Besides being rich in history, this year’s event in Xi’an was its first time hosting China’s premiere Broadcast Show. The ICTC is famous for its conference tracks and attracts the “Who’s Who” of cable and telecom in China. Manufacturers come to show their wares. And the buzz word this year, bigger than anything else is EOC. That’s right, “Ethernet Over Coax.” The country counts more than 30 manufacturers of EOC equipment and solutions. However, EOC is missing a strong standards backing in practice, and therefore interoperability is limited when even possible. This is the conclusion that most providers are beginning to realize, and it’s hampering their ability to scale.
The Chinese hardware is state-of-the-art, but this is a problem that only an overarching body can address. Until this problem is solved, any EOC solution will be proprietary and won’t enable providers to shop around for the equipment they prefer. Now, if you are a manufacturer and you take a peek at the current market of 3000 cable operators, maybe there is no immediate need for manufacturers to work together. But apart from an inefficient market, this could be a problem down the road when the industry consolidates.