2015 SCTE EXPO Recap: An Increase-of-Things

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New Orleans played host to the 2015 SCTE EXPO – an annual cable telecommunications conference promoting technical knowledge in the industry. We stopped by to learn and engage with other peers in the industry. New Orleans is famous for many dishes like gumbo and jambalaya. For convenience sake you can usually order a sampler. So in my recap of the event, here’s a sampler of things to reflect on from the expo:

Bandwidth Consumption Continues to Grow
OTT services are more accessible than ever. Streaming service apps can be had on your phone or packaged with a SmartTV. We are already in — or very close to — an all-IP world. Children are picking up tablets at an earlier age. If you’re not on your computer, you’re on your tablet or phone. Consumption only has one direction to go, up.

Bandwidth is Also an Enabler
Developments like DOCSIS 3.1 and fiber also pave the way for emerging media formats. The promise of more downstream is enough to encourage producers to explore new, high-quality mediums. It’s only a matter of time before 4K hits that tipping point much like HD video did. And if 4K is not sufficient, YouTube already supports 8K videos.

Subscribers Have More Expectations
No one is happy when their YouTube stream throttles down to standard definition. There are many causes to this but typically service providers are the first to take the blame. The demarcation line between the home and edge network is hardly a line anymore, leaving it up to operators to ensure that they are doing their best to deliver the services promised.

Internet-of-Things is Maturing
There are more connected devices in the household than ever before and the proliferation of IoT devices is going to add to this. Currently there are many competing IoT standards for connectivity and it looks to stay that way for a long time. This just adds confusion and complexity to the home network, so the question becomes, is it a customer service burden or a monetization opportunity?

Jambalaya is a creole rice dish mixed with meat or seafood and comes in several variations. The name originates from the Provençal word meaning mish-mash. Like the dish itself, service providers will see a mish-mash of network and operation challenges as new technologies emerge and usage demands grow. Addressing these variations require solutions that are vendor- and network-agnostic, have flexible integration options, and can scale to match provider’s growth. Addressed correctly, more “things” only help operators prosper. As they say in New Orleans, “laissez les bon temps roulez”, meaning, “Let the good times roll”.

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