Technology Vision

Beyond Speed: The New Eras of Broadband Innovation

CableLabs' Technology Vision: Eras of Broadband Innovation

CableLabs
CableLabs

Jun 6, 2024

Key Points

  • CableLabs’ Technology Vision outlines three eras of broadband innovation: speed, experience and adaptivity.
  • Tailored, seamless and adaptive experiences of the future will require industry collaboration and ecosystem interoperability.

Still trying to attract customers based on ever-increasing gigabit speeds? That may not be enough to gain a competitive advantage in today’s broadband industry. We’re entering a new era — one in which the market prioritizes seamless connectivity over technical metrics.

Users want technology that will work everywhere all the time, with no disruptions. It doesn’t matter to them if an operator can deliver 100 gigabits per second if their connection drops at a pivotal moment.

The broadband industry has reached a tipping point at which additional gains in speed no longer offer substantial improvements to customer experiences that they used to. As quality of service (QoS) has improved over time, user expectations have also evolved. Users spend more and more time online, and they want higher-quality experiences and predictable delivery that won’t glitch or drop as they go about their day, whether they’re at home, on the go or anywhere in between.

In other words, users don’t want to think about their networks. They just want them to work, wherever they happen to be.

To achieve this outcome, the industry needs a network that can anticipate and adapt to users’ needs in real time as they move between networks and applications. Ultimately, the goal is ubiquitous, context-aware connectivity that fades into the background.

How do we get there? First, let’s take a look at the three eras of broadband innovation outlined in CableLabs’ Technology Vision: speed, experience and adaptivity.

CableLabs Technology Vision: Eras of Broadband Innovation
(Click graphic to enlarge)

Where We Started: The Speed Era

The early days of broadband innovation focused on metrics. Speed was the moving target for DOCSIS®️ 1.0 and DOCSIS 3.1 technologies, and the aim was to improve metrics that were visible to consumers. Companies touted faster and faster speeds as a competitive differentiator, and today we can deliver 10 gigabits per second, with even greater speed increases on the horizon.

While it is foundational to the future of the industry, speed has reached a saturation point. It has ceded its place as the primary driver of usage and is now an expectation, not a differentiator. Faster speeds are certainly likely in the future, but the focus has shifted to delivering explicit value in terms of experience.

Where We Are: The Experience Era

Broadband usage has reached an inflection point, with users requiring such services in nearly every aspect of their lives. They expect their networks to be not only reliable — and reliably fast — but also to transform the way they live, work, learn and play by enabling optimal experiences throughout all of their online interactions. Seamless connectivity has become the new target for the online experience.

Realizing these customer expectations will require advances in smart devices and telemetry, seamless connections across networks, and context-aware user and device interactions. Operators will also need to have a comprehensive understanding of network performance and how it impacts application experiences.

DOCSIS 4.0 technology moves us closer to seamless user experiences with its capability for delivering symmetrical multi-gigabit speeds while supporting high reliability, high security and low latency. Although network technology innovations have expanded user experience measures beyond speed, true seamless connectivity remains elusive.

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to the seamless connectivity problem. In addition to the performance of their individual networks, providers must also consider:

  • How to optimize the hand-off as customers move from one network to another
  • How various user applications and devices impact the user experience
  • How to meet the increasing demand for tailored experiences that anticipate needs before a disruption occurs
  • How to deliver uninterrupted experiences as users move through various environments

Online experiences in an environment such as a hotel, for example, are currently dependent on that hotel’s Wi-Fi. This means the connection could be glitchy or service may be disrupted, leaving customers frustrated and their expectations unmet. The goal in the experience era is to ensure a Wi-Fi experience that matches those expectations no matter where the user is.

The problem is that measuring a user’s actual experience isn’t easy. We have limited intelligent network metrics today that help us predict what the experience will be, and there’s still significant work to be done in this area.

Still, we’ve seen some promising developments in correlating metrics with experiential outcomes.

In recent work conducted by CableLabs, we’ve explored the potential of correlating application Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to network KPIs. Through our work on Quality by Design (QbD), we can leverage the customer’s lived application experience to identify network impairments and take action on those issues before the user’s experience degrades. This could alleviate frustrating customer experiences and eliminate many unnecessary customer service interactions that result from not understanding the user’s experience in real time.

Where We’re Headed: The Adaptive Era

Ultimately, the emphasis on user experience will segue into an adaptive era that leverages self-configuration, sensing components for understanding environmental factors and predictive algorithms that anticipate future events to ensure uninterrupted experiences. Networks of the future will be smarter, more capable and less visible, essentially fading into the background.

To achieve this result, industry stakeholders will need to work together toward continued increases in capacity, significant enhancements in reliability and network intelligence, and increased network understanding to facilitate proactive responses. Focus areas in the adaptive era will include:

  • Full Automation and Digital Network Twins — As more smart components are built into technology, we’ll gain access to telemetry that isn’t on the network today. The data will help us understand network performance in greater detail and build automation into the network.
  • Full Self-Healing — The network will identify failures or weak points and automatically re-route data or allocate resources to maintain functionality.
  • Self-Configuration — We have some self-configuration technology today, but it’s still fairly primitive. In the adaptive era, learning algorithms will be built in, fully responsive and able to configure themselves to the environment and the way users interact.
  • Unconstrained Network Capabilities — Customers will be able to access their services from anywhere with Network as a Service (NaaS). Achieving this goal will require partnerships across providers and networks to create common understanding.
  • Pervasive Sensing — The ability to sense fiber components, Wi-Fi, construction and other events will empower predictive adaptability and proactive responses.
  • Self-Optimizing — By constantly analyzing performance metrics and user requirements, networks of the future will be able to optimize resource allocation, routing paths and other parameters for best performance.

The infrastructure to create these kinds of experiences is still in the early stages of development. However, we’re starting to see broadband innovations that incorporate adaptive elements. Examples include:

  • Automated Profile Management Changes — Built-in mechanisms detect a problem in a section of the network and shift the traffic to a different range inside that frequency.
  • Smart Home Technology — Smart home devices, such as thermostats and lighting systems, use sensors to understand environmental factors. They can then adjust settings accordingly, providing a more comfortable and energy-efficient living space.
  • Environmental Sensing — Using various sensors and algorithms, networks can sense environmental events (e.g., seismic activity, nearby construction, etc.) and alert first responders or respond to avoid an outage.

What’s Next for the Industry?

Delivering true seamless connectivity — and enabling truly optimal application experiences — won’t happen overnight. To get there, we’ll need to work together as an industry to solve complex system-level issues and develop common platforms for interoperability.

As a whole, the industry must transition from its focus on improving network metrics such as speed. Operators must prioritize delivering tailored, seamless and adaptive experiences built on interoperability. Doing so will require common interfaces to support interoperability, integrated definitions and data structures, as well as collaboration across providers and networks.

The CableLabs Technology Vision seeks to move the industry forward by helping our members provide superior customer experiences everywhere and aligning the industry on a concise model for building adaptive networks through:

  • Seamless Connectivity
  • Network Platform Evolution
  • Pervasive Intelligence, Security and Privacy

To design and implement the technologies and operational models of the future, operators will need to develop a common understanding that transforms the vision of the adaptive era into a reality for every customer. Together, we can deliver network solutions that are flexible, reliable and capable of enabling new services and improved user experiences.

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Technology Vision

  An Inside Look at CableLabs’ New Technology Vision 

CableLabs Technology Vision

CableLabs
CableLabs

Apr 24, 2024

Key Points

  • The Tech Vision aims to drive alignment and scale for the broadband industry and to foster a healthy vendor ecosystem.
  • A framework of core areas focuses on defining network capabilities that are flexible, reliable and can deliver quality services and user experiences.

Last month at CableLabs Winter Conference, we unveiled a new way forward for CableLabs’ technology strategy — a transformative roadmap designed to support our member and vendor community through innovation and technology development in the coming years.

Mark Bridges, CableLabs’ Senior Vice President and Chief Technical Officer, recently sat down with David Debrecht, Vice President of Wireless Technologies, to talk more about this new Technology Vision. Check out the video below to learn more about the strategy and how it evolved from conversations with our member CTOs about what’s important to them.

Thinking About Connectivity Differently

The Technology Vision serves as a framework to help align the industry around key industry issues for CableLabs members and operators. By leveraging what CableLabs does best, we can help provide alignment and scale for the industry and direct our efforts toward developing a healthy vendor ecosystem. Involving our members from the get-go has allowed us to refine the Tech Vision framework to focus on areas that will have the most impact for them and give them a competitive edge.

“It’s all about connectivity,” Bridges explains. “People don’t care how they’re connecting. They don’t think about the access network. They don’t think about the underlying technologies like we do. We’re best positioned to be that first point of connection for people.”

The CableLabs Technology Vision defines three future-focused themesSeamless Connectivity, Network Platform Evolution and Pervasive Intelligence, Security & Privacy — that encompass the scope of broadband technologies. The goal is to provide a concise model for building adaptive networks and set up a framework of core areas focused on defining network capabilities that are flexible, reliable and able to deliver quality services and user experiences.

In the video, Bridges highlights some of the initiatives CableLabs is already deeply involved in to support this vision, including Network as a Service (NaaS), fiber services and mobile innovations designed to move us closer to seamless connectivity. These areas are mainstays in CableLabs’ technology portfolio, allowing us to drive innovation and advancement while keeping costs low.

Creating an Adaptive Network

What’s ahead for the industry in the near future? Bridges points to a “convergence of connectivity” that enables operators to offer seamless services across different network and device types.

As AI evolves and more intelligent devices enter the market, we’re already seeing increases in network usage. These innovations raise critical questions as we look to the future: How will traffic utilization patterns change? What impacts will we see for reliability and capacity needs?

Bridges envisions a network that is more reliable, more capable and, in a sense, less visible. It’s a network, he says, that “fades into the background. You connect and do the things that you want to do and you don’t have to think about it.”

Do you want to be a part of shaping that future? Our working groups bring CableLabs members and vendors together to make meaningful contributions that advance the industry as a whole. Reach out to us to learn how you can participate in this work and help make an impact.

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Events

CableLabs Winter Conference: Powering Connections and Collaboration This Month in Orlando

CableLabs Winter Conference

CableLabs
CableLabs

Mar 14, 2024

Key Points

  • Winter Conference is designed for CableLabs members and the NDA vendor community to expand their knowledge, build meaningful connections and discover the technology advancements transforming the industry.
  • Sessions will cover topics including AI, Wi-Fi, seamless connectivity, optics and DOCSIS® technology — as well as an all-new Technology Vision for the industry.

Are you ready to maximize your connections and unlock opportunities for collaboration? Join us at CableLabs Winter Conference — an exclusive event bringing together industry experts and thought leaders to foster progressive dialogue and help shape the future of broadband.

This private, intimate gathering is a unique opportunity for our members and the NDA vendor community to expand knowledge, network with peers and discover the technology advancements transforming the industry.

CableLabs’ much anticipated and most requested event is back in Orlando, Florida, from March 25–28, 2024. Registration is open for members through March 20, and on-site registration will be available at the conference.

Voices of the Industry

Craig Moffett, industry analyst and Senior Managing Director of MoffettNathanson, will set the scene with his perspective on the current state of the industry as well as emerging trends and opportunities.

Later, industry executives Ron McKenzie of Rogers Communications, Elad Nafshi of Comcast Cable and Gary Koerper of Charter Communications will discuss the industry’s new and evolving Technology Vision in a strategic, forward-thinking session led by CableLabs’ SVP and CTO, Mark Bridges. This new vision will foster more robust, efficient and sustainable industry ecosystems.

Among the other featured Winter Conference speakers are Victor Esposito, CTO at Ritter Communications, who will discuss FTTH and PON strategies, and Dan Rice, Vice President of Access Network Engineering at Comcast Communications. He will participate in a panel exploring the most pressing topics around network platform evolution.

A Spotlight on Strategy

A series of all-new strategy sessions are planned for members to exchange ideas and practical insights on Thursday, March 28. A Broadband Usage and Demand Forecasting session, which will include breakfast that morning, will kick off the day — covering the evolution of network demand and its impact on future technology and capacity planning.

The breakfast will be followed by deep-dive sessions on seamless connectivity strategies using mmWave spectrum and Low-Earth-Orbit Satellite technologies, and the market dynamics and economics of FWA and FTTH. Members must be registered for Winter Conference to attend these strategy sessions.

Captivating Content

Winter Conference is packed with insights and inspiration. Just some of the additional conference session topics include:

AI and Autonomous Networks

  • Learn about the transformative effects of ongoing AI endeavors and discuss how the industry can unite to create a more interconnected and intelligent network ecosystem.

FTTH and PON

  • Discuss challenges to FTTH deployment, accelerating network deployment, and the modernization and virtualization of PON.
  • Explore the future of PON — including emerging technologies such as 25G, 50G and 100G PON, quality-based access networks, seamless connectivity and reliability.

Seamless Connectivity

  • Get a Wall Street expert’s view on how telcos are positioning themselves for seamless convergence.
  • Explore the growth drivers and early use cases of Global Developer Services.

Wi-Fi

  • Hear about the challenges of supporting the in-home Wi-Fi experience and strategies needed for quick and effective resolution of issues.
  • Explore the strategic role of Wi-Fi in ensuring a high-quality, seamless in-home broadband experience, and gain insights into the latest developments.

And that’s not all! There’s so much more to discover and learn at Winter Conference.

Smaller Market Conference

At the Smaller Market Conference on Monday, March 25, small and mid-tier operators will have the opportunity to discuss the issues that are most important to them and their teams. This event is available for CableLabs members and NCTA guests. Registration for Smaller Market Conference is separate from Winter Conference, so please be sure to register for both if you are planning to attend.

Experience Winter Conference

Don’t miss the chance to take part in one of the highlights of the CableLabs events calendar. Expand your knowledge, build meaningful connections and stay at the forefront of industry advancements.

Visit the event website to register and plan your trip to CableLabs Winter Conference today.

ATTEND WINTER CONFERENCE

Events

Connect, Learn and Explore the Future of Broadband Technology at Winter Conference

CableLabs Winter Conference

CableLabs
CableLabs

Jan 4, 2024

Are you ready to dive into the latest advancements in the broadband industry? Join us at CableLabs Winter Conference, a gathering for leaders, change-makers and other experts from the industry to explore and help shape the future of broadband technology. 

Back by popular demand, this exclusive event — happening in Orlando, Florida, from March 25–28, 2024 — provides a unique opportunity for CableLabs members and exhibiting vendors to strengthen connections and engage in insightful discussions. We’re excited to announce that for the first time, the conference will also include a members-only strategy session, which will close out the event on Thursday, March 28. 

Registration is open for members, and vendors can apply to exhibit. Here’s what attendees can look forward to.

Today’s Advancements and Tomorrow’s Opportunities 

Featured speakers include Craig Moffett, industry analyst and Senior Managing Director of MoffettNathanson. Moffett will kick off the conference with his perspectives on the current state of the industry, emerging trends and opportunities that lie ahead. His expertise and insights will set the stage for an engaging and enlightening conference experience.

After his remarks, Winter Conference will continue with three days of intensive, expert-led sessions delving into a wide range of topics, including: 

Strategy (all-new Strategy Session for members only): We will discuss how network demand is evolving and its impact on technology strategy and capacity planning. We will also discuss how different products might impact consumer choices and the unique differentiation potential offered by fixed-mobile convergence. 

AI and autonomous networks: Panelists will provide a snapshot of ongoing AI endeavors, the impact of those initiatives, and how the industry can create a more interconnected and intelligent network ecosystem using the technology. 

FTTH and PON: Experts will discuss fiber to the home (FTTH) and passive optical networks (PON), focusing on challenges to FTTH deployment, accelerating network deployment, and the modernization and virtualization of PON. They will cover emerging technologies such as 25G, 50G and 100G PON.  

Seamless connectivity: Panelists will spotlight some leading efforts, including early use cases and growth drivers that are sparking transformation to reshape the interconnected future.

Plus much more!

Winter Conference is also an opportunity for our member companies to explore the latest product innovations. Exhibiting vendors will gain valuable opportunities to network with decision-makers in the industry while showcasing their products. The exhibition floor — open through March 27 — will feature technology demos and product showcases, allowing our operator members and exhibiting vendors to make valuable connections that will help them stay ahead of the curve and drive their businesses forward.

Smaller Market Conference

On the first day of Winter Conference, Monday, March 25, we invite small and mid-tier operators to join Smaller Market Conference to discuss the issues that are most important to them and their teams. This event is available for CableLabs members and NCTA guests. 

Attendees will have opportunities to connect with and hear from executives and leaders from across the spectrum of responsibilities, including business strategy, technology, engineering, marketing, operations and customer experience. Registration for this event is separate from Winter Conference, so if you are a member planning to attend, please be sure to register for both. 

