SCTE-ISBE CEO Dzuban says 10G will be center stage at Cable-Tec Expo

The cable industry's 10G initiative will be front and center at this week's SCTE-ISBE Cable-Tec Expo in New Orleans.

Somewhat to the consternation of the telco industry, 10G was announced in January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. While some in the telco industry thought the name was an attempt to steal some of the shine from 5G deployments, SCTE-ISBE CEO and President said 10G was foundational to the cable industry's future.

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"The whole concept that this was a marketing play, that is not true," Dzuban said. "It's truly a technological development program that is a building block methodology for getting to 10 gigabits and beyond. 10G is going to be primary focus and how we deploy it. It's fundamental to our future.

"There are a lot of applications that are going to be based on having the four covenants of 10G, which are bandwidth, security, reduced latency, and reliability. So, these are four pieces of the puzzle that are important to get to the next level with services and applications."

Following on the heels of 1 Gbps speeds across 80% of the U.S., the cable industry is ramping up to 10G speeds by using a combination of HFC, Wi-Fi, DOCSIS 4.0, and fiber-to-the premise technologies. 

The 10G access network movement is already underway in lab trials, and field trials are slated to begin next year. On the silicon side, Intel has announced it would support 10-gigabit ready technology from the network infrastructure to developing the silicon for the home gateways.

"What's most important is we always have to be building a platform that can grow, and grow with the new applications because we don't want to be behind the eight ball. We want to be ahead of it, and 10G is the next move," Dzuban said.  "Some of the pieces and parts have been around for a couple of years. It's the final assembly of the pieces and parts that now allow us a path to get to 10G.

"It could be incremental up to 5G if that's what the market needs, and could go up to 10G full duplex over time. So, it’s a great roadmap with a couple of different options so each operator in each market can determine what they need to do to compete, and build that infrastructure."

While Cable-Tec Expo officially starts Tuesday, 10G is the topic of a pre-conference session Monday morning in New Orleans with 14 panelists. The session will focus on 5G interfaces, how it works on existing HFC plants, the services, such as autonomous cars, that benefit from symmetrical 10G speeds and how it both competes with and is beneficial to 5G.

"What is interesting is the hardwire network is generally more secure, and capable of higher bandwidth and lower latencies," Dzuban said about the comparison of 10G to 5G. "I think we have a leg up but there's going to be some interesting support between 5G and 10G if only because their (Wi-Fi) access points are going to require back haul. Our wired network is prolific in the marketplace today. In some markets we're 60%, 70% of the backhaul for hot spots in wireless sites and we'll probably do the same thing for 5G. So, maybe we are complimentary."

Tuesday's opening keynote will be by FedEx's Preetha Vijayakumar, vice president of enterprise network and communications services, who will talk about how FedEx is looking at autonomous vehicles in association with 10G.

Other featured speakers for the opening keynote general session include NCTA President and CEO Michael Powell, Intel’s Robert Ferreira, Comcast’s Tony Werner, CableLabs’ CEO Phil McKinney, and Dzuban, as well as Liberty Global’s Bill Warga and Charter Communications’ Tom Adams, the Expo 2019 co-chairs. Later on Tuesday, the Innovation Theater on the show floor will immerse attendees in 10G via four presentations featuring Comcast, CableLabs and NCTA experts.

Cable-Tec Expo will host an IoT/Smart Cities Experience event on Tuesday followed by Smart Cities Day on Thursday. Workshop tracks include virtualization and cloud, security, artificial intelligence and machine learning, business services and video services across wireline and wireless services.

Expo and the Big Easy

While the cable industry went out of its way to support New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, this will be Expo's last stop in the Big Easy for the foreseeable future.

As part of a 10-year plan, SCTE-ISBE will rotate Cable-Tec Expo between Denver and Atlanta, with a stops in Comcast's hometown of Philadelphia in 2022 and Washington, D.C. in 2025.  Dzuban chalked up limiting the venues as a means to achieving sustainability in the face of a competitive environment.