Cable Television and Broadband Ready for a Strong 2015

Ric_Johnsen_ektron Richard "Ric" Johnsen January 6, 2015

BB_2015_Blog_imageThere is no doubt that 2014 was an interesting year in the broadband and cable television industry. We saw merger announcements here in the United States and in Europe that could change the face of the industry as we know it. On the technology side, we witnessed the need for operators to keep up with the continuing surge in data, thanks to over-the-top (OTT) video services as well as the increasing amount of mobile devices accessing their networks. Operators realized there is a need to evolve their networks from a hybrid fiber/coax networks (HFC) platform to a converged optical platform, delivering Ethernet/IP-based services, to keep up with the necessary bandwidth.

So what does that mean for 2015? Network evolution will vary from operator to operator and I believe there will be several key factors that will continue to drive the operators’ needs to evolve their networks.

Continued Fiber-to-the-Home Push

I believe that operators will need to continue to push fiber deeper into their networks—all the way to the home—and they are investing in the infrastructure needed to accomplish this. They are seeing increased value in deploying microducts, microcables, Passive Optical Network (PON) and Radio Frequency over Glass (RFoG) solutions to handle the increasing demands in multi-dwelling units (MDUs). These fiber projects will be seen initially in MDU deployments, then quickly turn to greenfield expansions. This significant increase and interest in RFoG will enable operators to bridge the gap from an HFC network to an all-optical network.

DOCSIS 3.1 Trials

The industry will continue to trial Data Over Cable Service Infrastructure Specification (DOCSIS) 3.1 technology so operators can maximize bandwidth across the available spectrum. With the increase in DOCSIS 3.1 trials, movement to a mid-frequency split of 85 MHz will drive new solutions to the market to give operators more interactive upstream capability. These solutions include new RFoG micronodes and drop amplifiers with expanded upstream spectrum capability.

Tier 3 Network Evolution

While a lot of the top multiple-service operators (MSOs) are making waves with their technology upgrades and deployments, smaller operators and MSOs will also see the value in fiber and technology rollouts. They are seeing the value of deploying fiber optical systems with RFoG and PON to reduce the noise conflicts from egress and ingress with LTE networks on shared frequencies.

Subscribers are used to watching what they want, where they want and when they want. It is up to operators to maintain and expand their networks to keep up with their subscribers’ bandwidth and data demands.

About the Author


Richard "Ric" Johnsen

Richard “Ric” Johnsen is senior vice president, Network Cable and Connectivity, Broadband Networks, for CommScope, a global leader in infrastructure solutions. Previously, he was senior vice president, PLM Outside Plant Solutions. Mr. Johnsen joined CommScope in 2010 and was senior vice president of the Broadband division. Previously, he was president and chief executive officer of Alloptic. His prior work experience includes time at OFS as a vice president with responsibilities for fiber optic cable sales, marketing and product engineering. During his tenure at OFS, he led the team responsible for developing and introducing the totally “dry” loose tube fiber cable design to the market. He also worked at Alcatel where he served in numerous positions including engineering, operations and sales. His last position at Alcatel was vice president of the optical fiber business for Europe and Asia. During his time at Alcatel, he led the team responsible for developing and commercializing a colored coating for optical fiber (ColorLock). The project was recognized by Alcatel as the winner of the 1998 Alcatel “Hi-Speed” Award for speed of execution and impact to the business. Mr. Johnsen served 11 years in the United States Army, serving in numerous positions globally as a Signal Corps Officer and holding Airborne and Ranger qualifications. Mr. Johnsen has a BS degree in general engineering from the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY and an MS degree in communications engineering from the United States Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA.