Accelerating Open RAN With the 5G Challenge, Hosted by CableLabs and Kyrio
CableLabs has been selected to serve as the host lab for the 5G Challenge for the second year. The 5G Challenge aims to accelerate the adoption of 5G open interfaces, interoperable subsystems and multivendor solutions. By fostering a large, vibrant and growing vendor community, the goal of driving 5G interoperability toward true plug-and-play operation can be achieved.
“Given our commitment to the continuous research and development of advanced mobile technologies, we are excited to be part of this collaborative effort to help accelerate the development and widespread deployment of open and interoperable 5G networks,” said David Debrecht, vice president of Wireless Technologies.
The first year of the challenge focused on the interfaces among the Open RAN-specified subsystems. This year, testing is expanding to include the RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) and the 5G core network interfaces. Presented by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (NTIA/ITS), in collaboration with the Department of Defense’s Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, the challenge will award up to $7 million in cash and in-kind prizes. Awards will go to high-performing Open RAN solutions that showcase multivendor interoperability across radio, centralized and distributed units.
An informational webinar to summarize key requirements for participation and outline test procedures will take place Thursday, February 9.
This year’s challenge is focused on accelerating Open RAN adoption by:
- Utilizing existing standards for new providers.
- Encouraging modular product development.
- Reducing barriers to entry for new solutions providers.
- Leveraging industry trends.
- Demonstrating multivendor interoperability.
In order for Open RAN to be widely deployed and adopted, decision-makers need to ensure that the underlying technologies and subsystems function optimally and perform as well as existing 5G networks. This is where CableLabs’ leading-edge lab environments come in.
CableLabs: The 5G Challenge Host Lab
CableLabs and its subsidiary Kyrio, the first O-RAN Alliance Open Testing and Integration Center (OTIC) in the Americas, will again partner to provide the host lab facilities. Our deployment of fully virtualized 5G networks and our extensive mobile network technologies expertise make our facilities ideal for meeting NTIA/ITS’s goals.
As the host lab, CableLabs will perform wraparound emulation testing on each contestant subsystem individually and then end-to-end multivendor interoperability and performance testing. We’re including state-of-the-art testing systems from both Keysight and VIAVI to support the goals of the 2023 5G Challenge. Contestants will be challenged to integrate with fellow contestants’ subsystems and participate in multiple rounds of integration and performance testing—the primary thrust of this year’s challenge.
The integration testing will involve multiple gNB configurations, which contain different Open RAN subsystems. Contestants are expected to provide an on-site system engineer throughout the testing at CableLabs that involves their subsystem(s). As an added benefit for challenge contestants, the integration testing will include adherence to applicable O-RAN Alliance specifications. Consequently, participants may receive a badge or certification from Kyrio, under its OTIC lab authority.
For more information about the 5G Challenge or the benefits of participation, sign up for NTIA/ITS’ 5G Challenge Information Session. If you’re an Open RAN vendor and want to learn more about the challenge, you won’t want to miss this session.
2023 Technology Predictions
Technology impacts us in every way, touching our lives, businesses and communities. Over the last few years, we’ve experienced a major transformation in how we work and collaborate, which has introduced many benefits and challenges. But with adversity comes opportunity and innovation.
Some of the problems this year’s technology predictions aim to solve are an increased need for remote collaboration, flexible and efficient transportation, personalized technology and secure networks. The possibilities lying ahead are nearly limitless, and our annual tech predictions envision the development of technologies that will define our future.
Remote Work Becomes Serendipitous
We’ve increasingly become a culture that values the flexibility to work from anywhere. For many of us, that means working remotely or at least working in a hybrid environment. New technologies are enabling us to connect in serendipitous ways, leading to meaningful, chance encounters at the right place and time—like when we bump into a colleague in the hallway and the interaction sparks a new idea.
Now, cutting-edge technologies like virtual reality, holograms and smart glasses will transport us into augmented or virtual reality environments that feel real. These new technologies offer us flexibility and opportunities to connect in new ways, making remote work more collaborative. Other benefits include faster training and onboarding, and the need for less physical office space. These augmented and virtual reality innovations may even lead to increased happiness at work.
Autonomous Vehicles Revolutionize Transportation
Buckle up. We’re on the brink of a transportation revolution.
Autonomous vehicles are about to change the way we get around. Today, we understand that autonomous vehicles drive themselves without any intervention by humans other than them defining the destination. The trend toward safer, sustainable and possibly more equitable transportation systems is evolving.
