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Huawei Packs On Cable Muscle

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner

Here's a look at what's shaking in the cable world amid this week's SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2011 in Atlanta.

  • Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. continues to add to its cable firepower as it tries to make its mark with MSOs in North America. The Chinese giant has hired 20-year cable veteran Ron Pitcock as VP and GM of its MSO business organization. Among recent moves, Pitcock was chairman and CEO of IPtimize Inc. and was founder and president of High Speed Access Corp., a broadband ISP backed by Paul Allen that, like @Home Corp., signed on MSOs as affiliates. Its assets were sold to Allen's Charter Communications Inc. for US$81.1 million in 2002. Huawei also confirmed the hiring of Frank Miller as chief technology officer – MSO. Miller most recently was CTO of BendBroadband . (See Meet Huawei's New Cable Guy.)

  • The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) is tapping deeper into cable's technology leadership base by naming Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) EVP and CTO Mike LaJoie as chairman of the Society's board for the 2011-2012 term. He'll be joined by Vice Chairman Terry Cordova, Suddenlink Communications 's EVP and CTO; Secretary Alan Tschirner, who is VP, technology at the National Cable Television Cooperative Inc. (NCTC) ; and Treasurer Steve Taber, who is VP, engineering and operations at Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK).

  • In another SCTE-related move, the Society has appointed TW Cable Executive Vice President of Network National Operations Jim Ludington as program committee chairman for next year's Cable-Tec Expo, set for Oct. 17-19 in Orlando. He succeeds Cordova.

  • Motorola Mobility LLC has introduced a hosted app for Televation, a CableCARD device that transcodes QAM MPEG-2 video to the IP MPEG-4 format for display on tablets and smartphones hanging off a home network. While Comcast is developing its own app for Televation, Moto's hosted version will help Tier 2/3 cable operators gain a presence on home-bound connected devices rapidly without having to develop the app on their own using Moto's software development kit tools, says Nate Williams, Moto's senior director of product marketing, converged experiences. Moto's initial hosted app will support the iOS and Android markets. (See Comcast AnyPlay to Stream Live TV to Tablets and Moto, Comcast Team on In-Home TV Streamer .)

  • Buckeye CableSystem of Ohio is the latest MSO to sign on to launch TotalGuide, Rovi Corp. 's cloud-based interface for set-tops, tablets and smartphones. Buckeye, along with Blue Ridge Communications, is also on board to deploy TotalGuide xD, a white-label app that lets customers schedule DVR recordings, start video-on-demand sessions and watch authenticated shows and movies on IP-connected devices.

  • Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) has wrapped up its acquisition of video backoffice startup BNI Video , which now becomes part of Cisco's Service Provider Technology Group. (See Cisco to Buy BNI Video for $99M and BNI Video Seeks Scale With Cisco.)

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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