Why Should I Care? The Value of CableLabs Certification/Qualification for Manufacturers

Matt Schmitt
Principal Architect

Jun 14, 2018

In my previous blog post in this series, we talked about the process of becoming CableLabs Certified or CableLabs Qualified, and why determining whether a device has been certified or qualified is valuable for cable operators. But what about for manufacturers?

In the previous blog post’s example—in which a cable operator was having trouble with a cable modem termination system (CMTS) in his network—imagine that the CMTS manufacturer in question had submitted its device to Kyrio for testing and that it had become CableLabs Qualified. In that case, it’s extremely likely that the problems would never have occurred. Or if a problem had occurred, it would likely be originating from a cable modem rather than the CMTS itself.

Wouldn’t that knowledge have significant value for the manufacturer, rather than simply claiming that it was DOCSIS Compliant?

Enabling Sales

Which is also why many cable operators require that their devices be CableLabs Certified or Qualified before they deploy them on their network. It’s important to note that CableLabs member companies aren’t required to purchase only certified or qualified equipment: They can purchase whatever equipment they’d like. However, in many cases, they do see the value for their operations and therefore require devices to be CableLabs Certified or Qualified as part of their purchasing process.

There are even cases in which government regulation necessitates certification. As a result, obtaining certification or qualification can—in some cases—be a requirement for selling a particular product.

A Mark of Quality

But what if you already know your device is compliant? Why do you need someone else to test it to prove that?

Over the years, we’ve had numerous cases in which a manufacturer was convinced that its product was fully compliant with one of our specifications. However, there are tests that Kyrio is simply in a better position to execute; over the course of our testing processes, we’ve often uncovered issues that could have caused major problems once a given device was deployed in the field. Not only would that cause a problem for cable operators; it would also cause major problems for the manufacturer that supplied those devices because that manufacturer will be the one on the hook to get things fixed—and to do so quickly. Therefore, it’s much more cost-effective to discover those problems early, before things are deployed, and avoid those headaches.

In fact, to the best of our knowledge, no CableLabs Certified device has ever been the subject of a hardware recall.

As a result, the CableLabs Certified and CableLabs Qualified labels have become symbols of quality, ones that have often enabled sales into new markets for manufacturers, thereby opening up new business opportunities.

Sailing through the process

All of that said, the ideal scenario would be to never find failures during certification or qualification testing so that devices sail through the process as quickly and easily as possible. In the next blog post in this series, we’ll look at some of the ways CableLabs and Kyrio help to do just that, as part of our mission of getting properly functioning devices into the field as quickly as possible.

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