Autonomous vehicles will contribute to lives saved, reduced traffic congestion and less pollution. An economic impact will be felt, too, with autonomous vehicles popular among those who don’t have a driver’s license or who live in areas with poor public transportation options.
It’s not a matter of if this new technology will be integrated into our transportation system—it’s a matter of how and when.
AI Becomes Personal
Artificial intelligence is here to stay and getting smarter every day. As a result, we can expect to see growth in AI as a personal aid in creativity and in health and wellness.
AI has evolved to be easily accessible in a variety of ways, especially because many tools are now open-source. Your favorite apps may even be powered by some form of AI-augmented tools to assist art and music creators. With this increased accessibility, AI has transformed health care for drug development, robotic surgery and telemedicine. As more data is collected and moved to the cloud, we’ll see more personalized services, including smart nurse bots, online health coaches and remote care assistance.
This increased accessibility to health care will be especially beneficial in rural areas and developing countries, and more self-service options will allow people to take better control of their health.
Quantum Networks Become Tangible
Quantum networks are the next step in secure communications. Bolstered by the promise of near-zero latency, elimination of physical network infrastructure and unhackable communications, quantum networks will make it possible to detect with certainty when communications have been intercepted. The networks use quantum phenomena such as superposition, no-cloning and entanglement that are not available in today’s broadband and wireless networks.
Research and investment in quantum networks are already accelerating as companies and governments around the world set up research labs to build large-scale quantum networks. This growth is paving the way for practical applications of the technology to transmit sensitive data and communications.
Defining Our Future
Whether transforming the future of work, enhancing transportation systems, augmenting our creativity or improving communications, technological advancements are addressing some of the most pressing issues of our time. I believe we’ll see some fantastic projects and products launched in 2023. Watch my video below to learn more about these technology predictions.
Charged Up and Gaining Ground: Global PlugFest Moves Open RAN Ecosystem Closer to Commercial Deployment
Service providers constantly reconsider their network architectures in search of economies of scale and new business model opportunities, keeping a close eye on open network architectures. Taking advantage of the continuous decoupling of hardware and software, the mobile industry has been working on a software-defined open radio access network (RAN) initiative called Open RAN.
What exactly is Open RAN? What does it mean for wireless network technologies? Finally, how is CableLabs actively involved in the initiative?
What Is Open RAN?
Open RAN is an open set of technical networking specifications realizing open interfaces and network programmability. The initiative enables mobile operators to deploy intelligence closer to where it's needed, whether at the antenna or at edge of a network, to improve operational efficiency and quickly adapt to new service models.
Open networking is also getting attention from governments. On Dec. 8, 2022, the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada announced in a joint statement the endorsement of these Open RAN principles:
- Open disaggregation
- Standards-based compliance
- Demonstrated interoperability
- Implementation neutrality
To demonstrate the principles in action, the O-RAN Alliance—a group of mobile operators, vendors, and research and academic institutions—has been holding bi-annual Global PlugFests.
O-RAN Global PlugFest
CableLabs was one of six hosts for the Fall 2022 O-RAN Global PlugFest. During the PlugFest, the Kyrio Open Test and Integration Lab—located at our main offices in Louisville, Colorado—made its state-of-the-art 5G facilities available to network and test equipment vendors. Overall, we observed that Open RAN equipment from various vendors can interpret the open standards correctly and interoperate successfully under load conditions, paving the path toward commercial deployments.
Seven participants—Calnex, Capgemini Engineering, Lumentum, Radisys, Sunwave, VIAVI and Xena Networks—collaborated, integrated and tested three scenarios to demonstrate interoperability based on open interfaces implementation. Specifically, the companies tested:
- Multi-vendor Open RAN system integration and end-to-end system performance using 5G user equipment (UE) and 5G Core network emulators. The Open RAN system consisted of Centralized Unit (CU), Distributed Unit (DU) and Radio Unit (RU) components interconnected via third-party small form-factor pluggable (SFP). Upon successful integration, the participants measured the fronthaul latency impact on peak user throughput and cell throughput under various signaling and user traffic load conditions.
- The interoperability of Open Midhaul (F1) and Xn interfaces for an Open Centralized Unit (O-CU) that adheres to the CU-DU Split gNB architecture defined in 3GPP. Both interface management and UE-context related procedures were verified.
