& cplSiteName &

What's Cookin' at Cable Congress

Ray Le Maistre
3/6/2013
50%
50%

LONDON – Cable Congress 2013 -- Hundreds of executives from Europe's cable sector (and beyond) have converged on the Lancaster Hotel in the U.K.'s capital to discuss the sector's future, but there's one topic dominating conversation at the show.

  • It's hard to get away from chat about Liberty Global Inc.'s planned purchase of Virgin Media Inc. and the impact that it will have on the U.K., European and cable markets. So there was a full house for the keynote address from Virgin Media's outgoing (in both senses) CEO Neil Berkett. (See Liberty Makes $23.3B Play for Virgin Media.) He took the opportunity to appraise the sector and look back at his company's evolution from a fragmented operator with massive losses to a focused company that's generating profits. His main points for the sector were that cable operators can succeed by offering simple-to-understand packages of services to consumers and businesses and by delivering against marketing messages. "We pride ourselves on being straightforward … we deliver what we offer," he noted, making particular reference to broadband speeds. Of course, he didn't miss the chance to warn regulators and governments against pursuing interventionist and clumsy regulatory and policy strategies, "even if they have the best intentions." And he cited the introduction of TiVo Inc.-powered set-top boxes as an example of product/service innovation that was "leaving rivals behind." The TiVo question is one of the main topics of conversation here: Virgin Media has installed the box in 1.3 million U.K. homes, but will Liberty Global ultimately seek to introduce its Horizon gateway into U.K. homes should the acquisition be successful? The prevailing view is that Horizon is on the horizon for Virgin Media customers… (See Liberty Global, Virgin on Divergent Video Paths.)
  • Berkett was just one of a number of cable operator executives who cited a desire to engage in more depth with customers. What's missing, though, is any detail of how the operators plan to go about this, beyond the introduction of enhanced network and home networking technology and some user surveys. He clearly sees the need for a new focus for the industry. "[Cable operators] need to move beyond pure product innovation and make the customer experience as easy as possible," he stated during his keynote. (See Beyond Cable's Tech Obsession.) In another conference session, Rosalia Portela, the CEO of Spanish operator ONO, noted the need to "get closer to the customers," while Liberty Global board member Miranda Curtis stated that following the "massive investment in the networks, now there needs to be greater attention on customer service and customer interfaces … we need to discover how our customers are using" technology and services.
  • Wireless, and how it fits into the mix, is a topic that's taxing a lot of cable minds in Europe. Mike Fries, president and CEO at Liberty Global, told attendees that "everyone in this market needs a mobile strategy … Having a quad play option is now an important piece of the puzzle." It's not just about mobile. Wi-Fi is increasingly important to Europe's cable players, as the likes of Virgin Media and Ziggo B.V. have shown. (See Virgin Lands City Wi-Fi Deals and Ziggo Tries AlcaLu's lightRadio Wi-Fi.) Now Liberty Global is about to make a major Wi-Fi push, with its plans to enable its customers to hook up to each others' home gateways when they are out and about. The company's CTO, Balan Nair, noted that every home router being shipped has an additional Wi-Fi SSID that will enable authorized customers to log onto each other's routers securely as if they were public hotspots. (See Broadcom Brings Wi-Fi Roaming to the Home and Intel's Docsis 3.0 Chips Also Do Wi-Fi Sharing.) There has been plenty of talk here about how Europe's cable companies would like to enable "Wi-Fi roaming," and enable cable customers to use the Wi-Fi services of other MSOs when abroad, in the same way that the U.S. operators are striking Wi-Fi access agreements with each other. Look out for more on this from the European operators. (See Cable's Still Finding Its Way on Wi-Fi and Cable Goes Big With Wi-Fi Roaming.) — Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

    (0)  | 
    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
  • Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
    Educational Resources
    sponsor supplied content
    Educational Resources Archive
    Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
    NEXT COURSE
    Friday, September 30, 1:00PM EDT
    Gigabit & the Great Migration
    Robert Howald, Vice President, Network Architecture, Comcast
    UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
    Wednesday, October 5, 1:00PM EDT
    Gigabit & Smart Cities
    Joe Kochan, COO & Co-Founder, US Ignite
    Friday, October 7, 1:00PM EDT
    Gigabit & DOCSIS 3.1
    Ty Pearman, Director, Access Architecture, Comcast
    Wednesday, October 19, 1:00PM EDT
    Securing a Virtual World
    Rita Marty, Executive Director, Mobility and Cloud Security, Chief Security Office, AT&T
    in association with:
    From The Founder
    Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
    Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    Charting the CSP's Future
    Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
    LRTV Interviews
    CenturyLink: SDN/NFV Pose New Interconnection Possibilities

    9|28|16   |   04:37   |   (0) comments


    Network operators should develop new APIs and business processes for reselling virtual assets to each other, says CenturyLink's Bill Walker. That will enable them to build digital business portfolios that help them avoid becoming commodity transport providers.
    LRTV Interviews
    Level 3: Overcoming Terror of Being Supplier, Integrator & Developer

    9|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


    At Light Reading's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Travis Ewert of Level 3 Communications said there is terror in becoming supplier, integrator and developer, but it can be overcome and be cost effective.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Introducing IoT World News

    9|27|16   |   01:43   |   (0) comments


    Self-driving cars, medical sensors, smart cities... and refrigerators. In order to address the huge scope of IoT, KNect365 has created a unique online community that will help businesses to understand and monetize the opportunities that live within the IoT market. We look forward to welcoming you to IoT World News -- your gateway to a better connected future.
    LRTV Interviews
    AT&T: Re-usable Functions Next NFV Key

    9|27|16   |   06:03   |   (0) comments


    The next generation of NFV has to break functions down into re-usable software chunks, making everything much more cloud-like.
    LRTV Interviews
    Masergy on Security: Attackers Gaining Upper Hand

    9|27|16   |   5:10   |   (2) comments


    At Light Reading's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Ray Watson, vice president of Global Technology at Masergy, says that because of the growth in virtualization, the threat landscape is shifting in favor of the attackers. As a result, service providers need to think beyond just defending the perimeter and take a more holistic approach to security.
    LRTV Interviews
    Verizon Takes Next Step on Biz Virtualization Journey

    9|26|16   |   4:38   |   (2) comments


    At September's NFV & Carrier SDN event in Denver, Light Reading sat down with Victoria Lonker, director of Product and New Business Innovation at Verizon, to chat about where the carrier is with delivering virtualized services to business customers.
    LRTV Interviews
    Global Services: The $40B Face-Off

    9|26|16   |   05:53   |   (1) comment


    More service providers than ever before are battling it out to win a slice of what is now a $40 billion global communications services pie, explains Ovum Principal Analyst David Molony.
    LRTV Documentaries
    MEC Congress: The Key Takeaways

    9|22|16   |   03:25   |   (3) comments


    Three key takeaways from the Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) Congress in Munich, Germany.
    Wagner’s Ring
    Time to Shut Up About 'Dumb Pipes'

    9|22|16   |     |   (12) comments


    Service providers can't compete with OTT players. It just isn't in their DNA. Instead, service providers need to embrace what they're good at -- providing reliable, secure connectivity.
    Wagner’s Ring
    Keeping Your Tech Career Going After 50

    9|21|16   |     |   (13) comments


    How do you keep your career moving forward when you're past the half-century mark?
    LRTV Interviews
    Peering Into the Digital Future

    9|20|16   |   04:25   |   (0) comments


    Nick Thomas, practice leader of digital media at Ovum, talks about how digital transformation in the technology, media and telecom sectors will enable the development of a new range of applications and services for enterprises and consumers and how the upcoming Digital Futures event in London will examine ...
    LRTV Custom TV
    Napatech Tackles NFV's Major Challenge

    9|7|16   |   08:42   |   (0) comments


    One of the main challenges for network operators introducing NFV is to combine performance and flexibility in a cost-effective way, but there is a solution, explains Napatech's Dan Joe Barry.
    Upcoming Live Events
    November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
    November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
    December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
    December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
    May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Infographics
    Hot Topics
    Verizon CFO: Eat Our (Fixed) 5G Dust!
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/22/2016
    WiCipedia: The Women Helping Women Edition
    Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 9/23/2016
    Eurobites: Telefónica Taps Juniper for Network Security
    Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 9/26/2016
    Open Source Getting on My Nerves
    Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/26/2016
    Google, Facebook Gaining Network Equipment Clout
    Patrick Donegan, Chief Analyst, Heavy Reading, 9/26/2016
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders and UXP Systems CEO Gemini Waghmare discuss the strategic importance of digital identity for operators in the midst of transformation.
    Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
    Animals with Phones
    There's Nothing Like Missing a Full Minute of Pokémon Go Click Here
    Live Digital Audio

    A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

    During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.