How can the cable industry sustain double-digit growth in its hottest sector right now?
That's the key question I will be posing at the Future of Cable Business Services conference in New York City on Wednesday, December 4.
This one-day event, back by popular demand for the seventh straight year, will be packed with keynote speeches, special presentations, and panel sessions. The conference will tackle all the latest trends in the cable business services sector, including Ethernet, WiFi, cloud-based and unified communications services, as well as service assurance.
There are plenty of reasons (mostly work-related, but some just for fun) to come to the event next week. Here are seven leading ones:
1. See what Phil Meeks is up to at TW Cable
Hear Phil Meeks's ambitious plans for Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) in the day's first keynote. Meeks, executive vice president and COO of business services for the MSO, has only been in his new post for six months. But in that brief span he has already revamped the division to spur faster growth, hired a new chief business sales head, engineered the purchase of DukeNet Communications, and vowed to more than double the unit's annual revenues to $5 billion in five years. Meeks, the former mastermind of Cox Business, hit similar revenue targets at his old shop in Atlanta. So his credentials are pretty solid. (See TWC Scoops Up DukeNet.)
2. Learn where Comcast sees new growth
Two key business services executives from Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) will speak on separate morning panels at the show. John Guillaume, vice president of product management and strategy, will lay out his division's voice services initiatives on the opening Unified Communications panel, while Michael Tighe, executive director of data services, will discuss his unit's Ethernet services strategy in the Ethernet Everywhere session. With Comcast on course to clear $3 billion in commercial revenue this year, whatever it does really counts.
3. Find out how cable can grab more market share in the Ethernet services sector
In the biggest panel session, senior business services executives from Comcast, Cox Communications Inc. , Rogers Communications Inc. (Toronto: RCI), Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), and Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) will take a close look at the booming Ethernet services market and debate the new growth opportunities for cable. With cable operators already boasting a 20% to 25% share in the US Ethernet retail market, this session promises to be the most provocative of the day as panelists tackle such hot topics as cross-market expansion and EPON. Erin Dunne, director of research services for Vertical Systems Group , will moderate. (See TWC Scoops Up DukeNet.)
4. Mid-sized cable operators tell their tales
Sure, the big MSOs have lots to say about their latest initiatives in the swiftly expanding business services market. But what about the next level of operators, such as Suddenlink Communications and Mediacom Communications Corp. ? Well, as it turns out, they're pretty active in the commercial space as well. In separate keynotes, Kevin Stephens, president of commercial and advertising solutions for Suddenlink, and Dan Templin, senior vice president of Mediacom Business, will spell out their companies' approaches in the business market.
5. CableLabs explains how DOCSIS 3.1 will aid and assist
So you think more fiber is the solution to every problem in the commercial space? Then think again. CableLabs believes that the brand-new DOCSIS 3.1 spec will help cable operators meet commercial customer needs for faster speeds and better service over plain old coaxial cable. In a special afternoon presentation, Dan Rice, senior vice president of network technologies for CableLabs, will explain what the new spec will enable cable operators to do in the commercial market.
6. See the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree light up
Yeah, there will be 1 or 2 million other New Yorkers and tourists pushing and shoving their way up Fifth and Sixth Avenues to do the same thing next week, particularly right before the official lighting ceremony on Wednesday eve. But, hey, that's part of the fun, right? There's nothing like strolling (OK, more like crawling) through the heart of midtown Manhattan in early December, seeing all the holiday lights, perusing all the pricey shops, and chowing down on cold, salty pretzels and hot chocolate from all the street vendors. Cue "Silver Bells," please.
7. You get to eat great New York pizza whenever you want
Don't sneer about this. In what other city of the world can you walk into some hole-in-the-wall joint, plunk down a buck or two, and emerge with the tastiest, gooiest, cheesiest morsels known to man or womankind? Sure, not all New York pizza is great. But even really awful New York pizza is better than the kind served up in most other locales. As luck would have it, there are several fine examples of this genre within smelling distance of the Westin on Eight and Ninth avenues. See me at the event for more details.
There are still other reasons to bring your appetite for learning and food to the Future of Cable Business Services conference. Feel free to share any on the message board below. I hope to see you in the Big Apple for the event.
In the meantime, you can follow the pre-show news and developments at our Future of Cable Business Services event site.
— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading
Interested in learning more on this topic? Then come to The Future of Cable Business Services 2013, a Light Reading Live event that takes place Wednesday, December 4, 2013, at the Westin Times Square in New York City. Back by popular demand for the seventh straight year, this is a one-day conference that will examine the progress that cable operators are making in the roughly $140 billion US business telecom services market and the challenges they face in keeping up the momentum. For more information, or to register, click here .