Ahead of Cable Congress 2013 we speak to Luc Martens, CEO of Excentis about the importance of DOCSIS for the cable industry and more...
You are a CEO at the crossroads of the cable industry and the vendor community on which it relies. Tell us a bit about how you work with both communities. Excentis supports Cable Europe Labs in developing standard specifications for products and services suitable for cable operators in Europe, resulting in sufficient scale for product and service price reductions. We offer cable operators all kinds of services such as solving issues in operations, executing operator specific test programs, and support for complex technology implementations.
On the other hand, we also provide services to the vendor community to help them improving the quality of their products. The certification activity is a process that audits the quality of the vendors’ products, a first step towards the successful deployment of the product in the cable operators’ networks.
You work with Cable Europe Labs on a certification programme. What is certification and why is it important to European cable companies? Certification is a program that Excentis executes on behalf of Cable Europe Labs to test the compliance of products used for internet communication (EuroDOCSIS standards), Voice over IP (EuroPacketCable standards), Multimedia services (EuroPacketCable Multimedia standard), and enhanced voice/video telephony and mobility services based on IMS specifications (EuroPacketCable 2.0 standard) over the cable access networks. Compliance of submitted products is verified to all parts of the specifications from physical layer, MAC layer, security, OSS to specific features related to telephony or other services or functions of the mentioned standards. Based on the test reports of Excentis, the certification board composed of members of Cable Europe Labs decides on the certification status of the product.
The certification is not a European legal requirement -it can be considered as a quality label program. Vendors submit their products on demand of the operators.
Certification is important because it is a first step in reducing the number of issues in operations, therefore also contributing to the reduction in OPEX for the operators. It also reduces the number of tests that each individual operator is running in its test lab. These tests of the operators are therefore typically only performance tests and tests related to operator specific configurations and features that complement the certification tests.
Technology is a sector where everything seems to go a bit faster whether looking at production cycles, technology advances, computing power or network speeds. Are vendors doing a good job of keeping up with the cable industry’s needs for better, faster and more energy efficient products? In the cable industry, the operators and vendors are collaborating all the time on new product and service specifications. Because vendors are involved in the specification development, they are very well prepared for the implementations of the products needed by the cable industry. Through the certification and other testing services that Excentis offers, vendors can rapidly improve the quality of their products.