CableLabs launches mobile convergence initiative

April 22, 2021
Two groups, one composed of operators and the other mainly of technology developers, will partner to drive the creation of convergence use cases as well as the architectures and frameworks that will support them.

CableLabs has established a pair of advisory groups that will collaborate to help drive mobile convergence within cable networks. The two groups, one composed of operators and the other mainly of technology developers, will partner to drive the creation of convergence use cases as well as the architectures and frameworks that will support them.

Mariam Sorond, chief research development officer at CableLabs, is spearheading the initiative. Sorond, who joined CableLabs in 2019 from DISH Networks with a charter to advance the organization’s work in mobile communications, says that advances in virtualized cloud native functionality and open, disaggregated networks, systems, and interfaces make now a good time to begin the evolution towards mobile convergence. She acknowledges that what constitutes convergence could vary depending upon whether one is a user, network operator, technician, or some other member of the community – but Sorond says all of these viewpoints fall within the charter of the two groups.

Much of the heavy lifting would appear to fall on the vendors within the Convergence Council, who will advise CableLabs on convergence, initially via the development of convergence use cases and eventually through creation of convergence architectures and frameworks. The Convergence Council launches with 13 members:

  • Caroline Chan, Intel, Vice President, General Manager, Network Business Incubator Division
  • Dan Rabinovitsj, Facebook, Vice President, Telco Strategy
  • Manish Singh, Facebook, Connectivity Technologies and Ecosystem
  • Len Dauphinee, MaxLinear, CTO, Broadband Products
  • John Baker, Mavenir, Senior Vice President, Business Development
  • John Chapman, Cisco, CTO Broadband Technologies and Cisco Fellow
  • Robert Soni, Nokia-Bell Labs, Head of Architecture and Technology
  • Sachin Katti, Stanford University, Assistant Professor – Wireless Technology
  • Shawn Hakl, Microsoft, Vice President, 5G Strategy
  • Shlomo Rakib, Cohere, Founder and President
  • Stephen Alexander, Ciena, CTO
  • Taher Behbehani, Samsung, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Mobile B2B
  • Tom Cloonan, CommScope, CTO Cable Solution.

The creation of use cases clearly would be difficult without input from operators. To that end, Sorond and CabeLabs also have created the Mobile Convergence Committee, which will collaborate with the Convergence Council by, for example, generating problem statements. The committee begins with 9 members, a number Sorond expects to grow to 14. The founding nine include:

  • Craig Cowden, Charter
  • Tom Nagel, Comcast
  • Tony Krueck, Cox
  • Iyad Tarazi, Federated Wireless
  • Xavier Rocoplan, Millicom
  • Luciano Ramos, Rogers Communications
  • Brian O’Shaughnessy, Shaw Communications
  • Elmar Grasser, Sunrise/Liberty Global
  • Nadia Benabdallah, Vodafone
  • Eben Albertyn, VodafoneZiggo.

Sorond says she expects the two groups to generate what she called “meaningful metrics” within a year. Such metrics could include agreements on convergence architectures and frameworks, she said.

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