As expected, the CableLabs® Summer Conference delighted engineers in the cable industry, and this year we got an ever-widening glimpse of the future. Turning vehicles into hot spots and network engineers into software developers, foreseeing 50+ Gbps DOCSIS® over HFC, and using drones for leakage detection were just a few of the way-cool technologies and visions of cable’s future.
Each summer, the CableLabs® event is a magnet for the smartest technologists in our business. Against the backdrop of the Rockies, we saw how cable is moving mountains to deliver new and better customer experiences.
Among the high points this year was Veniam, whose product was voted the most likely to succeed in the CableLabs® Innovation Showcase. Veniam’s unique approach brings Wi-Fi to wheels, turning cars, buses, and other vehicles into moving hot spots that operators can use to expand community wireless coverage.
Transformative, too, was the concept espoused by Susie Wee, vice president and CTO of Networked Experiences for Cisco. Susie’s crusade is to support the growth of software-defined networking and network functions virtualization in our industry by helping our network engineers to transition into a next generation of cable-focused software developers—something SCTE can come alongside of!
Tom Cloonan of ARRIS showed us how we might significantly expand the RF spectrum of our HFC networks as we push fiber ever deeper and, ultimately, all the way to the tap, allowing us to envision 50+ Gbps service to homes using DOCSIS®. Tom gave a great historical perspective on how telcos have been using a similar approach with their hundred-year-old copper twisted-pair access network.
PrecisionHawk showed how drones could monitor leakage in cable networks and could provide other advanced network monitoring and data analysis tools. Since I suggested this at a SCTE Cable-Tec Expo® 2013 session (see image below), I was personally delighted to see it showing up as a real product/service. I’m still waiting for my other suggestion, namely bugbots crawling along hardline and dropline looking for leaks, to show up.
Nonetheless, let’s continue these conversations this fall at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo®. Wi-Fi, software-defined networking, and leakage are just a few of the subjects we’ll showcase at the cable engineering event of the year. Together with our friends at CableLabs®, we’ll be helping the industry harness technologies that will transform customer experiences.