Light Reading

RF-Over-Glass on Deck?

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable Opinion
Jeff Baumgartner
6/18/2007
50%
50%

Scientific Atlanta , Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), and Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) have long served as the vendor bellwethers of the cable industry. Although smaller suppliers tend to spin products faster and often do so with more innovation, we tend to look to this trio to see where the trends are and where the technical gravity is strongest.

Considering recent product news from the Motorola and SA (and, therefore, Cisco) camps, we can declare with some confidence that cable's use of (or consideration of) fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) in new-build situations is a bona fide trend. (See Moto Intros Cable PON and SA Pitches Cable PON.)

With those vendors in the game, it's safe to say that this is no longer a passing fancy, but a legitimate business interest, since a growing number of master housing developers are requiring an FTTP solution. Although cable operators can talk up the benefits and extensibility of the hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) network until they are blue in the face, it's hard to argue the point if the builder can't be shaken from a conviction that FTTP gives it an advantage – perceived or real – in selling homes connected to a strand of glass.

SA and Motorola, however, are far from the first to stake their claims on this still small, but apparently burgeoning, market for cable operators. CommScope Inc. , in quiet tandem with Aurora Networks Inc. , has a similar product called "BrightPath." Although CommScope was showing this technology last year (under a working label of "Epiphany"), the firm acted as if the platform was in stealth mode, clamming up whenever a press type came calling to ask about it.

It was almost comical to see CommScope being flushed out of the pocket today, announcing it has "successfully deployed" BrightPath with three major cable operators. Of course, all three are unnamed, but our inside sources indicate Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) is among them. I asked CommScope to clarify, but (surprise, surprise) my call hasn't been returned yet. I asked TWC this question several months ago and got a no comment in return, so I believe that speaks volumes.

CommScope may be ahead of some of its competitors in this area, but methinks the company is starting to hear the heavy footsteps of Motorola and SA, so the announcements are finally starting to fly. Then again, I could be wrong. This could be part of its master plan. Maybe there's something to be said about a master plan that allows the competition to catch up with product announcements and, therefore, steal your well-deserved thunder. But, alas, no one consulted me on it.

I expect the oxymoronic "Cable FTTP" greenfield topic to be a big one this week in steamy Orlando, Fla., at the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) Cable-Tec Expo. But not just because there will be product to see on the floor, coupled with a paper titled "CATV Centric, FTTH Network Architectures" that will be presented Friday by David Pangrac, the president of Pangrac & Associates Inc., whose work includes systems integration and network design for cable operators.

No, there's apparently other, more clandestine stuff afoot. The cable industry is so interested in pursuing these greenfield opportunities that, according to our sources, some top cable engineers who are part of a special committee plan to meet this week in Orlando to discuss how to develop standards around FTTP architectures for cable MSO new-build situations. The SCTE is the standards-setting body of U.S. cable, so getting this off the ground at the Expo makes sense.

Now that multiple vendors are throwing hats into the ring, you can also bet that cable MSOs will do everything in their power to keep this effort – and the overall architecture – as "open" as possible.

They're still working on a name for this project, but one label under consideration is said to be RFOG, for "RF-Over-Glass." Descriptive? Yes. Catchy? Not really.

Docsis is not exactly what I'd call a marketing term, but we still use it today, so maybe RFOG has at least a fighting chance.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Network architects aiming to upgrade their networks to support agile, open, virtualized services in the 21st century need to consider new criteria when choosing between technology suppliers.
Live Streaming Video
BTE 2015 Sponsor Keynote: HP
Dr. Prodip Sen, CTO, Network Functions Virtualization, HP
LRTV Custom TV
Red Hat Demo

7|2|15   |   10:53   |   (0) comments


Red Hat's Nicolas Lemieux demonstrates how Red Hat is driving innovation through open source communities.
LRTV Custom TV
Red Hat's Approach to OpenStack Adoption

7|2|15   |   5:17   |   (0) comments


Red Hat's Radhesh Balakrishnan outlines his company's open source strategy for both enterprises and telcos.
LRTV Custom TV
The New IP Goes Mobile With vEPC

7|2|15   |   1:12   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Gabriel Brown discusses results of a Light Reading survey sponsored by Brocade that shows a clear commitment by mobile operators to move quickly to virtual EPC deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Making Business Sense of SDN

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Results of a Brocade-sponsored survey show that CSPs have a clear sense of SDN use cases but are wrestling with the business case. Sterling Perrin of Heavy Reading looks behind the numbers.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Will Be Here Sooner Than You Think

7|2|15   |   2:22   |   (0) comments


Forget the usual ten-year cycle for new technologies – NFV will be a core part of CSP networks in five years, based on results of a Brocade-sponsored survey, says Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell.
LRTV Custom TV
The New IP Gains Traction With CSPs

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Roz Roseboro of Heavy Reading analyzes results of a Light Reading survey sponsored by Brocade showing that CSPs are getting serious about making the transition to the New IP era.
LRTV Custom TV
It's (Real) Time for Analytics

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Jim Hodges looks at how CSPs say they plan to use analytics to deploy new services in real time as part of The New IP, based on results of a survey sponsored by Brocade.
LRTV Documentaries
IoT in Action

6|30|15   |   1:39   |   (7) comments


Two co-workers discuss the benefits of IoT technology.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson Opens Up on OPNFV

6|30|15   |   14:16   |   (1) comment


Martin Bäckström, VP and head of industry area Datacom at Ericsson, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the emergence of OPNFV, the importance of standards and Ericsson's OPNFV plans.
LRTV Custom TV
NetNumber Founder Discusses NFV/SDN Impact on SP Networks

6|26|15   |   4:15   |   (0) comments


NetNumber Founder Doug Ranalli examines why SPs need a new network infrastructure for service agility. While NFV and SDN are the tools, the old ways of thinking about signaling control are inhibitors. Doug provides his recommendations.
LRTV Custom TV
Orchestrating NFV vCPE Services Across Multivendor Networks

6|26|15   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Nirav Modi provides an overview of vCPE, the fastest-growing NFV use case, showing how Cyan's Blue Planet orchestrates vCPE services across a multivendor infrastructure to rapidly deliver new managed services for business customers.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE at LTE Summit Amsterdam 2015

6|26|15   |     |   (0) comments


As one of the leading global telecommunications providers, ZTE presented its cutting-edge technology at LTE World Summit 2015 in Amsterdam. On display at ZTE's booth were the latest R&D achievements in wireless, 5G development, HetNet, deep convergence of FDD and TDD, and RCS/IMD/iSDN/vCN.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Who's Feeding Fiber to LinkNYC Hotspots?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/29/2015
Colt to Jettison Ailing IT Business
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/30/2015
Eurobites: Activist Investor Takes Stake in AlcaLu
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 6/30/2015
What's a Gigabit Good For?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/1/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Casa Systems has been going from strength to strength over the last couple of years. In 2013, it became the first vendor to ship an integrated CCAP device -- the ...
Cedrik Neike, SVP of Global Service Provider, Service Delivery, at Cisco, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about solving service provider customer problems in a virtualized, DevOps world, including multivendor support and the future of network procurement.
Cats with Phones