/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
September 22, 2015
Media Begins With “Me”
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Technology industry veteran Martin Lund joins Metaswitch Networks this week as the company's new CEO. In this interview, Lund discusses his new role and the industry's progress with Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders. Lund believes that the industry disruption caused by SDN and NFV is creating opportunities for companies like Metaswitch – network software providers with the agility to embrace new technologies quickly and the ability to deliver on substantial projects for global network operators.
The scene: Last Saturday, lunchtime, the interior of a shi-shi-foo-foo eatery in Manhattan's SoHo district.
Cats with Phones
It's a New Age... Click Here
When smartphones replace stuffed animals.