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News

CableLabs Extends its Global Reach with the Addition of Four New Member Companies

Chris Lammers
Chief Operating Officer

Jul 26, 2017

In its continued commitment to the international cable community, CableLabs welcomes four new companies to its membership: GCable and Henan Cable (both situated in China), together with Nowo (Portugal) and Stofa (Denmark).

Guangdong Cable Network (aka Gcable)

Gcable serves Guangdong Province located in southeast China. Guangdong Province is one of the most highly industrialized provinces in China, with major technology centers in Guangzhou (served by Gcable) and Shenzhen (served by Topway, a CableLabs member). Gcable, which is the largest MSO in Guangdong Province, serves 13 million television subscribers and 1.7 million broadband subscribers.

Henan Cable

Henan Cable serves Henan Province. The company is 49% owned by CITIC Limited, China’s largest conglomerate with diverse global businesses focused on financial services, resources and energy, manufacturing, engineering contracting, real estate and telecommunications. CITIC Limited also has similar ownership interests in two other CableLabs members – Chongqing Cable Networks (originally located in Sichuan Province) and JSCN (located in Jiangsu Province). Henan Cable serves 11 million television subscribers and 400 thousand broadband subscribers.

Nowo

Nowo provides cable service in Portugal to 172 thousand television subscribers and 144 thousand broadband subscribers. Nowo is the second largest cable operator in Portugal. Nowo launched in September 2016. with a strategy focused on a disruptive “build your own bundle” which includes mobile voice and data together with fixed line video, broadband and voice services.

Stofa

Stofa is a Danish cable company affiliated with SE Group, a customer-owned, energy and telecommunications group. Stofa, began in 1959 serving antenna, housing and land associations across Denmark, and now provides fixed and mobile services to 344 thousand television subscribers, 323 thousand broadband subscribers, 84 thousand digital voice subscribers and 10 thousand mobile subscribers. Stofa is the second largest cable operator in Denmark.

These four members join 56 other cable operators from 5 continents bringing CableLabs’ total membership to 59 – representing over 180 million video subscribers worldwide.

In its global reach, CableLabs is focused on achieving several objectives:

  • Alignment: Assure alignment with CableLabs technologies across the global cable community.
  • Adoption: Achieve global scale – and therefore low-cost solutions – through the adoption of common technologies by cable operators worldwide.
  • Collaboration: Collaborate with global partners to share experiences, exchange best practices and advance innovation throughout the cable industry.

We look forward to bringing on more members in the future to foster innovation worldwide. You can find more information about CableLabs’ global strategy here. Please contact us to discover the value of membership in CableLabs.

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Innovation

CableLabs Announces an Open Source LoRaWAN Network Solution

Daryl Malas
Principal Architect, Advanced Technology Group

Jul 24, 2017

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a growing industry comprised of a massive number of devices that connect to each other to benefit our lives. Examples of these include the Nest thermostat, security cameras, Amazon’s Alexa, and Apple Watch. Refrigerators can talk with the internet to order milk and Fitbits tell you when to step more to meet your daily exercise goals.

A new area of IoT involves the use of sensors designed to last for years on a single battery transmitting information periodically over long distances. The infrastructure to support all of these connected devices is commonly referred to as a Low Power Wide Area Network (LP-WAN).

LP-WAN networks are designed to cover large geographical areas and minimize the amount of power required for sensors to interact with the network. There are many solutions available to enable this network, including Ingenu, Sigfox, LoRaWAN, 3GPP and Weightless.

CableLabs is pleased to announce an open-source LoRaWAN solution. LoRa is a semi-proprietary solution as it is owned and licensed by Semtech, and a closed consortium (i.e. LoRa Alliance) develops the LoRaWAN specification around the Semtech solution architecture.

Once the consortium concludes a revision of this effort, they make it publicly available. Ingenu and Sigfox are examples of fully proprietary solutions with closed development and ecosystems. In an effort to be more open, they have software development kits available for sensor manufacturers to create sensors for their networks. Of course, these are merely examples of many more solutions emerging in this space. All of them are attempting to create their own advantage and benefits for network providers and consumers. We attempted to highlight some of the more commonly known solutions available, but these are not meant to be preferential or endorsed by CableLabs and are not an exhaustive listing.

LoRaWAN is a long range, low power wireless protocol that is intended for use in building IoT LP-WAN networks. IoT devices send small data packets to any number of “gateways” that may be in the several-kilometer range of a sensor via the LoRaWAN wireless protocol. The gateways then use more traditional communications such as wired Internet connections to forward the messages to a network-server which validates the packets and forwards the application payload to an application-server.

