This year, Incognito was once again at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo, and like always, it did not disappoint. It was a great opportunity to catch up with existing customers, all of whom had great feedback about our products and the Incognito experience, and also to hear about current cable industry trends and trajectories. Here are my top five takeaways from this three day industry event that brought together some of the cable telecommunications industry’s top leaders.
1. Bandwidth, Bandwidth, Bandwidth
With Internet traffic expected to quadruple by 2015 from 2010 levels, it is no surprise that bandwidth was a topic of interest this year. CMTS vendors at the show were touting their CCAP solutions and claiming denser products with more bytes per inch of rack space. There was even an entire track of sessions devoted to bandwidth management, with topics such as usage monitoring, paths to usage based pricing, and congestion management. All of this points to the large role that monitoring tools will play in the coming months and years, whether it’s through the use of IPDR, SNMP, or DPI. Although each technique differs, they are all means to address the need for metering and capacity management resulting from increases in internet traffic and activity.
2. Converged Gateways:
I read in the Broadband Technology Report a few months ago that every major cable operator in North America had either selected a TR-069 management platform or was in the process of selecting one. This seemed to be the case at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo, where the majority of device vendors were displaying devices with TR-069 support. TR-069 has definitely started to make its way into DOCSIS devices and the cable industry. As a result, all operators must now enable TR-069 support for their provisioning system as soon as possible in order to stay relevant in the marketplace.
3. Next Generation:
There has been exponential growth of services offered in the cable industry and what we do today will directly impact tomorrow. One of the major announcements at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo was the industry’s plans for DOCSIS 3.1, the next generation cable-modem technology that will bring data speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second into the marketplace. Multi-service delivery platforms including HTML5, xPON, RFoG, and IPv6 were also highlighted at the show, and will continue to be prevalent moving forward. We need to start planning the next generation of networks, updating infrastructure, and pushing new standards that will increase interoperability and the activation of new services.
4. The Cloud:
There was quite a lot of talk about the cloud this year, with an emphasis placed on the growth of home gateways that enable shared devices at home. In essence, the cloud is now all about taking content and delivering it to any device, anytime and anywhere. The cloud describes the subscriber experience and how through wireless technology and home networking we can enhance it or increase subscriber convenience. SCTE Cable-Tec Expo even devoted a whole day to the topic of the digital home and home networking, something you can read more about here.
5. Smart Energy Efficiency:
With global warming continuing to be a prominent issue in society, it seemed fitting that one of SCTE’s initiatives aims to push greener and smarter energy usage in the cable industry. Power consumption by corporations is at an all time high, along with large carbon footprints stemming from large and inefficient truck fleets. It will take time, but by looking into facility energy optimization and fleet management we can help ensure a sustainable future.
All in all, it was a great expo. I learned a lot, heard from some great speakers, and was able to meet a whole bunch of you. Stay tuned for the next blog from our Senior VP of Worldwide Sales, Will Yan, and his take on this year’s SCTE Cable-Tec Expo.