CableLabs expands reach to Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America

CableLabs, the non-profit research and development consortium for the cable television industry based in Louisville, CO, has announced an expansion of its global base, adding 14 new members from Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Building on relationships with existing international organizations, CableLabs members now serve more than 100 million cable subscribers around the world. As the global market becomes more competitive, CableLabs said it has become critical that technology standards become aligned to support and accelerate the continued innovation necessary for the cable industry to meet the future needs of subscribers on an international scale.

The global expansion will benefit cable operators, technology suppliers and other stakeholders in the cable and technology markets, CableLabs said. The global alignment of technologies and strategies will allow technology suppliers to develop and bring to market solutions that scale across cable operators worldwide.

“Collaborating globally on technology standards and strategies will allow CableLabs to accelerate development of truly innovative technologies, bringing them to market faster, more cost-effectively and at scale,” said Phil McKinney, president and CEO of CableLabs.

In a conference call with reporters last week, McKinney said CableLabs started looking at a more global strategy about nine months ago and has implemented the idea. The former CTO of Hewlett-Packard’s personal systems group, McKinney took the leadership role at CableLabs last June.

A central piece of the organization’s growth in Europe is the transition of the activities of Cable Europe Labs — the technology consortium for European cable operators — to CableLabs. With CableLabs now supporting the European market, all of CableLabs members will gain knowledge from deployed technologies and experiences through its new members.

CableLabs adds nine new members in the European region joining Liberty Global. These include Com Hem (Sweden), Get (Norway), Kabel Deutschland (Germany), LIWEST (Austria), Ono (Spain), Tele Columbus (Germany), YouSee (Denmark), Ziggo (Netherlands) and ZON (Portugal).

“The transition of Cable Europe Labs activities to CableLabs opens doors for cable and technology stakeholders globally,” said Mike Fries, chief executive officer, Liberty Global. “Working together and sharing key learning from individual markets will enable members and technology suppliers to create innovative solutions to meet the current and future needs of subscribers on a global scale.”

Reflecting the rapid growth in Asia and Latin America, CableLabs has also added new members in these regions, including J:COM (Japan), PT Link Net (Indonesia), Topway (Shenzhen, China), WASU (Hangzhou, China) and Cablevisión (Argentina).

CableLabs global expansion is built on its existing membership base of cable companies in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia.

Facing the global group in the upcoming weeks is the new DOCSIS 3.1 cable standard, which is a unified specification that will be followed by all cable operators, silicon makers and cable modems throughout the world. Coming from CableLabs later this year, the new standard is expected to offer a downstream speeds up to 10Gb/s and upstream speeds up to 2Gb/s.

CableLabs believes that this alignment of technologies and strategies with a new global membership will help suppliers develop and launch products that “scale across cable operators” on a worldwide basis.