Casa Backs Cable's Entry Into Wireless
With several leading cable operators now bullish about plunging into the mobile market, Casa Systems is seeking to capitalize with a virtualized fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) solution designed to support wireless service rollouts.
Casa Systems Inc. officials said the new FMC solution, which relies on the vendor’s Axyom virtualized software platform to deliver network functions, will enable cable operators to accelerate their shift to mobile and offer integrated WiFi/cellular services like WiFi-First to their subscribers. Such major US MSOs as Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Charter Communications Inc. have revealed their intentions to launch such services this year or next, while leading European MSOs like Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY) are already rolling out similar wireless products. (See Comcast Will Go Wireless in 2017 and Charter Will Activate Verizon MVNO Deal.)
Beyond WiFi-First, Casa executives said the new FMC solution will allow cable operators to offer a wide range of other "robust" wireless services, including virtual PBX services for commercial customers. "They can offer mobility services or even small-cells-as-a-service," said Gibson Ang, director of product management for Casa. "The platform can provide a catalogue of services."
Casa, which jumped into the wireless market a year ago with two new network-edge products (Axyom and Apex), is showing off a proof-of-concept (PoC) of the solution at the CableLabs Winter Conference in Orlando this week. The PoC, which is making use of a Puma 7 gateway from Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC), is demonstrating how a WiFi call powered by Casa’s Distributed Access Architecture (DAA) and Axyom’s common-core software solution would work. Casa introduced its DAA, or virtual CCAP solution, at the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo show in Philadelphia last fall. (See Casa Goes to the (Wireless) Edge and Casa Joins Virtual CCAP Parade.)
Plans call for Casa to start testing the FMC solution with several major (but undisclosed) North American and European MSOs by the summer. Casa officials aim to have the product ready for general availability by the close of the year.
— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading