Walking the floor at ANGA, you don't see any programmers: this conference is all about the technology. This year, four ARRIS speakers drove that conversation on a variety of subjects, from CCAP to Wi-Fi...
Engineering Fellow John Ulm led off, joining a heavyweight panel, including Jorge Salinger of Comcast, in a wide-ranging examination of Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP) spec and upcoming potential offshoots from the original spec. Introduced by moderator Daniel Howard, CTO of the SCTE, as 'the father of the DOCSIS MAC protocol', Ulm laid out the current state of CCAP and then progressed to the pros and cons of its potential offspring: Remote PHY and Remote CCAP. Service providers will have several options to ensure the continued reliability and increased capacity of their networks, options which are dependent on deployment timing, headend space and powering constraints, new generations of silicon, and individual network architectures.
On Day Two, ARRIS CTO of CPE Charles Cheevers addressed the increasingly critical subject of Wi-Fi optimization. Consumers continue to experience a gap between advertised speeds and the actual experience, especially within the home. There, issues of building construction, user overlap (especially within MDUs), and contention between a competing and constantly increasing number of devices are impacting real-world results.
Cheevers proposed the concept of deterministic Wi-Fi delivery, prioritizing usage and implementing a remote resource management system to create a self-organized network within the home Wi-Fi domain to improve the customer experience. Finally, he previewed the anticipated 802.11 AX, a next-generation Wi-Fi spec that seeks to deliver a 4X improvement in efficiency. It will be a welcome release, coming in at a time when 4k television will be widely-adopted, requiring bitrates between 15Mbs-30Mbs, and 8k will be waiting in the wings, with bitrate needs from 30Mbs-60Mbs.
Day Three featured Cornel Ciocirlan, ARRIS Regional Chief Technologist, speaking on the Conference's Connected Home Summit. Panelists discussed global device proliferation (8-10 per user in Western Europe), smart/connected home technology, security concerns, and the need to educate consumers on the cost-value equation.
By 2020 there will be 50 billion devices connected to the Internet, necessitating a commensurate network infrastructure. Ciocirlan pointed out that the "killer app" driving broadband growth currently is video content consumption, and that the industry needs to develop a killer app for the connected life: machine-to-machine interaction will not drive broadband growth. As service providers become software companies, they will need to better understand how the Internet of Things will affect the consumer.
Rounding out Day Three, ARRIS Sr. Director of Marketing, Duncan Potter, presented a paper on Dynamic ABR Format Repackaging to optimize network infrastructure. With the increasing number of devices able to consume video expected to reach 7 Billion by 2017, the impact of multiscreen on operator video infrastructure costs has far outstripped the ability of caching to reduce the cost of that video distribution. Potter referenced a case study conducted with a major US service provider to mitigate the costs of storage, packaging, and backhaul by using dynamic repackaging from a single format such as Apple HLS to whatever the client requires, at various points in the network.
Some food for thought as we close out ANGA. Check back for more from Canitec and beyond.