AMSTERDAM – EuroCableLabs has renamed itself and has adopted the new mission of developing a technology roadmap for MSOs in Europe.

In four to six weeks, the organization expects that several recently formed working groups will contact vendors about achieving goals in three areas: HFC network evolution, home gateways and middleware.

The technology arm of EuroCableLabs is now Cable Europe Labs, a name aligned with the brand of its parent organization, Cable Europe. In 2006, Cable Europe changed its name from the Cable Association.

The cable industry in Europe is fragmented at best. Some of the largest MSOs in the market, who are also members of Cable Europe, are trying to find areas of commonality. The more than two dozen members include Liberty Global, Numericable, Kabel Deutschland, Telenet and ONO.

Cable Europe Labs Managing Director Malcolm Taylor said of the roadmap project, “The issue is getting the biggest providers together and achieving economy of scale.”

He said Cable Europe Labs’ working groups are all still working on elements of the roadmap, but the members are exploring the potential for IP video.

Asked if the members would rely on DOCSIS as transport for delivering IP video, Taylor shrugged.

Projects of Cable Europe Labs include the development of the next generation of very-high-speed Internet via cable (EuroDOCSIS 3.0), enabling cable operators in Europe to rollout services offering speeds above 100Mbps (see related story:Liberty Global initiates 120 Mbps+ speeds in Europe”). Cable Europe Labs intends to develop ever-better technology to allow even faster speeds via cable going forward in cooperation with other cable industry organizations around the world.

Another focus is digital TV services. The organization said TV services generate about 60 percent of the revenue of the European broadband cable TV industry. The development of an enhanced platform enabling interactive, multimedia applications on the TV and beyond the living room is of major importance to the industry. By ensuring the highest security for access, cable operators prevent piracy and safeguard their income in VOD and content-related sales. The industry actively engages in the development of a next generation of access security (CI+ Interactive) on the digital cable platform.

As for the future cable network, Cable Europe Labs is now developing new technology specifications and researching how it can further enhance the modern cable network to maximize its capacity to provide next-generation services with the highest quality of service.

Manuel Kohnstamm, president of Cable Europe and managing director of public policy and communications for Liberty Global Europe, said: “Technology innovations, a stimulating regulatory environment and marketing excellence are key elements to the success of the cable industry. Cable Europe provides a coordinated approach to leverage its support in driving the industry forward in those areas.”

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