Light Reading
With dozens of vendors signing up to work with Comcast's next-gen platform, Huawei decides to get in on the action, too

Huawei Signs Up for Comcast's RDK

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
1/9/2013
50%
50%

China's Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. is among a growing group of vendors to secure licenses for Comcast Corp.'s Reference Design Kit (RDK) for hybrid QAM/IP and IP-only set-tops and gateways, Light Reading Cable has learned.

The license is merely a point of entry. It doesn't guarantee that Huawei will land any of Comcast's set-top business, or the set-top business of any other cable operator that ends up adopting the RDK.

In the U.S., Time Warner Cable Inc. is expected to deploy products based on the RDK. Other service provider licensees include Liberty Global Inc., BSkyB Ltd. and Rogers Communications Inc., according to an industry source, though it's still unclear if those operators are simply evaluating the RDK or have more in mind. Liberty Global is already heavily invested in Horizon, an IP-capable video platform that isn't based on the RDK but uses the NDS (now Cisco Systems Inc.) software stack. (See Liberty Embarks on New TV Horizon.)

Comcast's RDK stack includes the CableLabs reference implementation for tru2way middleware, a Java Virtual Machine and several community-sourced elements such as Gstreamer (a media management/playback framework) and Nokia Corp.'s Qt windowing framework. The RDK also supports optional, proprietary elements, including Adobe Systems Inc.'s Flash engine and the Microsoft Corp. PlayReady digital rights management (DRM).

Comcast is using RDK-based products in X1, a next-gen video platform that uses a cloud-based user interface and has already been launched in five markets. The initial X1 product features the Pace plc-made XG1 DVR/server and the RNG150N, a client box that also supports the new UI and can access recorded content from the XG1 via the home's Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) network. (See Comcast's X1 Gets a Multi-Room Partner.)

Comcast and its vendor partners have also developed "headless" XG5 gateways that will work in tandem with IP-only clients (called Xi3), tablets, smart TVs and possibly game consoles and other connected consumer electronics devices. (See Comcast's All-Service Gateways Go 'Headless'.)

Huawei's U.S. challenge
It's not yet known which RDK product area Huawei will concentrate on, but the company has been eager to win some set-top business with U.S. MSOs, even as it and ZTE Corp. face allegations by the U.S. government that they pose a national security risk. (See US vs. Huawei/ZTE: The Verdict and Can Huawei Change?)

But much of that scrutiny has been centered on Huawei's network gear. It might face an easier climb with set-top and other consumer premises equipment (CPE). Suddenlink Communications, for example, has deployed Huawei-made Digital Terminal Adapters (DTAs) – small "channel-zappers" that convert digital video signals to analog for older TVs -- as well as some of the vendor's optical gear. (See Huawei DTAs Break In at Suddenlink.)

Comcast and Huawei have not commented on their relationship involving the RDK.

Last fall, when the House Intelligence Committee issued its report on Huawei and ZTE, Comcast issued this statement: "We work with many vendors, including Huawei, whose role is limited. We work with multiple vendors to foster innovation and competition, and we regularly evaluate current and potential vendors. Ensuring the security of our network and our customers' information has always been and continues to be our top priority."

Huawei is just one of dozens of vendors that have signed RDK licenses. Others include: Broadcom Corp., Motorola Mobility LLC., Entropic Communications Inc., Evolution Digital LLC, Intel Corp., Humax Co. Ltd. and Cisco. (See Comcast's Set-Top Accelerator Gains Traction.)

Light Reading Cable will publish a more extensive list of RDK licensees soon.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

(4)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/11/2013 | 2:47:21 PM
re: Huawei Signs Up for Comcast's RDK
yes, the list if very big... several CPE guys, software guys, and a bunch of integrators, along with some service providers.-á More work needs to be done on this by me, but the way i hear it, there's the general RDK and then some special licenses on top of it that are involved if you want to do work with Comcast directly.... still, the RDK license is a requisite step, and not all that hard to get, though I'm not sure (yet)-ánow much $$ are involved. JB
craigleddy
50%
50%
craigleddy,
User Rank: Blogger
1/11/2013 | 3:01:04 AM
re: Huawei Signs Up for Comcast's RDK
Maybe the question should be: Who isn't going to jump on the RDK bandwagon? If you want to be any part of cable's STB or gateway future, it seems like you've got to at least kick the RDK tires.
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/10/2013 | 1:10:43 PM
re: Huawei Signs Up for Comcast's RDK
Still working up an updated list of companies that have signed the RDK.... and there are a bunch. Taking some time because it includes most of the usual suspects, plus plenty of integration/services companies that want to help CPE guys make RDK products. And it's the latter that's taking some time... not exactly the kind of companies that tend to be on my radar a lot. But it does speak to the size of the uniform'ish ecoystem that Comcast's trying to develop so the industry doesn't end up with another fragmented mess like it did with the first shot at tru2way (although the tru2way RI is part of the RDK, so there is that)> JB
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Custom TV
Using Service Quality to Drive WiFi Monetization