Save the Date

One of CableLabs’ most requested events, Winter Conference is a unique opportunity to connect and exchange ideas with industry peers and leaders. Visit our website to register and secure your spot at this must-attend event. Together, let’s unlock the full potential of broadband technology and drive innovation in the industry.

See you at CableLabs Winter Conference!

ATTEND WINTER CONFERENCE

10G

  Celebrating 5 Years of 10G: Revolutionizing Connectivity and Igniting the Future  

10G Milestones

CableLabs
CableLabs

Jan 3, 2024

The broadband industry stands on the threshold of transforming the online experience through widespread deployment of the 10G network. With technologies capable of delivering faster speeds, lower latencies, enhanced reliability and better security in a scalable manner, 10G is already available for many home and business applications — and soon, the network will be widely available for many more.

“CableLabs, along with our members and the vendor community, made remarkable progress on the path to 10G. The near future is here,” said Phil McKinney, CableLabs President and CEO. “When we announced the promise of 10G in 2019, we set ambitious goals on our 10G roadmap — and we are pleased that our efforts have delivered transformative, next-generation technology that will support future generations for years to come.”

What Milestones Were Reached?

Over the past year, the broadband industry has seen significant progress toward faster download speeds, reduced buffering, lower latency and better security. Ultimately, these efforts will deliver more reliable user experiences to support immersive media, videoconferencing, gaming, artificial intelligence and other applications. Built upon existing hybrid fiber coax (HFC) infrastructure, such experiences will soon be widely available thanks to progress in key areas.

DOCSIS 4.0 Specifications and Events 

DOCSIS® 4.0 technology makes it possible to support high reliability and security while delivering symmetrical multigigabit speeds and low latency. In 2023, CableLabs published the certification for DOCSIS 4.0 cable modems and certified the first cable modem with Low Latency DOCSIS (LLD) support. In addition, we hosted interoperability events focusing on speed, security and reliability. These events brought together suppliers and operators to share knowledge and technology advancements.

FTTP Adoption 

Accelerating the adoption of fiber to the premises (FTTP) is a critical step toward harnessing the potential of the passive optical network (PON). To move the needle in this area, CableLabs spearheaded two working groups in 2023 to facilitate fiber network collaboration. One group continues to focus on optical operations and maintenance, while the other is working toward developing a DOCSIS framework specification for provisioning International Telecommunication Union (ITU)-based PON technology.

Low Latency DOCSIS 

Comcast kicked off the first Low Latency DOCSIS field trials. CableLabs also certified the first cable modem with LLD support.

CPON Architecture

Alongside DOCSIS 4.0 advancements and FTTP adoption, coherent PON (CPON) developments help prepare networks for the increased demands of the future. Using the newly released CPON specification, CableLabs worked to define the high-level architecture, setting the stage for supporting increased capacity per wavelength, extended reach and higher port density.

Member 10G Network Deployments

CableLabs members also made strides toward 10G adoption in 2023, and broadband providers around the world announced their roadmaps to deployment. Many of these companies have already begun physical deployment or are working toward it, including:

Charter — As it continues its network expansion across the nation, Charter named several vendor partners to support its roadmap toward network-wide symmetrical multi-gigabit service.

Comcast — Comcast began the nation’s largest and fastest multi-gig rollouts with its Xfinity 10G network, upgrading service to 10 million homes and businesses. The company also introduced next-generation internet powered by DOCSIS 4.0 technology to the world’s first residential customers.

Cox — With recent lab tests of DOCSIS 4.0 technology, Cox has continued to reaffirm its commitment to the 10G initiative, planning a multi-billion-dollar annual infrastructure investment to build a 10G network.

Mediacom Mediacom, a CableLabs member working to build fiber-optic infrastructure in smaller towns and cities in America, began transitioning Iowa’s leading gigabit network to 10G in 2023.

VodafoneZiggo — Liberty Global’s Dutch subsidiary became the first company in the world to conduct a DOCSIS 4.0 test on a live network.

GCI and Midco — These two companies are among CableLabs’ members on target to achieve 10G speeds by 2025.

What’s Ahead in 2024?

With the start of a new year, we’re gazing out over the horizon to a future where interoperability, low latency and reliable connections are the norm in every home and office building.

CableLabs will continue to lead the charge toward 10G realization by advancing technology innovation, fostering interoperability and supporting member deployments. As the leading innovation and R&D lab for the broadband industry, we remain committed to empowering next-generation broadband connectivity with technologies that meet or exceed the evolving needs of the industry.

LEARN MORE ABOUT 10G

Events

SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2023 Celebrates 40 Years of Cable Industry Innovation

SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2023

CableLabs
CableLabs

Oct 5, 2023

The future of connectivity is being built today. As new solutions enter the market and industry leaders leverage emerging technologies and 10G breakthroughs, the cable industry is making a difference with powerful capabilities that reach into nearly every home. The best place to experience these advancements in one place is in person at SCTE® Cable-Tec Expo® 2023 — and it’s all happening this month in Denver, Colorado.

SCTE Cable-Tec Expo is the largest and most influential cable industry event in the Americas, bringing together the best creative minds and the latest in pioneering technologies. This year’s event, which will mark the Cable-Tec Expo’s 40th anniversary, takes place October 16–19.

We look forward to celebrating four decades of thought leadership, technology innovation, emerging applications and business insights with thousands of other industry professionals. Join CableLabs, along with subsidiaries Kyrio and SCTE, and other cable industry leaders and experts to see what’s next for the industry.

