Line Excavation Replacement - Kabel-X breaths life into coax

For the past six months, American cable operators have been trialing a cable-extraction technology from Kabel-X USA that lets them remove older coaxial cable and replace it with new fiber optic cable.

Kabel-X technology
Kabel-X’s technology being trialed

Once a small access point is made in the cable, biodegradable, liquid solutions are pumped under pressure into the cables using a proprietary combination of fluid viscosities, ingredients and pressures to allow the copper coaxial cores to be extracted quickly and economically. The end result is an empty cable sheath left in the ground that can be re-used for replacement, repair or fiber upgrades.

While the process isn’t new, Kabel-X is a new player in North America. The process saves cable and telco providers from trenching and cuts down on the cost of replacing and upgrading coaxial or copper cables.

“Cable service providers have been looking for cost-effective and less-intrusive construction alternatives to line excavation and replacement for a long time,” says Darin Clause, executive vice president for Kabel-X. “Whether to the node, pole or beyond, Kabel-X technology removes line access costs and hassles by leveraging the most efficient and minimally disruptive cable conversion process on the market.”

Moto intros set-tops that move content to, from mobile phones

In another early instance of bridging cable and mobile networks, Motorola has introduced a new line of set-tops that allow users to transfer content to and from mobile phones, without the need for a PC as an intermediary.

The platform is based on the KreaTV open software platform that Motorola picked up when it bought Kreatel Communications in early 2006. Judging by the first box, Motorola appears ready to use this new multimedia platform to integrate home electronics systems in almost any configuration a service provider is willing to pay for.

KDDI, an operator in Japan that provides both fixed and mobile services, will be the first to use the new Moto boxes for a new service called au Box, which is scheduled for launch on Nov. 1. But au Box may be considered icing on a cake.

Motorola's au Box for KDDI
Motorola's au Box for KDDI

The set-top version KDDI ordered also features a CD player and CD-ripping capabilities to allow users to rip CDs from their personal collections, automatically retrieve CD information, store the files in their music libraries, and then transfer them to a mobile handset or to a portable media player via USB.

In addition, music from a CD, mobile handset or portable media player can be played by the set-top through integrated stereo speakers. It also incorporates video encoding capabilities to allow users to upload video from their personal video recorders (PVRs) and transfer that video to a mobile handset.

It can also play DVDs when linked to an external monitor. The set-top can additionally serve as a portal for Internet Web browsing, enabling users to access a wide range of services and user-generated content, in addition to the option of purchasing music and video content from online stores.

JDSU debuts NetComplete Home PM 

JDSU has launched NetComplete Home Performance Monitoring (PM), an extension of its service assurance system that supports broadband services and network deployments for service providers.

NetComplete Home PM offers increased visibility required to meet quality of experience (QoE) expectations for video, voice and data over xDSL and FTTx networks by accessing service performance information inside the home.

The solution provides end-to-end service fault management by monitoring the performance of home networking equipment, including set-top boxes, analog terminal adaptors (ATAs) and residential gateways (RGs). It automatically identifies customers who are experiencing degraded service, as well as poor-performing network elements.

NetComplete Home PM also provides fault demarcation that supports in-service diagnostic testing with on-demand, real-time data collection for fault investigation, troubleshooting and root cause analysis.