RDK JV claims gains with service providers, device footprint

In an annual update on its deployment and technology-focused initiatives, open source software venture RDK LLC claims it's making progress on multiple fronts, including its worldwide device footprint, adoption by service providers and with an agnostic approach to the access network.

RDK LLC, the group behind the Reference Design Kit (RDK), an open-source software initiative focused on video set-tops (RDK-V) and broadband gateways (RDK-B) announced that the software is now deployed on more than 50 million devices, up from the 40 million announced in March 2018.

Though RDK's heritage is cable (Comcast, Charter Communications and Liberty Global lead the JV), the focus of RDK-B is expanding well beyond DOCSIS, as the JV announced it's also moving to create RDK software for DSL and PON networks. OEMs such as Arris/CommScope, Humax, Sagemcom and Technicolor are working with various service providers across satellite, telco and cable operators to deploy RDK as the primary software stack on their next-gen gateways, the JV said, noting that 400 tech companies are now part of the RDK "community."

While the coming EPON- and GPON-capable additions could aid cable operators that are also deploying FTTP networks, usually in new-build areas, the DSL addition could enable the open source stack to more easily penetrate the telco market.

Last fall, RDK JV officials also referenced its IoT-facing activities, including a version of the software for connected cameras (RDK-C) and integrations with Thread, Zigbee and Bluetooth.

RDK said "dozens" of service providers in North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia Pacific are on board. Announced examples include Comcast; Cox Communications; Liberty Global; Portugal's NOS and NOWO; Japan's J:COM; Malta's Melita; Germany's Vodafone and Tele Columbus; and Canada's Rogers Communications, Shaw Communications and Videotron.

A notable company absent from that group is Charter, which inherited its position at the RDK joint venture via its 2016 acquisition of Time Warner Cable. Charter has shown interest in Prpl, another open source software effort with ties to OpenWrt that's focused on the carrier market, according to industry sources.

RDK timed its update with this week's Anga Com show in Germany.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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