& 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
    From The Founder
    Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
    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
    MWC 2017's Key 2-Letter Terms

    2|20|17   |   08:29   |   (1) comment


    5G, AI, VR... these are just some of the two-letter terms that will dominate show-floor chat at MWC 2017 in Barcelona, according to these two blow-hards (a.k.a. Scott Bicheno of Telecoms.com and Light Reading's Ray Le Maistre). And then there's PB...
    LRTV Interviews
    Key Trends for Mobile Operators in Developing Markets

    2|20|17   |   06:37   |   (0) comments


    Ovum's Matthew Reed talks to Scott Bicheno from Telecoms.com about the challenges and opportunities facing mobile operators in the developing markets of Africa and the Middle East.
    LRTV Documentaries
    YouTube Takes on Facebook Live-Streaming

    2|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


    Popular 'YouTubers' will be the first to get the new service on their smartphones. You have been warned.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Open Source NFV/SDN Automation

    2|17|17   |   05:54   |   (0) comments


    AT&T ECOMP (Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy) code is transitioning into the Linux Foundation for placement into open source. In this video, Carol Wilson provides an update on the maturation of open source ECOMP and meets with industry leaders from AT&T, Bell Canada, Orange, Linux Foundation and Amdocs to discuss what this means for the ...
    LRTV Documentaries
    Uber & NASA Collaborate on Flying Car Project

    2|16|17   |     |   (0) comments


    Is Uber for real? Well, it's hired NASA engineer Mark Moore to lead the project, and he wouldn't come cheap.
    LRTV Documentaries
    Zuckerberg Tries Out the Oculus Rift VR Glove

    2|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


    Facebook CEO shows off a new way to interact with the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset: an Oculus glove.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Huawei Digital Transformation Forum 2017

    2|10|17   |     |   (0) comments


    Here's a preview of the upcoming Huawei Digital Transformation Forum taking place in Barcelona with trending telecom topics like cloud, IoT, 5G and much more!
    Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
    Dan Sahar of Qwilt on Open Edge Cloud Platform

    2|8|17   |   08:38   |   (0) comments


    Dan Sahar, Qwilt's co-founder, sits down with Steve Saunders of Light Reading for a conversation about Qwilt's Open Edge Cloud platform and the new role of service providers in application and content delivery.
    LRTV Documentaries
    ZeroStack's 'Self-Driving Cloud'

    2|7|17   |   01:09   |   (0) comments


    Its Z-Brain tech automates day-to-day management and long-term planning for hybrid clouds.
    Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
    Nominum's Craig Sprosts on DNS & Cybersecurity Trends

    2|7|17   |     |   (0) comments


    Nominum's Craig Sprosts talks about the fast-changing landscape of cybersecurity with Steve Saunders of Light Reading. Sprosts touches on the trend of the rise of ransomwares, rivals of IoT base attacks, and mobile network security. He also discusses the realization of the importance of IoT security after a recent cyber attack that paralyzed several major ...
    LRTV Documentaries
    China Moves Towards Mixed Ownership of Telcos

    2|1|17   |   01:10   |   (0) comments


    Chinese authorities are promoting new ownership models in order to raise capital.
    Shades of Ray
    What to Expect at MWC 2017

    1|31|17   |     |   (0) comments


    5G is set to dominate as the key buzz term at this year's Mobile World Congress but there are other pressing 4G matters to address.
    Upcoming Live Events
    March 21-22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
    March 22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
    March 22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
    May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
    June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Infographics
    With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
    Hot Topics
    T-Mobile CEO: M&A Coming but Not Quite Yet
    Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/14/2017
    Is the Time Right for a Cisco/Ericsson Wedding?
    Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 2/17/2017
    Nice to See at Least One CSP Taking My Advice
    Mitch Wagner, Editor, Enterprise Cloud, 2/17/2017
    Charter Launches 5G Field Trials
    Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/16/2017
    WiCipedia: Fintech Flexibility, Snap Missteps & Women of Wearables
    Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 2/17/2017
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders chats with Sportlogiq CEO Craig Buntin about sports data analysis.
    Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
    Animals with Phones
    Live Digital Audio

    Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.