Experience Future-Ready Technology

In the Exhibit Hall, attendees can discover new solutions and products, experience emerging technologies, and network with industry leaders and peers. Stop by booth 2201 to talk with technologists and see demonstrations of leading-edge technology solutions from CableLabs, Kyrio and Gridmetrics. Here’s a look at what you can expect to learn about in our demos.

  • Experiencing holograms with 10G: Come get a glimpse into what 10G will be able to deliver in this demonstration of a 65-inch light field display. Experience realistic, next-generation 3D holograms that don't require any special glasses or head-mounted displays, and interact with applications that enhance the ways we’ll live, work, learn and play in the future.
  • Effortless home networking using meshed Wi-Fi: Learn how multiple, discrete home networks can be set up on the fly with per-device credentials and prioritization using an array of meshed Wi-Fi access points. We’ll show you how this can be achieved without cables and customer premises equipment (CPE) for households and customers that were previously difficult to serve.
  • Streamlined Internet of Things connections: Still sharing your network password with every single Internet of Things (IoT) device? This demonstration will show you the future of networked IoT devices, using the new IoT standard, Matter. See how scanning a QR code gets a device on the network with its own unique credential, which is more secure and easier to manage.
  • Harnessing the power of DOCSIS® 4.0 technology: Come talk with us about the next generation of DOCSIS networks and hybrid fiber coax (HFC) technology, from specifications to standards, to Interop·Labs events for DOCSIS 4.0 devices, to certification. We’ll have experts on hand to highlight the benefits of new DOCSIS 4.0 technologies, including security enhancements and the ability for MSOs to increase service tiers immediately by using DOCSIS 4.0 cable modems (CMs) on DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem termination systems (CMTSs).
  • Unpacking the potential of NaaP: Get an overview of application layer convergence, also known as Network as a Platform (NaaP). NaaP has been a key focus to help facilitate broader ecosystem enablement, leveraging intent-based APIs that reside in the Network Exposure Layer (NEL). This demonstration will include an NaaP program overview, industry standards alignment activity, completed lab proofs of concept and demos highlighting current intent-based APIs.
  • MIND’s mastery in discovering HFC elements: This demonstration will showcase the discovery of HFC network elements and topology from a starting point of “no available as-built maps.” MIND™ — or Methodology for Intelligent Network Discovery — leverages multiple sources of information and tools, including DOCSIS technologies, Proactive Network Maintenance (PNM), geodata, direct analysis and artificial intelligence, and discovers the HFC network elements, their identifying parameters, location and connectivity. This information can then be used for numerous applications, such as map generation and verification, fraud detection, what-if scenarios, 1.8/3+ GHz planning, device localization, on-demand network characterization, etc.
  • Advanced protocol efficiency for reduced lag: Protocol advancements are helping to solve the problem of lag, but how do you know if those enhancements are working? Join Kyrio for demonstrations of PON testing capabilities for ONT/ONU and OLT interoperability and thermal testing, as well as low-latency testing.
  • Validating supplier solutions for 5G and Open RAN testing: In this demo, Kyrio will illustrate 5G and Open RAN testing capabilities based on a testing strategy to validate supplier solutions within operator/carrier-grade deployment scenarios. Learn how Kyrio’s comprehensive testing solutions support product design, development and launch.
  • ARC Hotspot’s seamless failover capabilities: Get a first-hand look at Kyrio’s revolutionary software-based broadband failover solution, ARC Hotspot. This technology automatically performs a failover from fixed broadband to a designated mobile hotspot when broadband goes down and facilitates automatic failback when the connection is restored.
  • Effortless Wi-Fi-to-mobile transitions using ARC Mobile: Learn how Kyrio is solving the seamless connectivity problem with ARC Mobile. With no additional hardware requirements, ARC Mobile seamlessly and instantaneously switches traffic between Wi-Fi and mobile networks depending on real-time network conditions.
  • Amplifying power distribution grid insights with Gridmetrics: S­­­ee a demonstration of Gridmetrics’ Power Event Notification System (PENS) and learn about an evolving roadmap supporting the real-time-all-the-time needs for the modernized power distribution grid.

Visit the CableLabs booth to learn more about these cutting-edge innovations and see them in action.

Spotlighting Cable Industry Achievements

Other highlights from the event will include the Fall Technical Forum, the L&D Experience, the Open RAN Technical Summit, plus additional tracks and summits focusing on policy, strategy and security.

On Wednesday, October 18, join a special session, “Accelerating FTTP Adoption: CableLabs Leaders Discuss Lowering the Barrier to PON Deployments.” Our team of experts will offer valuable insights into passive optical networking and address critical aspects of the technology, including interoperability, training, provisioning integration and proactive network maintenance.

The session is one of several presentations and panel discussions in the Exhibit Hall’s Innovation Theater. Experts and thought leaders will take the stage throughout Expo to discuss what’s on the horizon for the industry.

Also on October 18, the SCTE Awards & 40th Anniversary of Expo Celebration will spotlight industry achievements and honor leaders and innovators who are working to advance connectivity, 10G technology and more.

There’s still time to register for the technology event of the year! Make plans to attend, and chart your path to growth and transformation.

COUNT ME IN!

Wireless

  2023 5G Challenge Event Closes Chapter on Open RAN Competition

Open RAN 5G Challenge

CableLabs
CableLabs

Sep 26, 2023

The 5G Challenge culminated in an inspiring event September 21 with the awarding of $7 million in cash and in-kind prizes to providers of high-performing Open Radio Access Network (RAN) solutions. CableLabs, which served as the host lab in partnership with subsidiary Kyrio, welcomed U.S. and international stakeholders to our headquarters in Colorado for a ceremony marking the end of both the 2023 competition and the two-year challenge program.

Open RAN — a next-generation wireless network architecture — makes building, expanding, upgrading and repairing networks simpler and cheaper for mobile network operators (MNOs). More than half of CableLabs’ member companies are MNOs.

The 5G Challenge was launched in 2022 as a collaboration between the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Institute for Telecommunications Sciences (NTIA-ITS) and the Department of Defense (DoD). The objective was to accelerate the widespread adoption of 5G open interfaces, interoperable subsystems, secure networks and multivendor solutions by cultivating a thriving and vibrant vendor community. We share the NTIA and DoD’s goals for creating a more competitive and diverse Open RAN ecosystem.

What Is Open RAN?

Open RAN enables mobile service providers to use subcomponents from various vendors in their wireless networks. Traditional RAN, by contrast, uses a single vendor for all its components, which limits innovation and raises costs. By avoiding vendor lock-in, mobile service providers can repair and replace RAN components and software more quickly and efficiently, which ultimately reduces the cost of deployment and overall lifecycle costs.

Collaboration at Every Level

Selected as the host lab for both years of the challenge, CableLabs partnered with Kyrio — the first O-RAN Alliance Open Testing and Integration Center (OTIC) in the Americas — to provide expertise and our facility for testing the contestants’ systems. The testing of components by an independent and neutral lab is key to the Open RAN ecosystem.

Watch the video below to take a look at our state-of-the-art lab and our expert staff working on Open RAN.

CableLabs’ ongoing involvement in Open RAN activities, including hosting O-RAN Alliance PlugFests, and our extensive expertise in mobile network technologies made our facilities well suited for meeting the goals of the challenge. Our staff also assisted the NTIA-ITS and DoD in designing the challenge, including the rules and grading process.

Nine contestants were selected for the 2023 5G Challenge, and solutions were judged for their ability to demonstrate multivendor interoperability across radio units (RUs) and combined central units (CUs) and distributed units (DUs).

“Working together as an industry, working together across the vendor community and with the support of NTIA and our other partners, we were able to do that in a very short timeframe — all of five weeks,” our president and CEO, Phil McKinney, noted during the closing ceremony. “Many people didn’t think it could be done, but it got done.”

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis was also among the government officials, policymakers, industry leaders and other experts attending the event at CableLabs’ Louisville headquarters. He commended the 2023 contestants’ spirit of innovation and touted the impact of the industry.

“I always find that these challenges really bring out the best of us,” he said. “Rather than just doing more of the same, we’re challenging people and companies to do things in new and different ways. And one thing’s for sure: The better connected we are to one another, the stronger our communities are and the stronger our economy will be. That’s really, at its core, what 5G technology is all about.”

The 5G Challenge Winners

CableLabs congratulates Lions, Mavenir, NewEdge and Radisys, which comprised the team winning the largest of the 2023 5G Challenge total prize purse awards — $3 million — in the “Stage Four: Mobility” category. The winning team and another mobility team — Capgemini, JMA Wireless and QCT/Benetel — both successfully completed Stage Four, and a tiebreaker determined the prize winner. Other winners were:

Multivendor End-to-End Integration Prizes

  • First place ($750,000 each and additional lab time): Capgemini and QCT/Benetel
  • Second place ($250,000 each): Lions and Radisys

Wrap-Around Emulation Prizes ($100,000 each)

  • Capgemini (CU+DU)
  • Fujitsu (RU)
  • GXC (CU+DU and RU)
  • JMA Wireless (CU+DU)
  • Lions (RU)
  • Mavenir (CU+DU)
  • NewEdge (RU)
  • QCT/Benetel (RU)
  • Radisys (CU+DU)

Best in Show Prizes

  • Best Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) and Vulnerability Exploitability eXchange (VEX) ($100,000 each and security testing): Fujitsu and JMA Wireless
  • Best Collaborator ($20,000 and security testing): Lions

The participants successfully demonstrated end-to-end data sessions across an Open RAN architecture with multiple vendors. They also demonstrated multivendor end-to-end interoperability with three pairs of Open RAN subsystems conducting data sessions using various protocols, traffic loading and stability in varying radio frequency (RF) conditions. And, in an industry first, mobile handover between two separate multivendor Open RAN next-generation node Bs (gNBs) was achieved.

CableLabs looks forward to working with contestants that were also awarded additional lab time or security testing.

Last year, the 2022 5G Challenge offered a $3 million prize purse to contestants that successfully integrated hardware and/or software solutions for one or more RU, CU and/or DU subsystems.

Building on Successes Together

There's still more to do to fully develop the Open RAN ecosystem, and a neutral lab like ours will be essential for efficient and effective testing. CableLabs is committed to the growth of Open RAN infrastructure, and we look forward to future collaborations with the NTIA and DoD.

Together, we can build a more open and truly plug-and-play Open RAN ecosystem.

EXPLORE OUR LABS

Labs

  Collaboration Sparks Innovation in Our Broadband Labs

CableLabs Labs Innovation

CableLabs
CableLabs

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Sep 7, 2023

Innovation flourishes when collaboration meets experimentation and expertise. At CableLabs, this synergy is helping us blaze new trails into our digital future. Thanks to our culture of co-innovation, we’re redefining expectations and reshaping possibilities for tomorrow’s broadband technologies. 

These innovations benefit not only the global industry and member companies we serve but also consumers all over the world. They move us closer to the transformative digital experiences that we anticipate in the near future.

Earlier this year, we walked you through some of our labs’ capabilities. In these purpose-built facilities, our experts breathe life into early-stage ideas, fine-tune the resulting technologies and prepare those innovations for real-world deployment. 

Now, we want to give you a look inside. We invite you to watch the video below for a look at the spaces we have built to fuel imagination and ignite innovation. 

Thriving on Co-Innovation

CableLabs was founded on a promise to serve as the R&D consortium for our industry and, for more than 30 years, we’ve been championing the power of co-innovation. We know that the industry is stronger when we work together. Collaboration makes us better served to transform the way people live, work, learn and play. And it all begins in our state-of-the-art labs.

Our Labs at a Glance

Research & Development Labs — In these labs, our experts hone technologies including 10G: Convergence, Mobile, Hybrid Fiber Coax and many more. The labs can be interconnected to simulate a range of scenarios.

Kyrio Test Services — Kyrio, a CableLabs subsidiary, provides testing of network equipment for operators and suppliers in the Kyrio Lab. The Kyrio Test House offers a real-world environment to test the performance of Wi-Fi devices. 

System & Device Test Environments — Kyrio uses these labs to simulate a variety of scenarios when used in combination with any of our other labs. The environments include anechoic chambers and environments for research and the testing of devices for energy efficiency and radio frequency (RF) isolation capabilities.

Next-Generation Technologies Lab — In this lab, we investigate and experiment with long-term possibilities, including quantum networking mechanisms to defend against cyber-attacks and ultimately access quantum computers.

Shape the Future With Us

With top-of-the-line equipment and an eagerness for co-invention, CableLabs’ experts are available to partner with members, vendors and other collaborators. Click the button below to learn more about each of our labs and how to connect with our lab experts. 

Come collaborate, and join us in building a better, brighter future.

GET TO KNOW THE LABS

10G

The 10G Challenge Winners: Unleashing the Possibilities of Our 10G-Powered Digital Future

10G Challenge

CableLabs
CableLabs

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Jul 11, 2023

With its blazing fast speeds, incredibly low latency and enhanced reliability, 10G plays a crucial role in fostering innovation and supporting entrepreneurial endeavors. The network of the near future provides a solid foundation for the development and deployment of emerging technologies that improve the way we live, work, learn and play.

Last fall, CableLabs announced the winners of the 10G Challenge, a competition built on behalf of the cable industry to inspire the creation of applications that utilize the 10G network. By challenging innovators, university students, technologists and other forward-thinking groups to envision a world transformed by seamless, immersive digital experiences, we’ve helped the world understand the countless possibilities that the near-future 10G network will unlock.

Submissions from innovators throughout North America included everything from improving remote health care and designing a new way to manage farm equipment to virtual reality (VR) shopping and immersive remote education experiences. To judge the unique competition, CableLabs welcomed industry expert judges from Corning (Work), Mayo Clinic (Live), Zoom (Learn) and Intel (Play).

We announced the six winners of the 10G Challenge (a Grand Prize Winner, a People’s Choice Winner and four category winners) and their innovations at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2022. We caught up with several of them recently to discuss their progress.

Grand Prize Winner: MediView — Leveraging Reliable Connectivity to Boost Cancer Care

Using advanced VR technology, MediView aims to improve access to care for breast cancer patients by connecting them to experts at National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centers across the country.

“CableLabs’ 10G Challenge brought heightened visibility and momentum to MediView’s efforts to combine intuitive augmented reality visualization and seamless remote collaboration in an innovative delivery model to expand NCI-level cancer care to patients who lack access to such facilities,” said Mina Fahim, MediView’s CEO and president. “CableLabs’ enablement of more reliable data connectivity is critical to address the global problem of rural and underserved populations and staffing shortages.”

As MediView’s work with Dr. Jamie Wagner and the University of Kansas Medical Center expands, its shared goal is to improve collaboration and patient outcomes as more data and results become available. As technology evolves, reliable connectivity will become less of an issue, empowering early-stage technologies to aid in health care applications far beyond breast cancer care — from tumor ablation to telehealth and everything in between.

Live Category Winner: Xennial Digital — Building an Immersive Health Care Training Platform

Xennial Digital won the Live category by building a data-driven “Medical Verse” for immersive medical training. The Medical Verse will use the reliability of the 10G broadband network to improve how organizations create immersive environments for workforce development and high-risk training procedures that increase competence and productivity while fostering knowledge retention and performance. By enhancing how health care professionals learn to deliver care, Xennial Digital will help eliminate employee shortages that create health care barriers, improving access to a broader population.

“Participating in the 10G Challenge was a game-changer,” said Douglas Fajardo, Xennial Digital’s CEO. “Being selected as the winner in the Live category by Mayo Clinic for our virtual reality ‘Medical Verse’ platform not only gave credibility to our strategy and vision for building immersive solutions for the health care industry but also increased awareness of our work in the medical simulation market. We are truly grateful to CableLabs for enabling this type of opportunity to the tech startup and innovation ecosystem.”

The $50,000 prize for winning the Live category helped the Xennial Digital team build the final VR Simulation Module, allowing the company to complete its first product for the health care simulation market. It’s now being acquired and adopted by schools of medicine domestically and internationally.

Work Category Winner: TractorCloud — Harnessing 10G to Grow Food More Efficiently

Developing hardware and software solutions that save farmers valuable dollars, TractorCloud’s innovative solution diagnoses and manages tractor repairs with first-of-its-kind, in-the-field fleet management. Driving the future of tractor fleet management, the company’s farmer-focused mission has constantly pushed the boundaries of what the agriculture industry can accomplish.

“TractorCloud has continued to invest in collaboration with farmers on the cutting edge of a transformation in their industry. Our services can enable farmers to adopt high-leverage technology without the complexity,” said Morgan Swanson, TractorCloud’s CEO and founder. “The broadband industry is an important partner to us in continuing to provide the infrastructure that enables access to cloud services like ours.”

Winning the Work category, TractorCloud used its prize money to finance an initial round of prototypes soon to launch at test farm sites across California.

