To be successful and positioned for the future, service operators must become agnostic on the access network, supporting a blend of wired, wireless and mobile connectivity.
Fixed mobile convergence -- a term that got bounced around more than a decade ago -- was a big theme last week in Berlin, Germany, the site of Cable Congress 2019 and Cable Next-Gen Europe, a supplemental one-day event hosted by Light Reading.
Amplifying this theme was last week's announcement from Cable Europe that the organization would rebrand itself as "GIGAEurope" starting early next year and undergo a broader reorganization that centers on gigabit-class speeds, the convergence of fixed and mobile networks and the general idea of extending a more unified view to the region's regulators.
As the dust settled, I connected with Alan Breznick, Light Reading's Cable/Video Practice Leader, to discuss this renewed focus on network convergence and other big takeaways from the event.
"They [Cable Europe] want one term that will cover cable, fiber, wireless and mobile and whatever else comes up," Breznick explained.
Back on the wired side of the world, we also discussed Europe's updated view on other next-gen network activities, noting that operators in the region are well ahead of the curve with respect to a distributed access architecture that could pave the way toward virtualizing of key network functions. Liberty Global also dropped a hint about its network virtualization plans at the show.
And we also got a fairly straightforward view into what the region's operators and suppliers think about the Generic Access Platform (GAP), a node standardization initiative underway that will initially focus on North America.
"They do not like it," Breznick said. "There was a lot of harsh criticism of GAP both from the operators and the vendors."
Listen to the podcast for more insights from last week's industry festivities in Berlin.
The Light Reading podcast is available on:
- Cable Europe Charts Course to Become 'GIGAEurope' in 2020
- 1-Gig a Hot Seller for Vodafone Germany
- Can Cable Bridge the 'GAP'?
- 'Cable' Heading Toward Extinction?
— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading