Michelle Clancy | 14-08-2013
CableLabs is branching out from its status as the standards body for the US cableco market, merging with Cable Europe Labs and adding new MSO members in Europe, Asia and South America. It will also take charge of global DOCSIS development.
With the merger, CableLabs has gone from counting 38 MSOs as members to now totalling 51. The new members annexed from Cable Europe Labs include com hem AB (Sweden); Get (Norway); Kabel Deutschland GmbH (Germany); Liwest Kabelmedien GmbH (Austria); Ono (Spain); Tele Columbus Group (Germany); YouSee (Denmark); Ziggo B.V. (Netherlands); and ZON Multimédia (Portugal). From Asia, CableLabs has added J:com (Japan), PT Link Net (Indonesia), and Topway and WASU (both China). And from South America, it now counts Cablevision Argentina as a member.
Up until now, CableLabs has split the development and management of the DOCSIS standards with Cable Europe Labs and Chinese regulators; now, CableLabs will take full control of the DOCSIS 3.0 specs and the forthcoming DOCSIS 3.1 specs (still working with China for the market-specific version of DOCSIS). Cable Europe Labs' research, development and testing initiatives have already been transferred to the North American group.
"So there will no longer be a forking of the standards," said CableLabs President and CEO Phil McKinney in a conference call, adding that there will now be "alignment and strategy" around DOCSIS development globally. "The industry needs to come together and work on a global scale," McKinney said.
McKinney said the group now serves MSOs covering nearly 121 million cable subscribers, up 50% from about 81 million prior to the consolidation of the organisations.