10|22|14   |   6:51   |   (0) comments


Live from the SCTE conference: Heavy Reading's Alan Breznick explores the forces shaping the WiFi opportunity in an interview with CableLabs' Justin Colwell and Amdocs' Ken Roulier.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 2

10|21|14   |   8:51:00 AM   |   (0) comments


ARRIS CTO Network Solutions Tom Cloonan discusses why many if not most MSOs will continue with integrated CCAP, while addressing why some are also looking at two futuristic, distributed access architectures: Remote PHY and Remote CCAP.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 1

10|21|14   |   9:01   |   (0) comments


SCTE Sr. Director of Engineering Dean Stoneback discusses the pros and cons of distributed access architecture (DAA) and its various forms, which range from basic Remote PHY to full CMTS functionality in the node.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 2

10|21|14   |   3:58   |   (0) comments


ARRIS Senior Solution Architect Eli Baruch talks about how MSOs can enable public and community WiFi through 1) outdoor access points, 2) businesses seeking to offer WiFi to customers, and 3) residential WiFi gateway extensions.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 1

10|21|14   |   10:15   |   (0) comments


SCTE Director of Advanced Technologies Steve Harris discusses WiFi deployments, drivers, challenges and advances, including 802.11ac, carrier-grade WiFi, community WiFi, Hotspot 2.0, Passpoint, WiFi-First and voice-over-WiFi.
LRTV Custom TV
Advantech Accelerates 100G Traffic Handling

10|17|14   |   7:56   |   (0) comments


Paul Stevens from Advantech explains why handling 100GbE needs a whole new platform design approach and how Advantech is addressing the needs of equipment providers and carriers to give them the flexibility and performance they will need for SDN and NFV deployment.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Holland's Imtech Traffic & Infra Discusses Huawei's ICT Solution and Services

10|16|14   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Dimitry Theebe is from the business unit at Imtech Traffic & Infra which delivers communications solutions for transportations. His partnershp with Huawei began about a years ago. In this video, Theebe speaks more about this partnership and what he hopes to accomplish with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Comprehensive Storage Solutions Vital for SVR

10|16|14   |   6:16   |   (0) comments


SVR Information Technology provides cloud services for academic and special sectors. With Huawei's support, SVR and Yildiz Technical University has established Turkey's largest and most advanced High Performance Computing system. CSO Ismail Cem Aslan talks about what he hopes Huawei's OceanStor storage system will bring for him.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mexico's Servitron's Impression of Huawei at CCW 2014

10|16|14   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Servitron is a network operator in Mexico that has been in the trunking industry for the past 20 years. Its COO, Ing. Ragnar Trillo O., explains at Critical Communications World 2014 that his company has been interested in the long-term evolution of LTE technology and its adoption for TETRA.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Better Dubai

10|16|14   |   2:06   |   (0) comments


Abdulla Ahmed Al Falasi is the director of commercial affairs, a telecommunications coordinator for the government of Dubai. Their areas of service span across multiple industries, including police, safety, shopping malls and more. In this video, Abdulla talks about his department's work with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Lights Up Malaysia Partner Maju Nusa

10|16|14   |   1:59   |   (0) comments


Malaysia's Maju Nusa is an enterprise partner to Huawei in networking, route switches and telco equipment. At this year's Critical Communications World in Singapore, CTO Pushpender Singh talks about what Huawei's eLTE solutions mean to his company and for Malaysia.
LRTV Custom TV
Evolving From HFC to FTTH Networks

10|15|14   |   2:19   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Todd McCrum delves into the future of cable's HFC plant, examining how DOCSIS 3.1 and advanced video compression will extend its life and how the IP video transition will usher in GPON and EPON over FTTH.
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Is Health the Killer App for the IoT?
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 10/22/2014
Drones Hover Over the IoT Sector
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 10/23/2014
Analysts Warn of Major NFV Gaps
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/22/2014
Roku Raises $25M, But for What?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/23/2014
AT&T: Merger Review Halt Won't Hurt Us
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 10/23/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed