NEW YORK -- Future of Cable Business Services -- Shrinking prices, expanding services and continued adoption of SD-WAN are three top trends shaping the cable industry's enterprise focus, according to executives and pundits attending Light Reading's recent event in New York.
While cable operators' residential video business suffers increased competition from telcos' investment in Gfast and VDSL, as well as OTT competition, cable enjoys gains in new commercial customers, financial analyst Craig Moffett said. In fact, the top four cable companies in the US will earn more than $15 billion in commercial services revenue in 2017, Heavy Reading projects. And that means business services alone basically offsets cable's residential video market declines, wrote Light Reading's Mari Silbey.
The result may be good for enterprises' bottom lines -- but bodes poorly for service providers overall, Moffett cautioned. Cablecos are not only chomping at telcos' market share, but are competing on price. With more cable operators targeting the lucrative enterprise arena, price wars add up to shrinking margins.
But that doesn't necessarily mean cablecos aren't betting on the benefit of more services. In fact, more operators are deploying SD-WAN as part of their strategy to add new services for business (and in some cases, residential) customers.
Cox, for example, currently is trialing SD-WAN, executive director of technology Dan Estes said during the Future of Cable Business Services event.
"The platform that we've selected is a proprietary platform," Estes told Light Reading's Silbey. "It's got its own software package that they're bringing to the table. And it is the vision that we would extend that over time to be more of a software-defined network," and a more open platform as well.
SD-WAN is only the start, however.
Cable operators recognize the additional benefits they can reap once they develop platforms that run multiple products beyond SD-WAN. Virtual network functions (VNFs) empower cablecos to partner with multiple vendors to then offer a variety of services -- such as security and managed services -- to enterprises.
This capability means operators also must pay more attention to integrating components like security, analytics and automation throughout an SD-WAN solution, Glenn Calafati, cable segment market leader at Ciena, told Carol Wilson of Light Reading at the event.
"One of the things we are seeing that is consistent across the entire segment is the desire for agility with services and the over-arching request for quality of experience for users, so that means analytic tools, toolkits and a visualization of what is happening," he said.
In a flurry of activity throughout the week, Donald (DJ) LaVoy, Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development at the US Department of Agriculture, and his team spent about $145.8 million in the non-urban or suburban areas of seven states.
Calix reported revenue of $120.19 million – up 4% – in Q4 2019, putting a bounce in the step of company president and CEO Carl Russo and a shine to Calix's ongoing transition from hardware vendor to a provider of platforms enabled by cloud, APIs and subscriber experience.
Looking to curtail e-waste and improve the bottom line, BT will require customers to return routers and set-top boxes, although subscribers will not have to pay a fee when they receive regular broadband equipment.
Deploying DOCSIS 3.1 across its entire footprint gave Rogers Communications the ability to offer speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s,
contributing to a broadband segement that generated about 60% of the Canadian operator's $3.05 billion (US) in Q4 cable earnings.
Over the next two years, approximately 60% of service providers (both large and small) will adopt virtualization on a wide scale across their networks, according to the latest survey report from Ovum. Why are providers making these moves? Is there an easy way to start?
Learn how and why service providers are using virtualization to transform their networks. This webinar will look at how providers are leveraging virtualization to create more flexible and agile networks while also providing a better customer experience. Expert speakers from netElastic and Heavy Reading will address the industry drivers for network virtualization, the benefits that can be realized, the challenges to face and the results of virtualization being achieved by providers today.
Key topics will include:
Current network infrastructure and the move to virtualization
Benefits and challenges of network virtualization
How providers can get started
Service provider success stories: the decision to virtualize, the solution, and results