(Amsterdam, 14 March) Cable Europe’s Cable Congress 2014, the flagship gathering of the European cable industry, today concluded three days of dynamic discussions on the flourishing future of cable amid a changing competitive landscape. Cable’s infrastructure was widely acknowledged to be the industry’s most important asset – key to helping cable move into new growth areas, satisfy customer demand for bandwidth-consuming entertainment and communications services, enable new and innovative product platforms such as over-the-top, and drive further consolidation, including convergence with mobile.
According to the industry’s leading technologists, cable’s pipe – with almost 1 GHz of capacity and a long and useful evolution path – is barely out of grade school from a high-speed data perspective. With CableLabs DOCSIS 3.1 deployment on track and set to support 10 Gbps downstream and up to 1 Gbps upstream, there is a lot more life in cable’s networks. “DOCSIS 3.1 was created with high capacity goals in mind to satisfy subscriber bandwidth demands deep into 2020 decade,” according to Ayham Al-Banna, Systems Architect at ARRIS.
Driving higher capacity and faster speeds in cable’s existing infrastructure is important over the long term as customer demand for over-the-top content, new applications and digital services skyrockets, but Guy Bisson of IHS believes cable is well positioned vis-à-vis its competitors. “Because of the enormous potential of DOCSIS 3.1, cable will continue to beat telco competitors on speed at a similar price point,” Bisson said. “The next network challenge will be over-the-top. In five years from now, 20% (or one hour) of the average person’s total daily TV consumption will be non-linear.”
As Cable Congress 2014 draws to a close, industry players expressed confidence in their ability to deliver on cable’s promise of faster speeds, higher-quality content and services and greater competition. Keeping up the happy marriage between cable and content, through deeper partnerships, multi-screen access, and advances in user-friendly functionality, will continue to be a key strategic focus in the years ahead.
Cable Europe’s Executive Chairman Matthias Kurth commented: “We’ve heard this week that infrastructure matters, and that cable needs to leverage its investments to drive growth in new areas as we increasingly move to converged services. At the same time, regulators need to ensure the industry can continue to consolidate so that cable’s investments and innovations can reach consumers on a larger scale.”
Cable Europe’s Cable Congress will be back in 2015, taking place in Brussels on 11-13 March.