Archive for April, 2013


Video: Cable Congress 2013 – Caroline van Weede, Cable Europe

Caroline van Weede, Managing Director of Cable Europe, talks about digital growth in the cable industry and about regulatory issues.

VOOmotion Promotion Video @ Cable Europe Awards 2013

The 2nd annual Cable Europe Innovation Award, voted on by delegates at Cable Congress, was awarded to Belgian operator VOO and Sea Change for their multi-screen TV solution VOO Motion.

The innovation won against a competitive field, including Virgin Media’s WiFi on the London Underground, ZON’s Timewarp, Kabel Deutschland and ARRIS for their world record 4.7 Gbit/s downstream throughput speed, and Liberty Global’s Horizon, done in partnership with Cisco, Samsung and Intel. The Innovation Award recognizes a special project that stands out as a bright spot in helping cable innovate and stay ahead of the customer. Accepting the award on behalf of VOO and Sea Change was Nico Weymaere, Chief Technology Officer at VOO.

Cable Congress 2013: Cable is the Place to Be

Clearly, the cable industry has become the place to go if you want an easy life. At least, that’s the impression one could get from listening to Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries at this year’s Cable Congress, and from the news that Deutsche Telekom CEO Rene Obermann is set to join Dutch cable player Ziggo when he steps down from his current role at the end of the year.

It may be a facile comparison, but contrast Fries with his counterparts at Telefonica and Vodafone, based on comments they made at Mobile World Congress at the end of February: Telefonica’s Cesar Alierta took OTT players to task for not investing in the value chain, while Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao has long expressed frustration at the level of regulation imposed on telco players in Europe.

Fries, on the other hand, noted that the cable industry is not suffering from these problems, and indeed that they have a good relationship with regulators at the EU level (though national regulators remain a little less enamored of the cable industry, particularly as regards consolidation). More tellingly, after having talked about what a great position the cable industry finds itself in, he said that the next ten years will “present issues we’ve never encountered”. Imagine Alierta or Colao saying that, and sounding like they relish the prospect?

Clearly, Colao has thought of all this, which may have something to do with Vodafone’s German operation looking at buying the country’s top cable player, Kabel Deutschland. This potential merger also highlights another point Fries made at Cable Congress, namely, the growing importance of quad-play.


DOCSIS 3.1 comes top at Cable Congress 2013 – by Philip Hunter

Cable operators are set to accelerate deployment of the latest DOCSIS 3.1 data over cable standard, in some cases to move quickly to an all-IP strategy, it emerged from the recent Cable Congress held in London.

cable congress 2013 digital capitalThis is the first new version of DOCSIS since 3.0 arrived in 2006 with channel bonding to boost headline data rates, and 3.1 achieves a similar trick by introducing OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing). Apart from bringing forward migration to all video over IP, welcomed by many operators as a route to reduce transmission costs and improved scalability at the network edge as well as easing deployment of cloud based delivery to multiscreen devices, DOCSIS 3.1 enables broadband speeds to keep pace with telcos without having to upgrade the infrastructure. This ability to extract more life from existing cable plant is seen as the key differentiator of DOCSIS 3.1 by many in the cable industry, rather than increasing bit rates since that can always be achieved by techniques such as node splitting that involve pushing fiber closer to the home. While telcos have to push fiber deeper to increase bit rates via VDSL2 technology, cable operators sense that they can compete successfully on price by avoiding having to do the same.

DOCSIS 3.1 does away with the 6MHz and 8MHz wide channel spacing used so far, replacing them with smaller 20KHz-to-50KHz-wide subcarriers that can then be bonded together inside a spectrum block up to 200MHz wide. OFDM is used to spread the symbols carrying data across this whole spectrum, with multiple carriers ensuring that overall high data rates are obtained.



Gary Lauder’s 2013 Cable Congress Keynote in London

Gary Lauder, MD, Lauder Partners LLC gaved a presentation on The Future of Cable: Sunny & Cloudy at Cable Congress 2013 in London.

Cable is faced with both opportunities and threats — even from the same technologies. The pace of technological change is – as it always has – increasing. In the past, technology change has been more of an opportunity than threat for operators, but this balance is shifting the other way. It is finally coming to the television market in ways that require the industry to adapt in ways that will be challenging.

Speech by Ed Vaizey given at Cable Congress 2013 in London

Speech by Ed Vaizey. Originally given at Cable Congress in London. This is a transcript of the speech, exactly as it was delivered.

Ed Vaizey MP speech at Cable Congress 2013 LondonGood morning everyone.

I would like to thank the organisers of the 2013 Cable Congress, and in particular the UK’s very own Virgin Media, for inviting me to speak today.

Before I begin, I must also say how pleased we all are that the 2013 Cable Congress is taking place here in London. We pride ourselves on the strength of the UK’s online economy, and it is, I think, appropriate that the Congress is taking place in one of the world’s most connected cities.

You will, I’m sure, be hearing at length about investments and new technologies from experts in the field. I would like to say a few words about this Government’s priorities in the online and telecommunications fields, what we are doing to support the tremendous investment in broadband, and where we go from here.

If I were to summarise the priorities, I would need only one word: Growth. Our number one aim is to get the British economy moving again and support the businesses, both large and small, that will drive this. And I believe that the digital, creative and communications industries have a key role in this.


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