SCTE member since 2000 Title: CTO, Arris Broadband Division Broadband Background: Cloonan joined Arris in 2002 when the company acquired Cadant, where he also served as CTO. Could you tell us a bit more about your broadband and technical background? I have a BSEE degree from IIT, an MSEE from Purdue University, and Ph.D. in Physics from Herriot-Watt University in Scotland. I was involved in R&D at Bell Laboratories for 17 years, working in many areas, including circuit board design, software design, DSP design, ASIC design and architecture design. I worked on a 4ESS switch development team and also worked on a research team dedicated to developing high-speed ATM switches/IP routers based on lasers and holography. That work ultimately led me into projects on the Globeview-2000 ATM Switch and the PacketStar Router, focusing on quality of service. I moved into the cable industry eight years ago when we started the Next-Gen CMTS start-up company called Cadant, where I was CTO. We used many high-availability ideas that were common in telecom environments to create a very novel product for the CMTS space. When Cadant was acquired by Arris in 2002, I became CTO of the Arris Broadband Division. How are you adjusting your product and service offerings to operators in the advanced services environment? We are expanding our product portfolio to help the operators migrate more easily into the converged world of the future. Arris has always been a leader in data and voice, and we are augmenting our existing products to ensure that they are ready to support the demanding data and voice services of the future, which include channel-bonded high-speed data, high-availability VoIP, multi-line MTAs, high-performance PacketCable MultiMedia and M-CMTS. In addition, new product offerings like the Keystone D5 DMTS are helping MSOs merge their video offerings into this converged mix. How are you dealing with customer consolidation? Customer consolidation has not impacted us that much. In fact, in many areas, we are seeing our MSO customers voicing more and more divergent viewpoints on how to advance into the future. As a result, we are building more flexibility into our products to ensure that all of our customers’ differing needs are met. What areas are you emphasizing in your research efforts? Bandwidth management is a key area of research for the future. In addition, management of the complicated DOCSIS 2.0 RF configuration for different types of noise environments has also been a very active area of research for us. MAC scheduling algorithms for DOCSIS 3.0 channel-bonding systems are also key to our future success. We are also working on novel techniques to provide low-cost edge-QAM functionality that is easily upgradeable to M-CMTS operation in our D5 platform research efforts. How is the convergence of consumer electronics with operators’ networks affecting your business? That evolutionary change is likely to create the biggest effect on Arris when PacketCable MultiMedia services begin to be used by consumer electronic devices. For example, fast video downloads to hand-held video players is a likely service that will require indirect interactions between Arris CMTS equipment and the video player. What strategies would you suggest to your customers to increase their level of competitiveness with the telco and satellite threats? In my opinion, channel bonding is the technology that will permit MSOs to use DOCSIS transport to crush their competition for many years to come. The bandwidth permitted to each subscriber as a result of channel bonding is truly remarkable. I also believe that our customers must ensure that their networks provide the high availability that is expected by telco customers if they are going to continue to win in the VoIP marketing battles of the future. How significant was the 100 Mbps lab trial that you conducted with ntl in the UK? Do you anticipate pre-DOCSIS 3.0 standard deployments? Our FlexPath Wideband Channel Bonding technology is a very powerful feature that unleashes the true power of broadband services. The successful trial of FlexPath at ntl shows just a glimpse of the exciting things yet to come. I believe that there will be quite a few MSOs that participate in pre-DOCSIS 3.0 channel bonding deployments. Interest in the Arris FlexPath technology seems to be strongly correlated to the bandwidth capacities of the competitors (such as DSL providers) in a given MSO region. What keeps you up at night? Many new specifications are being developed quite rapidly by the standards bodies at this particular point. It is a challenge to digest all of the information and stay on top of all of the new proposals. Thus, I guess you could say that for the most part, reading new specs keeps me up late almost every night. What is your company’s greatest accomplishment or proudest moment in cable? Arris is most proud of its ability to provide true telecom-grade reliability to the cable industry. It is the type of reliability required to provide true carrier-class telephony service and high-quality high-speed data service. I believe that Arris sets the bar for reliability in the industry, and I believe that the benefits of this type of reliability will only be realized when VoIP deployments become ubiquitous in the future.

The Daily

Subscribe

Mediacom Shows Off 10G Smart Home in Iowa

Folks got a first look at what a future with 10G could look like last week at Mediacom’s 10G Smart Home in Ames, Iowa.

Read the Full Issue
The Skinny is delivered on Tuesday and focuses on the cable profession. You'll stay in the know on the headlines, topics and special issues you value most. Sign Up