The Evolution of Access Networks: 2030 and Beyond

28 Apr 2014

tom cloonan

Tom Cloonan, CTO Network Solutions

The cable industry is constantly evolving as a result of advances in technology and changes in consumer demand. Today, consumers expect more content, in more ways, in more places than ever. That demand is only growing… and so are its implications for the industry.

At this year’s Cable Show, my colleagues and I will attempt to crystallize those prognostications in our paper, “Predictions on the Evolution of Access Networks to the Year 2030 & Beyond.”

One of our principal conclusions is that the network must evolve. As the number of connected devices grows, and the demand for bandwidth increases, HFC (Hybrid fibre-coaxial) plants will face unprecedented pressure to scale. But knowing when and how to transition these networks is at the top of every cable provider’s list.

Predicting the future is a challenging task, but as we look to 2030 and beyond, we’ve identified a few industry trends and considerations that likely will have a broad impact on network evolution:

  • The growing demand for more bandwidth capacity will create stress on cable providers’ HFC spectrum;
  •  The increase in demand for higher bandwidth has only just begun and will continue to grow as 4K and 8K UHD (Ultra HD) TV become mainstream;
  • Providers will have to make the decision to either extend the lifespan of their current HFC plant to support the bandwidth capacity or they will have to switch to new technologies.
  • The next 15 years will see our industry’s service providers make the transition to new networks to accommodate the unprecedented growth in consumer content consumption, but the decisions that chart that course are being made today.

    Get ready, the future is here.

    To learn more, join my seminar at The Cable Show, Wednesday April 30 @ 2:30 p.m. PT in the Los Angeles Convention Center, Room 403B “My How You've Grown: Emerging Data Demand...And How To Satisfy It.”

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