Sometimes it pays to stand apart from the crowd. At yesterday’s CableLabs Summer Conference Innovation Showcase, most of the products were related to video, and many of them had something to do with home networking. But a wireless product was voted "most likely to succeed."

BelAir Networks’ newest product, the BelAir100SP Strand Picocell, was voted “Best New Idea Likely to Succeed” in informal polling at the CableLabs Innovation Showcase. The BelAir100SP delivers mobile broadband services over both 3G and Wi-Fi by leveraging existing cable infrastructure for power, mounting and backhaul. (For more, click here).

Dave Park, VP/Product Marketing at BelAir Networks, said mobile operators are being overwhelmed with data traffic and need to deploy smaller cells. The BelAir 100SP can help solve that "pain point" with the ability to leverage the cable network to connect with DOCSIS infrastructure (and) to connect licensed and unlicensed spectrum with picocells in the street.

"It’s been quite difficult to deploy in the past, to find places to mount, to power and to backhaul," said Park. "Thousands of small cells really change the game for mobile operators."

But what do cable operators get out of it?

"This is about a business," said Park. "They (MSOs) get to deploy network elements that are part of mobile operations in streets. It opens up whole new business models for mobile and MSOs to work together."

Possible business partnerships might include backhaul arrangements, hosted base-station models, leased services and spectrum-offloading deals.

Mark Coblitz, SVP/Strategic Planning with Comcast, added, "We all feel the pain that BelAir is looking to solve. MSOs hope we can participate in that solution, to get coverage in spots and capacity in specific locations. We’re deploying this kind of equipment for Wi-Fi right now. To be able to add the licensed spectrum to it is a real business opportunity."

The BelAir100SP mounts on existing cable infrastructure, with both power and backhaul provided by the broadband hybrid fiber coax (HFC) plant. Available in a range of mounting options, the picocell can be installed on aerial plant or in cabinets and pedestals or underground vaults. The modular design of the BelAir100SP supports dual 802.11n Wi-Fi radios along with a range of 3G radios, with a migration to LTE.

Besides BelAir, the following companies participated in the Innovation Showcase, demonstrating these products and solutions:

ActiveVideo Networks – Using processing in the network cloud to create next-generation iVOD experiences

Alcatel-Lucent – TV Everywhere and multi-screen services, including the Alcatel-Lucent 4G Connected Car

Alticast Inc. – Innovative ETV and tru2way solutions           

BigBand Networks – Narrowcasting and DLNA: Seamless IP video services to IP-enabled devices within the home today

Digital Keystone – Enabling delivery of content services throughout the digital home

Inlet Technologies – “Ad Ready” and real-time monetization to enable the delivery of professional-quality video, including live streaming appliances and file-based transcoding software to any device over any IP network

Netgear – Both its residential subscriber and SMB gateway product offers for MSOs and their customers

Pace Americas Inc. – “Home Content Sharing” multi-room DVR solution – pushing the boundaries of MoCA 1.1

Panasonic – Ajax-CE, a JavaScript language that allows subscriber-controlled access to IP content through high-quality graphical, Web-based applications

VQ Link – Patent-pending AVQ technology for automatic measurement, reporting and enhancement of video quality in the distribution network

Widevine – Enabling TV Everywhere with Widevine video optimization and digital-rights management

-Linda Hardesty

The Daily



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