Learn Category Winner: KC Digital Drive — Remotely Teaching Nursing Students

Leveraging the 10G network to expand access to nursing education via digital twin classrooms, KC Digital Drive focuses on technology infrastructure, data, meaningful use cases and tech literacy to provide virtual nursing education.

“The CableLabs 10G Challenge afforded the KC Digital Drive and KU School of Nursing project the ability to refine our immersive education solution and provide a valuable platform to showcase new ideas in nursing education leveraging 10G technology,” said Jim Starcev, program manager at KC Digital Drive. “The 10G Challenge was instrumental in our ability to deploy a variety of experiences based on a digital twin of the nursing school campus and the lab where students can assess virtual patients. We believe this project is a gateway to more advances in personalized patient care through generative AI that can significantly improve patient adherence to treatment plans with greater health outcomes.”

From real-time data transfer and remote treatment to better drug development, medical imaging and even virtual assistants, the 10G network has the potential to unlock more advances in personalized patient care.

As these innovators and other entrepreneurs across industries develop solutions demonstrating the potential of 10G technology, the upcoming deployment of DOCSIS® 4.0 technology will further drive innovation in the field, enabling even faster and more reliable internet speeds for consumers and businesses.

The Path to 10G

Enabling the next generation of broadband over cable’s hybrid fiber coaxial (HFC) networks, DOCSIS 4.0 technology is the foundation of the broadband networks of the future, delivering symmetrical multigigabit speeds while supporting high reliability, increased security and low latency. By significantly increasing upstream capacity to allow for multigigabit symmetric services over HFC networks, the technology’s faster symmetric speeds enable futuristic applications like those mentioned above — and many more.

With no new wires to bury or trenches to dig, DOCSIS 4.0 technology increases the efficiency of existing cable broadband network infrastructure without the need to lay more cable, reaching 90 percent of American homes. Positioning the broadband industry to continue meeting consumer needs through the next wave of innovation, DOCSIS 4.0 deployment is an essential step on the path to 10G. While these DOCSIS advancements are important, remember that 10G is more than just the telecommunications standard! A symphony of technologies enables the network of the near future.

Step Inside the Future

Through the 10G Challenge, we helped empower innovators to explore and showcase the vast possibilities of a 10G-powered digital future. How will these transformative technologies continue to evolve and change our daily lives in the years ahead? From revolutionizing health care, agriculture and education to creating immersive environments for workforce development and interpersonal communications, the possibilities that the 10G network will enable are endless.

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Culture

Dr. Zhensheng “Steve” Jia Named as Newest CableLabs Fellow

CableLabs
CableLabs

Jun 22, 2023

CableLabs is pleased to announce that trailblazing researcher and distinguished technologist Dr. Zhensheng “Steve” Jia has been advanced to CableLabs Fellow, our greatest distinction for technical achievement. Dr. Jia is a true pioneer in communications technology and possesses both exceptional hands-on skills and a strong theoretical background.

The prestigious credential, which recognizes and rewards outstanding contributions to technology, is the highest level of CableLabs’ Technical Career Path (TCP). The TCP is a unique competency-based program that affords researchers the opportunity to advance their careers and be promoted without leaving their area of expertise. Steve’s recommendation from the TCP board was recently reviewed and approved by the CableLabs Board of Directors.

Dr. Jia has more than two decades of experience in technology and research innovation. During that time, he’s made significant technical contributions to the fields of optical fiber and wireless communications systems and networking. He has twice been named CableLabs’ “Inventor of the Year,” and he has published more than 180 peer-reviewed journals and conference papers. He’s the author of Coherent Optics for Access Networks, one of the earliest books focusing on coherent optics for access networks. The book elaborates on technology development, economical modeling and application scenarios to adapt coherent technology to the access environment in ways that address major cost/power challenges and hardened requirements.

In each of his seven years at CableLabs, Dr. Jia has published an average of 24 technical articles, including journal manuscripts, conference papers, patents and book chapters. He holds 148 patents, including 117 U.S. patents and 31 international patents, several of which have been adopted for commercial development.

In recognition of his accomplishments in the advancement of optics and photonics, Dr. Jia was named a Fellow of Optica (formerly Optical Society of America) “for outstanding contributions to the development of interoperable coherent optical systems and fiber-wireless converged technologies for broadband access networks.”

Most recently, Dr. Jia has been the Technical Lead for Point-to-Point Coherent Optics specifications development and coherent transceiver interop testing. He is the Working Group Chair of the coherent passive optical network (CPON) project for next-generation 100G access networks; co-chair of the Industry Advisory Board (IAB) for the NSF Industry/University Collaborative Research Center for Fiber Wireless Integration and Networking (FiWIN); a Technical Editor of IEEE Network; and an Associate Editor of IEEE Photonics Journal.

We’re profoundly grateful for Dr. Jia’s foundational role in establishing CableLabs as an important source of insight in the optical and cable industry and advancing our capabilities in optical technologies. He has been instrumental in leading and participating in 10 successful technical demonstrations for the Board of Directors (BoD), including Coherent Optics, Coherent Passive Optical Network (CPON), Delta-Sigma Digitization, Full-Duplex Coherent Optics, Edge-Wavelength Switching System (EWSS), Coherent Optical Injection Locking (COIL), Coherent Upstream Burst (CUB), Extreme Cable, Flexible Full Fiber Capacity Comb for Converged Access (F3C3) and Real-Time Flow Identification.

Dr. Jia’s technical achievements have been crucial toward advancing the field of coherent optical systems and networks. As an innovator and visionary leader, he continues to make a notable impact on the cable and telecommunications industries.

Dr. Jia holds Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Electronic Engineering from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, and a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta.

CableLabs is delighted about his advancement to Fellow and grateful for the invaluable contributions he continues to make to the global industry.

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