Lady Giga Takes the Stage (2015)

By Dr. Robert L. Howald, Vice President of Network Architecture, Comcast

The insatiable appetite for rich content, ubiquitous connectivity, and sharing of experiences through social media has kept the battle for high-speed data supremacy alive and highly competitive. There does not appear to be an end in sight to the growth of IP-capable devices in the home. A single household may have a dozen or more devices with connectivity. Most of them are video capable and part of an emerging pattern of behavior of simultaneous use. “Lean Back” viewing is a decaying consumer segment.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            With so many video-capable devices,

today’s “killer app” remains streaming video, and its impacts have been widely felt. And, video evolution itself is not complete, as 4kHD clearly shows. Meanwhile, the consumer market has barely scratched the service on the Smart Home, Telemedicine, or other potentially bandwidth-consumptive, non-media related applications. An end to IP data growth does not yet appear to be in sight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So, while the debate continues about

whether year-on-year capacity growth is permanent or becomes a gradual tapering over time, every service provider knows it is not sufficient to simply look at the demand side of capacity. It has long been considered table stakes to keep pace with persistent year-on-year data growth by adding IP resources. Operators have to simultaneously focus on the service speed offering, also referred to as “billboard speed.” In this category, the latest market buzz that Operators are answering the bell for is delivering the Gigabit service tier.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In this paper, we will explore the delivery

of a Gigabit from the operator’s perspective. We will look at the marketing aspects that have driven the message into industry and consumer lexicon. We will compare the buzz created to realities of common usage, aggregate demand, and traffic engineering. We will consider the obstacles to delivery and consumption and the relationship to application benefits. We will describe the “layers” of the Giga-Ask, and identify the solution possibilities and service capabilities enabled by these solutions. We will take on the technical details of these solutions and project where they can take us down the road. Lastly, we will articulate the key messages that the Cable industry should focus on as Lady Giga takes the stage.

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