- Near-Real-Time Radio Interface Controller (Near-RT RIC) integration and testing with RIC Tester. The Open RAN E2 interface procedures, used to enable near-real-time software applications for network automation (xApps), were verified against an emulated 5G RAN. In addition, a QoS xApp was successfully integrated.
For more information about the fall event, visit the O-RAN Global PlugFest web page.
Ongoing Interoperability Work
The Fall 2022 O-RAN Global PlugFest event was just another way CableLabs works with the industry and vendors to drive interoperable network technologies.
Also last year, CableLabs was recognized for its interoperability testing in mobile network technologies when it was named the host lab for the 5G Challenge’s Preliminary Event. The challenge was hosted by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA’s) Institute for Telecommunication Sciences in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense.
In addition, Kyrio—a CableLabs subsidiary—provides Open RAN certification and badging testing services (conformance, interoperability, end-to-end) for those who want to certify their Open RAN component or system on their own time at their own pace. If you're interested in Kyrio’s testing services, learn more or contact the team.
What’s Next for Open RAN?
The fall PlugFest event allowed the industry to get the pulse of the Open RAN ecosystem. And our work continues.
CableLabs and Kyrio plan to continue hosting O-RAN PlugFest activities at our Kyrio OTIC lab. In the future, we'll be exploring innovative radio network implementations based on the Open RAN architecture. We welcome CableLabs members, vendors and application developers to join us at these upcoming events. To register your interest in participating, contact us using the button below.
From Vision to Implementation: CableLabs Achieves Numerous 10G Platform Milestones in 2022
Tomorrow’s promise of 10G connectivity is steadily accelerating toward reality, thanks to the contributions of CableLabs and its members.
The uncompromisingly reliable, more secure and 10-times-faster network of the near future will reshape how we live, work, learn and play by delivering faster symmetrical speeds, lower latencies, enhanced reliability and enhanced network security in a scalable manner. Between new technical accomplishments and a variety of applications, various initiatives have helped propel 10G closer to real-world deployment.
To illustrate the industry’s immense 10G progress this year, CableLabs—the leading organization helping to drive 10G innovation—is highlighting the numerous advancements that have catapulted 10G from the drawing board to proof of performance.
New 10G Experiences and Applications
CableLabs Members Are Enhancing Network Speed and Reliability
From Charter demonstrating rapid downstream and upstream speeds over a hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC) network to Comcast successfully testing a prototype 10G modem in lab trials and announcing the introduction of symmetrical multigigabit speeds in 2023, CableLabs members made significant speed and reliability advancements on the path to unleashing 10G. Our members constantly invest money and infrastructure, further supporting the development of a 10G-capable, fiber-based network.
Applying 10G to Transform Our Lives
Demonstrated by multiple operators and supporting equipment providers at the CableLabs 10G Showcase, DOCSIS® 4.0 technology is capable of supporting 9 Gbps downstream capacity and 6 Gbps upstream capacity today. This confirmation that hybrid optical nodes support both DOCSIS 4.0 technology and EPON services allows operators the flexibility to optimize how they will deliver 10G to homes and businesses.
Earlier this year, the NCTA partnered with the Future Today Institute to explore how 10G will transform our lives. Through research and the release of white papers, the two organizations brought to light the potentially transformative impact of 10G across four key critical industries: agriculture, health care, education and entertainment.
The 10G Challenge
Developed and executed by CableLabs from inception to completion on behalf of the industry, the 10G Challenge encouraged innovators to ponder transformative solutions that leverage the speed, security, reliability and low latency of the 10G network. This first-of-its-kind technology challenge was designed to accelerate the development of applications for emerging 10G networks. Innovators across the United States and Canada developed and submitted entries outlining solutions that will shape the ways we live, work, learn and play in the future. The six winners rose to the challenge, devising life-changing technologies that highlight the incredible capability of 10G.
The 5G Challenge
As the host lab for the 5G Challenge, CableLabs contributed the standalone 5G network on the 10G lab platform, as well as its expertise with open and interoperable network technologies. The 5G Challenge was presented by the NTIA’s Institute for Telecommunication Sciences in collaboration with the Department of Defense with an aim of accelerating the development and widespread deployment of open and interoperable 5G networks with true plug-and-play operation.
CableLabs’ Technological Advancement
At SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2022, CableLabs leveraged the critical capabilities of the 10G Lab to test several network-as-a-platform concepts, and to successfully demonstrate how to improve scalability and reliability with the power of a converged network running on virtualized infrastructure.
As broadband traffic continues to surge, cable operators must upgrade networks to expand capacity and boost efficiency. Enter convergence. This broad converged platform can support multiple network software stacks using a common management interface. The goal? Enabling operators to mix and match wireline and wireless services over the same core infrastructure. The realization of full wireline-wireless network convergence ultimately improves scalability and reliability and serves as a foundational element on the road to 10G.
Low Latency, Low Loss, Scalable Throughput (L4S) technology is a critical component of Low Latency DOCSIS. By exhibiting dramatic improvements in latency when using L4S at an interoperability event, CableLabs and its subsidiary, Kyrio—with support from Comcast, Apple and Google—demonstrated how L4S will enable the media interactivity and immersion necessary to unlock the metaverse. With L4S providing precise feedback to applications about impending congestion, the technology can help advance the speed, low latency and reliability of the multigigabit platform of the future.
Validating Point-to-Point Coherent Optics (P2PCO)
To support higher-capacity infrastructure—thereby supporting the speed, low latency and reliability necessary to deliver 10G—CableLabs’ Point-to-Point Coherent Optics (P2PCO) technology creates a network connection between two points that use coherent optical transceivers.
By using one laser for bidirectional, single-fiber transmission, P2PCO doubles the fiber’s capacity and takes existing access network fiber to the insanely fast speeds needed for 10G, meeting growing broadband consumer demand. In July, CableLabs confirmed that devices compliant with its P2PCO PHYv2.0 specification can transmit over roughly the same distance as devices compliant with the PHYv1.0 spec—and at double the operating capacity: 200 gigabits per second versus 100 Gbps per wavelength.
Standards and Specifications
This year, CableLabs and SCTE—a CableLabs subsidiary—submitted several specifications published as standards, including the Generic Access Platform (GAP) specification and standards for 1.8GHz actives to DOCSIS 4.0 technology. These standards and specs help provide operators with all the necessary technologies or tools to get to 10G.
Between convergence, L4S, P2PCO and emerging industry standards and specifications, CableLabs-driven technological advances are foundational in supporting most of the key tenets of 10G.
At CableLabs, we understand the vital need for network connectivity to power whatever our increasingly data-driven world demands next. That’s why we foster collaboration between members and technologists to move society closer to 10G speeds, lower latencies, enhanced network reliability and better security daily. For more information about CableLabs’ 2022 achievements and progress toward 10G, read the press release.
Up Ahead: Better Connections, Happier Users and Lower Costs
Whether at home, in the office, at a coffee shop or on the go, we all expect a dependable internet connection. Even when we're offered bundled services that combine wireless and wireline network access, uninterrupted connectivity often isn't as straightforward as it sounds. Simply providing connectivity over multiple access network types isn't sufficient for meeting customers’ expectations, and managing these as independent networks drives operational costs and complexity.
Wireless-wireline convergence (WWC) solves these problems for consumers and operators. WWC—or fixed-mobile convergence, as it’s sometimes called—enables ubiquitous connectivity that works seamlessly, meeting customers’ needs and simplifying network operations.
CableLabs is working with member and vendor communities to make this a reality. We’ve recently published a white paper that lays out the roadmap to WWC.
How Wireless-Wireline Convergence Works
The WWC architecture simplifies networks by eliminating redundant capabilities that exist across wireline and wireless access networks and enabling seamless operations across access technologies. These redundancies, which include subscriber databases, routing function and security capabilities, are converged under the WWC architecture.
At the heart of the WWC architecture is a single converged core based on the 3GPP 5G mobile core. The mobile core was selected as the foundation for the converged core over wireline cores since mobile cores support devices moving across access networks.
When Will Network Convergence Become a Reality?
We’d all like to snap our fingers and begin reaping the benefits of a fully converged network tomorrow. However, because of a substantial installed base, as well as gaps in current products, standards and specifications, this is going to be a journey. Fortunately, the foundation for WWC is already being delivered with help from current technologies.
CableLabs’ member and vendor collaboration will help resolve the gaps in converging DOCSIS® networks, passive optical networking (PON) and Wi-Fi with mobile networks. Existing CableLabs and other industry specifications will be updated and extended, and new specs will be developed.
We’ve mapped out the WWC roadmap into three general phases—starting by connecting what is deployed today and progressing towards fully converged networks.
To go deeper and learn more about WWC, the phases of the deployment roadmap and what fixed-mobile convergence means for our end-user experience, check out the new white paper.
CableLabs Brings Mobile Wi-Fi’s Power to Wi-Fi Industry for a Better User Experience
Wi-Fi can be frustrating! It sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. Identifying the problems can be difficult, and people often just turn Wi-Fi off on their device and instead use their cellular data connection. In doing so, they miss out on the potentially much higher throughput, and hence the faster Internet connection, that a Wi-Fi connection can provide. If only Wi-Fi acted more like the cellular network!
What Is CableLabs Mobile Wi-Fi?
For several years, CableLabs has been working on a technology to achieve exactly that. CableLabs Mobile Wi-Fi uses a central controller to group multiple access points or APs (think routers) into one continuous network. The central controller detects which AP your device is closest to and connects your device to that AP. If you move—for example, getting up and walking to a different room—then the controller evaluates whether you would get the best experience by staying connected to the old AP or if your experience would be better by switching to a new one. If it’s the latter, the controller moves your device to the new AP without you even noticing.
There have been many attempts to do this over the years, typically relying on coercing the device to reconnect to the new AP, but this frequently seems not to work quite right. Sometimes, there’s a lag before a device switches APs, and sometimes the device never switches APs. Or sometimes, the device insists that an AP is still present, even though it no longer is—for example, when you leave your house in your car and your phone insists it's still connected to your home Wi-Fi.
How Does CableLabs Mobile Wi-Fi Work?
Instead of asking the phone to reconnect to a different AP, CableLabs Mobile Wi-Fi moves the network itself to the new AP. It does this using a virtual Basic Service Set, or VBSS. A VBSS is a network set up exclusively for use by one device and can be moved from AP to AP without the device disconnecting and reconnecting. This makes the transitions between APs seamless and transparent to the phone.
So now, as you walk around your house with your device, the CableLabs Mobile Wi-Fi controller is moving your VBSS such that it follows along with you, hopping from one AP to another as you go. If you wander too far and go outside the range of all your APs (like when you drive away in your car), the CableLabs Mobile Wi-Fi controller detects this, closes your connection and tears down your VBSS so that your phone immediately knows there is no longer a Wi-Fi connection. The phone will then immediately switch to cellular data.
The result is that your device will be consistently connected to the best available AP in your space. Gone will be the days of being connected to an AP across the house instead of the one right next to you. Your Wi-Fi will be better and faster.
When Can I Get It?
CableLabs Mobile Wi-Fi is not yet available to end consumers. For the next step toward a commercial implementation of CableLabs Mobile Wi-Fi, CableLabs has joined and is working with the prpl Foundation to include Mobile Wi-Fi in the open-source prplMesh implementation of Wi-Fi Alliance EasyMesh™️. Go to the prpl website for more information about prplMesh and access to the prplMesh codebase. CableLabs is also working in Wi-Fi Alliance to support Wi-Fi CERTIFIED EasyMesh.
For more information on CableLabs Mobile Wi-Fi, reach out to Steve Arendt, Principal Architect & Director, Advanced Technology Group, CableLabs.
A Ton of Savings—Thanks to Energy-Efficiency Voluntary Agreements
What weighs more, a ton of carbon dioxide gas or a ton of bricks? Well, that’s a trick question because they both weigh one ton! It’s difficult to imagine that a gas can be measured in terms of weight, but that’s how carbon dioxide, or CO2, is measured. CO2 is technically measured in terms of metric tons. One metric ton of CO2 would fill a cube roughly 27 feet tall, wide and deep!
In the U.S. Set-Top Box Voluntary Agreement (VA), we use the EPA greenhouse gas equivalencies calculator to quantify how many metric tons of CO2 are avoided, or saved, when we reduce the energy consumed by set-top boxes (STBs). The VA’s independent annual report was recently released, and the savings trends continue! D+R International reported that the voluntary agreement avoided 13 MILLION metric tons (MMT) of CO2 in 2021 alone and nearly 64 million metric tons in the nine years of the agreement!
The chart below shows the impressive trend of reduced energy consumption over the nine years. This chart represents the estimated energy use of deployed STBs in the United States among cable, telco and satellite providers.
I will note that the number of deployed STBs has also declined, from an estimated 227 million in 2012 to 155 million in 2021. This is partly because of subscriber losses but is also attributed to whole-home DVR solutions and solutions to view pay TV content directly on TVs, phones, tablets, etc. (According to the report, an estimated 56 million devices accessed subscriber content through apps.) However, another interesting chart from the report shows that the average weighted typical energy consumption (TEC) of only the newly purchased STBs, as reported every year by the signatories, has also been reduced over the years by 57%. This is an important metric because it shows improvement without factoring in the smaller number of deployed STBs.
Small Network Equipment Energy Efficiency Gains
The 2021 Small Network Equipment Report was just released and also demonstrates continued energy efficiency trends even as the demand for faster and more capable broadband grows.
Canadian Energy Efficiency Voluntary Agreement (CEEVA)
Canada also has voluntary agreements for set-top boxes and small network equipment. CEEVA STB has been in place for five years and has demonstrated a very similar trend as the United States, as shown in the chart below. (Note: PVR stands for “personal video recorder,” which is called a “digital video recorder,” or DVR, in the United States.)
This is only the first year that SNE procurement commitments were in effect in Canada and just the second year to report purchases. Yet the results already show an exciting increase in energy efficiency—an improvement of 34% from 2020 to 2021!
Renewed Level of Commitment
Returning to the discussion of CO2, the cumulative impact of these programs is making a significant difference, and the programs are only gaining momentum. The U.S. SNE voluntary agreement has been renewed and extended through 2025 and has added several new signatories, including Google, Amazon eero, TP-Link and Sagemcom. In addition, California’s Pacific Gas and Electric Company has joined the SNE VA as an energy efficiency advocate. The U.S. STB voluntary agreement renewed its commitments last year to run through 2025, and Canada renewed both CEEVA STB and SNE to run through 2026. CableLabs is proud to help lead the charge to reduce the carbon contribution of STBs and SNE in North America while enabling the industry to continue innovating on the platforms.
Read more about energy efficiency on our blog, or click the button below to learn more about the cable industry's environmental sustainability initiatives.
10G Challenge Winners Leverage Power of Multi-Gigabit Network
What if our loved ones could easily receive life-changing or even lifesaving medical care no matter where they live? What would be different if critical learning opportunities were broadly available to students from all communities, including urban and rural areas? Scenarios like these could certainly change how we live our lives.
In 2021, CableLabs issued a challenge to individuals and organizations to think big. On behalf of the cable industry, we launched the first-ever 10G Challenge, asking innovators to imagine technologies that the emerging 10G network will make possible. We wanted to know how their creations would leverage the four pillars of the multi-gigabit platform: faster internet speeds, better security, lower latency and improved reliability. We heard from innovators across the United States and Canada who are developing valuable solutions to some of today's biggest problems.
At SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2022, CableLabs recognized the six winners of the 10G Challenge and now we're thrilled to introduce the winners and their innovations here. In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing more about these prize-winning ideas, as well as insights directly from some of the creators.
Meet the Winners
- Grand Prize Winner: MediView leverages advanced virtual reality (VR) technology to help patients in rural areas access care from National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers without having to leave their community.
- Live Category Winner: Xennial Digital is creating the future of medical simulation training using the reliability of the 10G broadband network.
- Work Category Winner: TractorCloud develops hardware and software solutions that save farmers thousands of dollars and drive the future of tractor fleet management.
- Learn Category Winner: KC Digital Drive aims to utilize the 10G network to expand access to nursing education via digital twin classrooms.
- Play Category Winner: Dana Leung’s “Interacting Within Live-Action Video Scenes” technology hopes to enhance consumer experiences, whether shopping or watching movies, with real-time VR.
- People’s Choice Winner: T4 Movement Engineering helps patients identify the root cause of their musculoskeletal issues and improve rehabilitation in a manner that is innovative, low cost, easy to execute and scalable.
"Our winners really show what’s possible when we pull together: We do the things we say we want to do (and) we march toward that common goal that 10G really is," said Cate McNaught, referring to the collaborative power of the cable industry. McNaught is Emerging Applications Marketing Development Manager for Corning Optical Communications. Corning, along with Mayo Clinic, Zoom and Intel, helped judge the competition. Each company covered one of the four categories: Live, Work, Learn and Play.
McNaught spoke with CableLabs President and CEO Phil McKinney and NCTA President and CEO Michael Powell during a 10G Fireside Chat at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo. They outlined key applications of the 10G network and details of the 10G Challenge before introducing the winners to the public.
Prizes to Accelerate Innovations
In total, CableLabs awarded more than $300,000 in cash prizes to the six winners of the 10G Challenge. The hope, CableLabs' McKinney said during the winners' showcase event, is that the prize money would be used to help build on the innovators' progress and bring their winning ideas to market.
"We're all about asking—and answering—What if?" McKinney said during the event, echoing comments from the opening general session of Cable-Tec Expo where he announced the newest short film in CableLabs’ Near Future series. "What if we could change the health care profile around the world? What if we could change education? What if we could change our ability to live, work, learn and play?"
What Is the 10G Network?
In short, the multi-gigabit platform is the broadband network of the future that will support whatever comes next. The imminent 10G platform will deliver internet speeds up to 10 times faster than what most consumers experience today for both upstream and downstream traffic—plus enhanced reliability and security. What's even more exciting is that the infrastructure to support these high-speed internet capabilities is already in place! And it leverages CableLabs technologies like Proactive Network Maintenance (PNM), DOCSIS 4.0 specifications, P2P Coherent Optics, Low Latency DOCSIS and many others.
Click the button below to watch videos from the winners of the 10G Challenge, and stay tuned to get to know more about how their technologies are designed to change the way we live, work, learn and play.
Registration Ends Soon: 5 Things to Know for CableLabs Member Forum
It’s hard to believe we’re less than two weeks away from catching up—in person—with CableLabs members at our inaugural Expo•nential Member Forum. This jam-packed day of interactive sessions will cover current and emerging technologies, the implications of those technologies and strategies for success. It happens Monday, September 19, in Philadelphia, just ahead of SCTE® Cable-Tec Expo 2022®.
Exploring Today, Tomorrow and Beyond—from Current Trends to Quantum Security
If you’re a CableLabs member, Expo•nential is your chance to connect with peers, colleagues and industry experts and focus on what matters most. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Hurry! September 9 is the last day to register for Expo•nential.
It’s not too late to claim your seat at Expo•nential. We’ve extended in-person and virtual registration through Friday, September 9. Register now so you don’t miss out! Please note that you must register for the CableLabs Member Forum and SCTE Cable-Tec Expo separately. Complimentary, full-access passes to Cable-Tec Expo are available for CableLabs members.
2. At Expo•nential, you’ll encounter countless industry perspectives.
Once registered for Expo•nential, you'll be in good company. Join industry thought leaders, peers and colleagues for a rich series of sessions exploring topics on the theme of the day—Today, Tomorrow and Beyond.
- Opening session with Craig Moffett: We’ll launch the day with analyst Craig Moffett of research firm MoffettNathanson. He’ll share his insights on the industry and set the scene for a day of discussion and exploration.
- Breakout sessions—Today and Tomorrow: Then, we’ll break down the market trends of the day, discuss what options are available for operators today and share updates on current technologies. Breakout sessions will continue into the afternoon with conversations about innovations that are on the near horizon. We'll also discuss how various technologies can work in unison to power the 10G network of the future.
- General session—Beyond: Finally, attendees will reconvene for a general session on the "Beyond." We'll explore the innovations of tomorrow that are already being shaped by the technologies of today.
3. Expo•nential will cover a lot of ground—all in a single day.
These Expo•nential sessions will cover everything from current trends to future needs and many technologies in between. They have been carefully crafted for members to exchange insights and connect with industry experts.
- Insights on Broadband Usage & Its Future Growth
- Comparative Network Economics & Last Mile Strategies: Technology Strategy
- DOCSIS® 4.0 Technology: Successful Network Evolution
- Passive Optical Networking: The Other 10G Technology
- The Future of Converged Networks
- The Road to 10G: Cloud Native Architectures for a Converged Tomorrow
- Fiber Access Network Technologies & Use Cases
- A Link to Tomorrow: Wi-Fi 6e/7/Home Networking
- 10G Your Way to Light Fields
- Quantum Key Distribution: The Future of Secured Networks
4. There's even more in store at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo.
After Expo•nential, let’s keep the conversation going at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo. Back in person for the first time since 2019, Cable-Tec Expo is the industry’s largest learning and networking event. SCTE is a subsidiary of CableLabs.
View the full schedule of CableLabs demos and speakers, but here are just a few highlights for CableLabs at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo:
- Tuesday, September 20: Join Phil McKinney, president and CEO of CableLabs, and Mark Dzuban, president and CEO of SCTE, as they welcome Cable-Tec Expo attendees and introduce speakers for the opening general session.
- Wednesday, September 21: Make plans to attend the Fireside Chat with McKinney and Cate McNaught, of Corning Optical Communications. In this session, CableLabs will announce the winners of the 10G Challenge. You’ll also have a chance to meet the winning innovators and view demos of their technologies at the 10G Challenge kiosk on 10G Avenue on the showroom floor.
- Throughout Cable-Tec Expo: The CableLabs booth (#5001 on the showroom floor) will host experts from CableLabs and Kyrio for demos of their latest innovations. Kyrio is also a CableLabs subsidiary.
5. Both Expo•nential and SCTE Cable-Tec Expo are conveniently located in downtown Philadelphia.
If you’re already planning to attend one of these events, why not make the most of it? Expo•nential takes place just two blocks away from Cable-Tec Expo in downtown Philadelphia. This makes it easy for you to take advantage of all four days of networking, learning, connection and collaboration.
View all the details for Expo•nential CableLabs Member Forum and SCTE Cable-Tec Expo. Register now for this opportunity to collaborate with other CableLabs members, connect with industry thought leaders and much more.
We’ll see you soon in Philadelphia!
L4S Interop Lays Groundwork for 10G “Metaverse”
What does the future look like to you? Your vision could very well be dependent on L4S—Low Latency, Low Loss, Scalable Throughput—technology. A key component of the Low Latency DOCSIS® specifications, L4S is fundamental to the cable industry’s 10G initiative and underpins three of the four tenets of the multi-gigabit platform: speed, low latency and reliability. By allowing applications to fully make use of multi-gigabit connections and, in the process, achieve ultra-low latency and near-zero packet loss, L4S will change what's possible in broadband networks.
The technology will enable the interactive and immersive media experiences of the future—“metaverse” types of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) applications that once were only a figment of science-fiction imagination. L4S can also make possible applications that haven’t been envisioned yet! And now, we’re a step closer to deploying this critical technology after an interoperability event that drew participants from organizations including Apple, Google, Meta, NetApp, Netflix, Nokia and NVIDIA, as well as cable industry orgs Casa Systems, Charter Communications, Comcast and CommScope.
Low Latency DOCSIS Specs and IETF Standards
CableLabs and Kyrio, with support from Comcast, Apple and Google, organized the Interop event—the first in the world to test implementations of L4S. As an early adopter, promoter and contributor to the development of the technology, CableLabs has positioned the cable broadband industry to take the lead in capitalizing on this transformational change in the way applications interact with the internet. CableLabs integrated support for L4S into its Low Latency DOCSIS specifications from the beginning and has been a leader in pushing for its standardization in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).
Broad Range of Participants
The four-day Interop event, held in coordination with the IETF during the organization’s “Hackathon” in late July in Philadelphia, drew 32 engineers from 15 organizations. The engineers tested and refined their applications on Low Latency DOCSIS gear, including cable modems using Systems-on-a-Chip (SoCs) from multiple suppliers and cable modem termination system (CMTS) equipment from Casa Systems and CommScope. In addition, two L4S-enabled Wi-Fi access points—one from Nokia and the other from Google Nest—participated, and Nokia brought a 5G network emulator.
The goal of the event was to allow engineers to test and refine their implementations, rather than to demonstrate the capabilities of the technology. But we did manage to publish some impressive early benchmark results and demonstrate some of the applications nonetheless. In the first public demonstration of Apple’s QUIC-Prague L4S congestion control design (recently announced at WWDC 2022) running over a Low Latency DOCSIS connection, the implementation achieved up to 50x reduction in latency and jitter and 70x reduction in packet loss. On the application front, NVIDIA demonstrated the L4S-enabled version of its GeForce Now cloud gaming service, and Nokia demonstrated a telepresence application that allows a user to use a touch screen to remotely control the live view generated by a 360° camera.
Continuing the Momentum
This was an important and successful first event for the cable industry and the internet, but we’ve only just begun. CableLabs and Kyrio plan to host a follow-up event at our Louisville, Colorado, headquarters in October, and we plan to facilitate another event in London in November. We welcome CableLabs members, cable vendors, application developers and other L4S implementers to join us at these upcoming events as we continue to advance in our march toward 10G. To register for the October L4S Interop, click the button below.
In addition, Kyrio provides a service for application developers who wish to test their 10G L4S applications using Low Latency DOCSIS network gear—privately, on their own time and at their own pace. If you’re interested in Kyrio’s testing services, learn more or contact the team here.