CableLabs chose to develop a LoRaWAN open-source solution because we believe it is a good compromise between proprietary and open solutions, and it provides many of our members an opportunity to compete in the low power wide area (LPWA) space.

Figure 2 - LoRaWAN Example Network Architecture

In the past, CableLabs has often developed solutions specific to the cable industry, but we believe open-source provides consumers a great benefit as it will spur growth in an industry intended to enrich our lives. This enrichment comes through devices intended to inform us of many things. For example, many of us have driven by a city park during a rain storm and noticed the sprinkler system running. This is a waste of water and further impacts our climate. What if we had soil moisture sensors that could communicate with a sprinkler controller to inform it when it requires water? This could save countless gallons of water, which is extremely valuable, especially in drought-stricken regions.

Another example could be to inform a loved one when an aging relative has taken their pills for the day, gets out of bed or sits in a chair too long. All of these are examples of the benefits of sensors enabled by LP-WANs.

In order for us to realize these benefits, LP-WANs need to be deployed broadly across national and international regions. This will enable the use of many sensors across these same regions. As we make use of the sensor data, it will enrich our lives with information to make better choices, ensure higher quality results and guide us towards a better future. By making a portion of this network available for open-source, our goal is to lower the barrier for the cable industry and other industry participants to enable these solutions for consumers and governments. Together we can truly change the world, and it should not be limited by costly barriers.

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More information on the CableLabs LoRa server, including documentation and code repository, can be found here.

With a strong focus on innovation, CableLabs develops technologies and specifications for the secure delivery of high-speed data, video, voice and next generation services. Don't forget to subscribe to our blog to read more about our innovative technologies in the future.

 

 

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Strategy

CableLabs in Hong Kong: Insights from APOStech 2017

Chris Lammers
Chief Operating Officer

Jul 19, 2017

CableLabs participated in the 2nd Annual APOStech conference in Hong Kong July 4-6, 2017 and it was a huge success!

APOStech is designed to unite executives and key stakeholders from the video and broadband industries across the Asia Pacific region to discuss technology innovation and trends that are defining the future of the connected consumer. Over 180 participants from 88 companies around the globe were in attendance, giving CableLabs the opportunity to speak with current members and establish new relationships with other cable operators in the region.

Aravind Venugopal, Vice President with Media Partners Asia (MPA), set the backdrop for the conference by providing an overview of the explosive growth of broadband, pay tv and mobile services in Asia. MPA just released projections anticipating 30 million new broadband homes in Asia over the five year period from 2017-2022 (excluding China). Nearly half of this growth (45%) will occur in India. Pay tv subscribers will increase nearly 30 million, from 244 million to 271 million over this same period (again, excluding China).  SVOD subscribers will jump from 54 million to 108 million over the course of the 2017-2022 period.

Among the highly informative learnings from APOStech:

  • Only 1 in 10 homes in the Philippines have broadband with an average download speed of 4 Mbps – with the growth of over 2 million additional broadband homes forecast by 2020.
  • 100 million of the 275 million homes in India do not have a television.  Broadband represents an opportunity for these – and all other – homes.  In the Indian economy, prepaid services are dominant, including for broadband and pay tv.  Service providers need to think in terms of monthly, weekly and even daily prepaid services.  National MSOs have 12% of the broadband market – with the incumbent telecom provider (BSNL/MTNL) reaching 66% of the broadband market.
  • In Korea, 58% of pay tv subscribers prefer cable television, this in a country with intense video competition from three national telecom networks (LG, KT and SK Broadband).
  • 4K content is expanding across Asia – particularly in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan and Singapore.

I delivered an overview of Gigabit Broadband Competition in the U.S. – the technologies innovated by CableLabs and its members by which cable operators are now delivering gigabit speeds globally (Click here to see my slide show presentation). I focused on the impact of collaboration across the global cable community in advancing broadband technologies at scale and the competitive leadership this strategy provides to cable operators and their customers by way of enhancing the user experience in the home and workplace.

Jeff Chen, CableLabs SVP of Global Technology, and I hosted an invitation-only event for cable operators attending the APOStech conference. Representatives from 9 MSOs participated – allowing for an in-depth overview of CableLabs and the opportunities provided for its members. Five MSOs across four countries (China, India, Korea and the Philippines) expressed substantial interest in progressing relationships with and learning more about CableLabs, extending invitations for 1:1 meetings with company executives.

We met with four of our members at the conference:

We were introduced to senior representatives from seven additional MSOs:

CableLabs’ continued expansion in Asia advances its strategy of world-wide collaboration on technology and innovation for the benefit of the global cable community and the customers they serve.  From one member in Asia five years ago, CableLabs has grown to 12 members across Asia and Australia, including: Beijing Gehua CATV Network, Chongqing Cable Networks, Guangdong Cable Network, Henan Cable Network, J:COM, Jiangsu Broadcasting Cable Information Network, nbn, PT Link Net, Shenzhen Topway Video Communication, StarHub, Taiwan Broadband Communications and WASU Digital TV Media Group.

Coincidence or not, CableLabs gained its 60th member on Monday, July 10 following APOStech, Henan Cable, serving Henan Province in China with 4 million video subscribers and 400,000 broadband subscribers.

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CableLabs is committed to expanding membership and support across Asia and beyond. With 60 members in 35 countries in Asia, Australia, Latin America, North America and Europe, CableLabs provides the opportunity for operators to collaborate with innovators worldwide. Please contact us to discover the value membership in CableLabs.

 

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Innovation

Innovation – How to Effectively Manage, Scale, and Accelerate your Efforts

Chad Riland
Program Manager, Innovation

Jul 13, 2017

CableLabs is chartered to deliver innovative technologies for our industry. Our ability to do this relies on how effectively we manage, scale, and accelerate how we innovate. “Innovate the way we innovate” is a phrase we often use internally.  It summarizes our core belief that to be successful in the long term as an innovation center we must be innovative about how we innovate.

Building a sustainable innovative organization isn’t easy and requires a long-term, holistic effort. Our workflows and systems need to be integrated and we need to enable the engagement of all our employees and our external partners (e.g. members, vendors, academic institutions, and thought leaders outside our industry). Over the past few years, we’ve continuously tuned our innovation approach, making progress on this goal.

The latest example of this is the deployment of an Innovation Management System (IMS). This tool’s purpose is to enhance the effectiveness of our work by improving our ability to measure, scale, and manage our innovations throughout the life cycle. Below, I’ll explain how we utilize our IMS to decrease risk, improve the success of the ideas we put into development and nurture an innovative culture.

Why and how we measure innovation

Our success is a function of asking the right questions and measuring the results. Peter Drucker, the founder of modern business management once wrote: “What we measure and how we measure determine what will be considered relevant, and determine, thereby, not just what we see, but what we—and others—do.” If we apply this to innovation, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer.

The issue for organizations is understanding which elements are important to measure their innovation and how to integrate them into the organizational structure and decision processes. That means looking beyond inputs and outputs and measuring how the business as a whole benefit from innovation.

Our IMS helps us better understand the results of our innovation efforts by clearly showing us the scale and state of our Innovation Funnel (e.g. ideas being considered) and Innovation Portfolio (e.g. innovation projects being pursued), as well as their relevance to our strategic areas of interest.  It also provides insight on how our efforts are progressing, and the level of engagement in developing our ideas and projects. Examples of the types of questions we ask ourselves and measure are:

  • What is our run-rate for generating ideas?
  • How many of the projects we are investing in address areas we believe to have a strategic impact on the industry?
  • What methods of inspiration are the most successful at generating impactful ideas?
  • At what rate are ideas and projects maturing and progressing towards fulfilling our innovation objectives?

Not all measurements are valuable, and not all improvements come from measurement insight

Martial arts masters say that there is no such thing as a white belt form (or kata) because those forms are for all ranks and belt levels and are executed with different skills. Similarly, getting to the basics of measurement and improving execution is a task for organizations of all maturity levels. No matter where one sits on the innovation maturity curve, there is some set of measurements that are valuable to improvement.

However, a focused phrase like “what gets measured gets done in innovation” does come with a certain set of risks to be aware of. If you are innovating the way you innovate, gains coming from a broad set of actions and measurement are only one dimension. For many reasons, access to interesting information doesn’t necessarily mean that sharing that information will be valuable and helpful.  Here’s why:

  • The risk of too much information – low-value data obscuring high-value data.
  • The interpretation gap where various audiences can interpret the information differently depending on context, perspectives, and beliefs.
  • The risk that sharing some information causes unintended consequences of being used in ways that detract from engagement or collaboration.
  • Not all improvements come from measurement alone.

To address these and related risks, begin by developing a communication plan for the metrics which include:

  1. The audience for the metrics
  2. The delivery channel
  3. Frequency of sharing/reporting
  4. A plan to add any additional analysis or commentary as part of the delivery to help with interpretation

Our Innovation Management System is much more than just a measurement tool

Adding measurements to the innovation funnel and portfolio doesn’t just give us insight to answer our questions and improve how we innovate in the future, it also serves as a powerful way to inspire, inform, and boost social engagement. This is because our system provides a centralized home for all ideas and patent invention disclosures. It also automates many of the activities to share and evaluate ideas, communicate related decisions and manage workflows throughout their life-cycle.

Centralized accessibility provides transparency and potential inspiration for new ideas. The system also provides a legal record of IP for any future need. Beyond employees and internal innovation, the system is a channel for engagement and idea sourcing from external partners, members, vendors, customers, thought leaders and the open source community.

If we are serious about innovation, then we need to care about the value of the innovation we create

Thinking through what questions you want to answer about your innovation practices is a good place to start to prioritize your measurements. Improved measurement practices and other ancillary benefits of an Innovation Management System will help you identify the sources, practices, and process by which impactful innovation is occurring and create insights to help you take your innovation game to the next level.

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Don’t forget to look out for my next post to learn more about how CableLabs has sustained a culture of innovation.

For information and opportunities to build your innovation skills, click here to learn more about our Innovation Boot Camp.

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Strategy

CableLabs is Excited to Participate in APOStech 2017 in Hong Kong

Jul 5, 2017

CableLabs is participating in the 2nd Annual APOStech conference this week (July 4-6, 2017) in Hong Kong. Hosted by Media Partners Asia (MPA) and co-sponsored by CableLabs, APOStech is one of Asia’s premier technology and innovation summits. With over  180 participants from around the globe representing cable, telecom and media sectors, the event unites executives and key stakeholders across the Asia Pacific region to discuss technology innovation and trends that are defining the future of the connected consumer.

APOStech affords CableLabs the opportunity to interact with many of our members in Asia, as well as establish relationships with potential new members from countries including India, Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines. This event will introduce CableLabs to the business, strategies, technologies, operations and competition affecting cable operators in regions not currently served by CableLabs to support an increasing diversity of members across Asia.

With broadband subscribers in the region growing to over 560 million by 2021, one of this year’s objectives for APOStech is to address the driving forces and challenges faced by the networks providing content and services to the connected customer. Sessions include insights from broadband network operators across China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan discussing how cable operators are designing their networks to keep pace with the massive amounts of video data distributed over them and how they are differentiating and monetizing their network investments.

Chris Lammers, CableLabs’ COO and SVP of International Business Development, is providing an overview of Gigabit Broadband Competition in the U.S. The session will also include the technologies innovated by CableLabs and its members by which cable operators are delivering gigabit speeds globally. Chris will focus on the impact of collaboration across the global cable community in advancing broadband technologies at scale and the competitive leadership this strategy provides to cable operators and their customers by way of enhancing the user experience in the home and workplace.

CableLabs’ continued expansion in Asia advances our strategy of world-wide collaboration on technology and innovation for the benefit of the global cable community and the customers they serve.  From one member in Asia five years ago, CableLabs has grown to 11 members across Asia and Australia, including : Beijing Gehua CATV Network, Chongqing Cable Networks, Guangdong Cable Network, J:COM, Jiangsu Broadcasting Cable Information Network, nbn, PT Link Net, Shenzhen Topway Video Communication, StarHub, Taiwan Broadband Communications and WASU Digital TV Media Group.

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CableLabs is committed to expanding membership and support across Asia and beyond. With 59 members in 35 countries in Asia, Australia, Latin America, North America and Europe, CableLabs provides the opportunity for operators to collaborate with innovators worldwide. Please contact us to discover the value membership in CableLabs.

 

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Security

ETSI Security Week: Securing Networks Requires a Global Perspective

Steve Goeringer
Principal Security Architect

Jun 22, 2017

Cyber attacks are on the rise and a threat to critical infrastructure around the globe. CableLabs along with other service providers and vendors are collaborating through European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) to ensure best practices are consistently deployed in regards to these attacks.

Take a look at any cyber attack and consider where the attacks come from and who their victims are. You’ll find that almost all attacks are international in scope, with both attackers and victims found across a transnational field devoid of boundaries. Securing our networks and services requires a global response and our evolving practices and strategies must have an international perspective. CableLabs does this by participating in multiple international organizations working hard to evolve our cyber security defenses. Last week, the ETSI hosted a series of focused workshops on network security at ETSI Security Week. CableLabs helped plan this event, and we contributed our insights in presentations and panels.

This annual event is attended by nearly 300 industry professionals and opens a dialogue to develop a common understanding in the industry of best practices. Workshops included public policy impacts on security practices, Machine to Machine/Internet of Things security challenges, securing Network Function Virtualization (NFV) architectures, and, no event is complete without some discussion of 5G. (For more information on 5G see Tetsuya Nakamura’s blog post here.) I presented our experiences in implementing NFV proof-of-concepts and Brian Scriber participated in a panel discussing operator perspectives. Materials shared at the event are available after registration on the ETSI portal here.

As shared here last fall, as well as introducing new security challenges, NFV also presents opportunities to improve the security of future networks relative to legacy infrastructure. Benefits of a well implemented NFV infrastructure enables:

  • More consistent security processes and controls
  • Easier and more rapid security upgrades and patching as threats evolve
  • Improved support for pervasive encryption
  • More cost-effective security and performance monitoring

With the correct implementation, NFV enhances security operations by enabling pervasive monitoring and more agile and flexible responses as cyber threats evolve.

NFV coupled with Software Defined Networking (SDN) enables the creation of an open and distributed architecture which enables operators to create “network factories”. Network factories are fully automated network architectures that are entire supply chains for exciting new services. We need to secure the network infrastructure, as well as secure the software supply chain from code creation to delivery as running code on the platform. This requires a different orientation from today’s operations. Fortunately, NIST has provided a framework for approaching the cyber security aspects of supply chains and it applies well to open and distributed architectures.

ETSI is a leader in providing foundational standards for NFV and is the single most influential body on NFV security best practices today. The ETSI NFV Architectural Framework sets the stage for what most other standards bodies and open source code projects are attempting to achieve. ETSI’s NFV reference architecture does not currently adequately identify all the supply chain cyber security aspects.  Consequently, we haven’t yet defined a comprehensive approach to establishing security associations between all of the components (which may be hardware or software).

Every connection in the network should be considered as a security association. Certain security functions must be implemented for each security association. Each security association should be:

  • Based on strong identity: This means there needs to be a persistent private key associated with a unique identifier and attested (signed) by a certificate or equivalent
  • Authenticated: Using some form of cryptographic challenge
  • Authorized: For both network and process access control and based on a network-wide policy
  • Isolated: From other sub-networks and workloads on virtualized servers
  • Confidential: Including encryption
  • Attested: The infrastructure and communications links are proven to be untampered

ETSI Security Week

Providing a basis for strong identity is proving to be challenging. CableLabs has used PKI-based certificates for strong identity for DOCSIS network now for 17 years with over 500M certificates issued. Yet, achieving consensus to replicate this success amongst the evolving solutions in NFV, IoT, and medical devices are taking time.

Security identity requires three components:

  1. The first element is a secret, which is usually a private key to support authentication and encryption.
  2. The second element is a unique identifier within the ecosystem. DOCSIS network security uses the MAC address for this purpose, but that is not applicable to all other domains.
  3. Thirdly, the identity must be attestable. This means creating a certificate or profile that is signed, which binds the certificate to the secret.

The path to success in implementing globally effective cyber security is to document best practices through specification or standardization with supporting code bases which actually implement those practices. CableLabs is proud to be a major contributor to ETSI’s NFV project. We lead both the ETSI NFV Operator Council and the Security Working Group and we are collaborating with other industry leaders to address these gaps. Further, we work closely with open source code groups such as OpenStack, OSM, OpenDaylight, OPNFV, and we watch emerging initiatives such as FD.io and ONAP. Through our SNAPSTM initiative, we are reinforcing standards work with practical experience.  If these initiatives mature, we will adapt the practices to cable specific solutions.

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CableLabs is hosting the next ETSI NFV plenary meeting in Denver,CO from September 11-15, 2017. Participation is open upon signing the ETSI NFV participant agreement. Leave a comment below if you’d like to connect with the CableLabs team. We’d love to meet you there!

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Wireless

2 Resolutions for World Wi-Fi Day 2017

Rob Alderfer
VP, Technology Policy

Jun 19, 2017

It’s World Wi-Fi Day! Really, given how much we work on Wi-Fi technology, every day is Wi-Fi Day at CableLabs. Since the rest of the world has decided to take note, it feels a bit like New Year’s. So, how about a couple of resolutions?

In the coming year, we in the Wi-Fi industry should resolve to support the continued growth of Wi-Fi with two major initiatives:

1) Enhanced Wireless Spectrum Access

Spectrum, or the airwaves that wireless communication travels over, is the key ingredient for Wi-Fi. While CableLabs and others in the industry work hard to improve Wi-Fi technologies, it is all for naught if we don’t have the wireless bandwidth to make it work. This is becoming more important as wireless use grows, putting pressure on the capacity we have today.

To stick with this resolution, we’ll need the help of regulators around the world that control access to spectrum. For example, the latest Wi-Fi technology 802.11ac is known as “gigabit Wi-Fi” for the high performance it offers. Unfortunately, due to lack of spectrum, the full potential of this technology can’t be realized.

To fix this, we must look at the 5 GHz frequency band. You probably have a router at home that is “dual band”, meaning it uses 5 GHz. If you acquired it in the last year or two, it is likely 802.11ac (“gigabit Wi-Fi”) capable. We need to open up more spectrum for Wi-Fi in the 5 GHz range to fully enable this technology. Particularly as wired broadband speeds continue to increase, we need to be sure that the final step to your wireless device isn’t a bottleneck.

Progress on enabling Wi-Fi access to additional spectrum requires technical acumen, to ensure that Wi-Fi can share the airwaves without causing harmful interference to other services. That’s where our team at CableLabs comes in.

In the US, the FCC is examining how Wi-Fi can share with transportation communications technology in the upper part of the 5 GHz band, an issue they have been looking at for over four years. We’ve studied this, and we believe spectrum sharing technology supports this proposal. It’s time to move forward so that consumers can realize the full benefits of gigabit Wi-Fi.

CableLabs has applied our expertise to questions of spectrum sharing before, with a lot of success. In 2014, we did the behind-the-scenes work to open up the lower part of the 5 GHz band for Wi-Fi in the US. And just last month, the Canadian government followed this precedent.

2) Enable Reliable Coexistence Between Wi-Fi and Other Technologies

Though most people may not think too much about 5 GHz spectrum, those who do, probably think of it as Wi-Fi spectrum. That’s understandable since there are literally billions of Wi-Fi devices out there. However, more accurately, it is unlicensed spectrum (or license-exempt, in Europe). Meaning, other technologies also use the same frequencies.

Unlicensed spectrum is becoming more popular, and new technologies are moving in. Those that have a similar usage pattern are likely to run into Wi-Fi. Therefore, these new technologies need to be designed to play nicely, just as Wi-Fi is designed to do with its listen-before-talk protocols. Coexistence between technologies in unlicensed spectrum is of paramount importance to ensure that consumers win from new wireless innovation.

The leading case in this area is, of course, LTE-U, which we’ve written about extensively. CableLabs worked diligently to surface problems with LTE-U coexistence technology and led industry-wide efforts in the Wi-Fi Alliance to develop tests that can verify how well LTE-U equipment shares spectrum with Wi-Fi before it hits the street. Industry collaboration is an effective means of addressing coexistence issues and mobile carriers have stated that they will stick with the results of that process. We have since seen LTE-U devices approved after going through the tests.

The LTE-U story is, for the most part, a good example of how industries can come together to protect consumers that rely on unlicensed spectrum. However, the level of collaboration seen since then has, unfortunately, diminished significantly. Specifically, there isn't visibility into how the industry-agreed coexistence tests are implemented and used. No LTE-U vendor has released the results of its coexistence tests, even though they are happy to tout that they have passed with flying colors. Transparency is important to validate coexistence performance and mobile carriers and vendors should be more forthcoming.

Beyond LTE-U, which is a proprietary and non-standard technology aimed at unlicensed spectrum, we have LAA-LTE, which is the global standard version developed at 3GPP. There’s more reason for optimism around LAA coexistence since it uses listen-before-talk etiquette similar to Wi-Fi. But, when it comes to validating that optimism through coexistence tests, the work at 3GPP has been sorely lacking.

Just a couple of weeks ago, a key 3GPP working group produced what it deems to be final coexistence testing guidance associated with LAA (To read more download here). This work product does little to reassure consumers that rely on unlicensed spectrum. The guidance recommends only limited testing, which will not come close to approximating real-world technology interactions. Additionally, mobile carriers and vendors may not follow even this limited guidance since it is completely optional under the 3GPP specification. It is important that we get coexistence right since new technologies are coming,  MulteFire, eLAA, and 5G, that will also use unlicensed spectrum alongside Wi-Fi.

These are our two big World Wi-Fi Day resolutions. Help us celebrate World Wi-Fi Day by commenting yours below. Be sure to check out our blog posts "Solutions for Whole Home Wi-FI Coverage," Carrier Wi-FI is Now Certified Vantage" and "Multiple Access Point Architectures and Whole WI-Fi Home Coverage" to read more about how CableLabs is engaged in Wi-FI efforts and do our best to protect consumers, making new wireless innovations a win for everyone!

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Culture

CableLabs Loves Pedal Power: Our Bike to Work Day Story

Jun 14, 2017

It's that time of year again! While most of the country celebrates Bike to Work Day in May, Colorado waits for the snow to melt and designates every June as Bike to Work Month and June 28th, 2017 as #BikeToWorkDay. Whether you bike for health, to get to work, preserve the environment, or simply for fun, Bike to Work Day is a unique opportunity to celebrate the power of two pedals.

CableLabs has made cycling a priority at our workplace and is excited for our employees to take part in this year's festivities. Watch the video below to find out more about CableLabs' bike to work day story.

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With more than 30,000 Coloradans hitting the streets on two wheels in 2016, Colorado hosted the second-largest Bike to Work Day in the nation last year. Summer's here, so dust off that bike and register today to join CableLabs' employees on the Colorado bike lanes and trails for #BikeToWorkDay 2017 to make this year one for the record books. Click here to see a list of Bike to Work Day events in your area.

To learn more about the benefits of bicycling to work, school or errands, don't forget to check out the Colorado Department of Transportation's website.

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News

Arianne Hinds Honored as the 2017 WICT Rocky Mountain Woman In Technology

Jud Cary
Deputy General Counsel

May 31, 2017

Last week, our very own Dr. Arianne Hinds received the prestigious 2017 WICT Rocky Mountain Woman in Technology Award. WICT is a national organization for Women in Cable Telecommunications, and the Rocky Mountain chapter is one of the largest and most influential of all the chapters. CableLabs has been a strong supporter of WICT for many years and is thrilled for Arianne to receive this recognition.

Dr Arianne Hinds Rocky Mountain Women in Technology Award

Dr. Arianne Hinds has over 25 years in the industry in the areas of image and video compression, including MPEG and JPEG.  She currently serves as the head of the United States delegation to MPEG, as the Chairperson of the L3.1 Committee for United States MPEG Development Activity for the InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards.

She is the lead inventor on several image and video compression patents, including four patents that are essential to a MPEG video standard (ISO/IEC 23002-2), for her work on fixed-point implementations of the Discrete Cosine Transform and Inverse Discrete Cosine Transform (DCT/IDCT); the same DCT/IDCT topic also served as the basis for her Ph.D. thesis. She has 17 patents issued so far and several more pending.

In her current role in the Office of the CTO, she is responsible for developing the strategy for CableLabs’ participation in 32 standards development organizations, industry consortia, and other technical fora. The resulting strategy is then shared with CableLabs members to facilitate alignment on key strategic goals:  drive scale of technologies important to cable, create interoperable solutions that drive vendor diversity, improve the ability for our cable members to compete, and assess new technologies relevant to the cable business.

Arianne’s background as a video compression subject matter expert and her ability to drive consensus in challenging situations has profoundly increased the impact that the cable industry has on many video-related specifications, including MPEG and SCTE standards. As an example, she has been successful in driving cable-friendly requirements into adaptive bitrate specifications such as MPEG DASH and HEVC.

Arianne is also passionate about getting more women into computer science and engineering fields. She serves on the CU Boulder Computer Science Department Advisory Board and works to inspire more women to major in Computer Science (they are currently at an abysmal 15% female enrollment in the CU Computer Science Department!)

The WICT Rocky Mountain Woman In Technology Award recognizes a woman who has made significant contributions to her organization’s success and the industry through her impressive technical knowledge and accomplishments, or expertise in bringing new products or business to fruition. Honorees must be leaders in their fields and exemplify the WICT Touchstones of Leadership (always a good reminder of important traits for anyone in the industry):

WICT Touchstones of Leadership:

Touchstone 1: Know Yourself; what you stand for and where you are headed

Touchstone 2: Communicate with passion and poise

Touchstone 3: Listen with more than just your ears

Touchstone 4: Connect to your peers, your industry and everything around you

Touchstone 5: Be a Catalyst and set the wheels of change in motion

Touchstone 6: Be Fearless and confident in your convictions

Touchstone 7: Inspire and others will follow

The WICT touchstones of leadership are great guidelines for everyone to follow. Click here to read about these touchstones in detail.

Arianne received her award along with a number of other deserving industry colleagues at the WICT Rocky Mountain Walk of Fame gala, where over 680 industry professionals gathered to honor these inspiring women. CableLabs congratulates Arianne and all the 2017 WICT Rocky Mountain Walk of Fame honorees!

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To find out more about Arianne's research read her blog post The Search for Royalty-Free Video Codec. You can also read some of her many publications by clicking here.

 

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Virtualization

5 Things I Learned at OpenStack Summit Boston 2017

Randy Levensalor
Lead Architect, Wired Technologies

May 23, 2017

Recently, I attended OpenStack Summit in Boston with more than 5,000 other IT business leaders, cloud operators and developers from around the world. OpenStack is the leading open source software run by enterprises and public cloud providers and is increasingly being used by service providers for their NFV infrastructure. Many of the attendees are operators and vendors who collaboratively develop the platform to meet an ever-expanding set of use cases.

With over 750 sessions, it was impossible to see them all. Here are my top five takeaways and highlights of the event:

1. Edward Snowden's Opinions on Security and Open Source

In the biggest surprise of the event, Edward Snowden, former US NSA employee and self-declared liberator, joined us over a live video feed from an undisclosed location. He talked about the ethics and importance of the open source movement and how open source can be used to improve security and privacy.

Unlike vulnerabilities in proprietary software, those in open source are transparent. As a result, the entire community can learn from these exploits and how to prevent them in the future. Though not mentioned by Snowden, his rhetoric brought to mind the work done to secure OpenSSL after the heart bleed vulnerability was made public. This changed the way that core projects are managed. Snowden mentioned Apple’s iPhone as an example where vulnerabilities were found and the solution was not transparent:

“When Apple or Google has a bug, not only can we have no influence over the cure, but we don’t know anything about the cause and we don’t know what they have learned in effecting a cure. So, it’s not possible for everyone to use that knowledge to help build a better world for everyone.”

His talk brought applause from the audience and was a call to action as much as it was informative.

2. OpenStack is Helping Make the World Safer

The U.S. Army is using OpenStack to rapidly deliver the required curriculum for cyber command training and saving millions of dollars in the process. Using software development as an example, they created an agile development process where the instructors can improve the course rapidly and presented an example of their deployment of different virtual machines with malware and threat detection software. Instructors are able to create new content by submitting code to a source code repository and have it approved in less than a day. The new content is also available to graduates of the course in support of ongoing training. As a taxpayer, I can only hope that the other branches of the military will follow the Army’s lead in delivering the same innovative philosophy and process. These processes employed by the Army can be leveraged by service provides to deliver new services, apply security patches, and remedy service disruptions.

You can watch the keynote here and the in-depth talk below:

3. Lightweight OpenStack Control Planes for Edge Computing

OpenStack was designed to run large clouds managing thousands of servers in traditional data centers. Running OpenStack on a single local server allows service and OTT providers to manage CPEs using the same toolchain for managing VMs in their hosted cloud solutions.

Verizon’s keynote highlighting their uCPE is available here.

4. Aligning Container and Virtual Machine Technologies

My favorite forum session was a discussion to align VMs and containers. Containers address the application configuration and management challenges that are not as easily addressed with virtual machines. OpenStack can be used to manage the dependencies that containers need to run. In addition to the general summit proceeding, OpenStack has a forum format. You can learn more about the format here.

Leaders from both the OpenStack Nova team and the Linux Foundation’s Kubernetes were on the panel. Kubernetes performs many complementary and some overlapping tasks as OpenStack. Because Kubernetes was developed several years after Nova, they improved on some of the similar features.

CableLabs hosted an OpenStack Users Group meeting recently on the same subject called "OpenStack & Containers: Better Together".

5. Data Plane Acceleration 

With the growth of OpenStack in the service provider space, the focus to move packets from point A to point B is as critical as ever. Open vSwitch continues to be a popular choice, and with the addition of DPDK support, they are reducing the latency involved with process packets in a virtualized network. Tapio Tallgren, the chair of OPNFV’s Technical Steering Committee, provides some results of testing DPDK with OPNFV. As many of you may know, CableLabs SNAPS project leverages OPNFV as a foundation. The Yardstick performance testing project, which Tapio discusses in his blog post Snaps-OO Open Sourced Collaborative Development Resource, is in the process of migrating many of their scenarios to leverage our SNAPS-OO utility.

FD.io is the newest player for accelerating the data plane. Their testing results in the lab are remarkable, and we are beginning to see some adoption for use in production. There was even a 1-day training session dedicated solely to FD.io.

 

With demos, product launches, and informative talks, OpenStack Summit Boston 2017 was a huge success. I hope to see you at the next one! If you have any questions about OpenStack don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.

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