Light Reading

RF-Over-Glass on Deck?

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

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
Flash Poll
LRTV Custom TV
Wind River Demonstrates Carrier-Grade Software for NFV

4|22|14   |   5:00   |   (0) comments


Wind River VP of Product Management, Glenn Seiler, takes a look the industry's first and only complete NFV software platform designed specifically for the unique carrier-grade and high-performance needs of telecom networks.
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Eyes Big Technology Shifts

4|16|14   |   03:02   |   (4) comments


US cable engineers are facing a lot of heavy lifting in the coming years, notes Light Reading Cable/Video Practice Leader Alan Breznick.
LRTV Custom TV
Maximizing Customer Experience & Assuring Service Delivery in an IP World

4|15|14   |   4:57   |   (0) comments


Steven Shalita, VP of Marketing, NetScout Systems, Inc., discusses the challenges cable/MSO operators face in assuring the delivery of new IP-based services. Key points include the value of proactively managing performance, and using rich analytics and operational intelligence to better understand service and usage trends, make smarter business decisions and ...
LRTV Documentaries
Bye-Bye DVD: Consumers Embrace Digital Video

4|10|14   |   04:17   |   (7) comments


Veteran video analyst Colin Dixon, founder and principal analyst of nScreenMedia, says research shows 56% are using digital video already.
LRTV Documentaries
Video: TW Cable Puts Multicast Gateways to the Test

4|8|14   |   04:13   |   (1) comment


Tom Gonder, a chief architect at Time Warner Cable, explains how its trial of multicast gateways is impacting IP-based video plans.
LRTV Custom TV
Managing & Monetizing Big Data in Operator Environments

4|7|14   |     |   (1) comment


At Mobile World Congress, Gigamon's Director of Service Provider Solutions, Andy Huckridge, and Heavy Reading Analyst Sarah Wallace discuss the 'big data' issues facing carriers and operators today.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Data Center Energy – Build Your Data Center in a Modular Way

4|7|14   |   2:13   |   (0) comments


Dr. Fang Liangzhou, VP Network Energy Product Line, shared his thoughts about the challenges for data centers during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Agile Network Solution – An Overview of Huawei's Agile Network Solution

4|7|14   |   2:31   |   (0) comments


Ajay Gupta, Director of Product Marketing, Networking Product Line, gives an overview of the Agile Network Solutions during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s eLTE Voice Trunking, Video and Data Applied for Railways

4|7|14   |   1:38   |   (0) comments


Gottfried Winter is the Sales Director at Funkwerk, a German specialist in GSM-r terminals and a long-time partner of Huawei. At CeBIT 2014, Winter talks to Light Reading about this partnership and the integration of enhanced voice trunking, video and data functions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
LeaseWeb Speaks Highly of Huawei's Datacenter Products

4|7|14   |   1:37   |   (0) comments


Rene Olde Olthof, Operations Director LeaseWeb, talks about the next data center transformation during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Documentaries
Comcast: Reshaping the Cable Network Architecture

4|3|14   |   07:11   |   (8) comments


Shamim Akhtar, Comcast's architect and senior director of network strategy, explains why the cable company is moving to a more distributed network architecture.
LRTV Custom TV
VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger at Mobile World Congress

4|1|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger speaks to Heavy Reading about the value of virtualization spanning from the data center to service provider networks to mobile devices.
Hot Topics
WhatsApp Threatens Carrier VoLTE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/18/2014
The Hungry, Hungry Cloud
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/22/2014
Who's Ready to Play Broadband?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 4/21/2014
What's the Magic of Private Equity?
Carolyn Mathas, 4/22/2014
AT&T Turns Up Gig Heat in 21 New Metros
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/21/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed