At the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) Cable-Tec Expo in November, Sanjay Jha, chairman and CEO of Motorola Mobility, will join Cox Communications President Pat Esser for a conversation on the future of cable. Perhaps Jha’s appearance at the opening session is, in itself, an indication of where cable is headed.

Jha, who drove the turnaround of Motorola Mobility’s mobile-device segment, now leads the company’s combined Mobile and Home businesses. He will discuss with Esser approaches to help operators meet the needs of residential and business consumers during the next five years or more as well as the role that will be played by wireless.

The Cable-Tec Expo opening session, with its inclusion of wireless, was put together by Expo Program Chair Terry Cordova, senior vice president/CTO at Suddenlink Communications; Tony Werner, executive vice president/CTO at Comcast; and Mike LaJoie, executive vice president/CTO at Time Warner Cable.

At the Oppenheimer Technology & Communications Conference in Boston yesterday, Jha talked about Motorola’s mobile business and convergence with other technologies.

"The most powerful computer is the one that’s in your pocket," he said. "As important as the tablet is, I continue to believe that smartphones are much more important as a computing device."

Motorola acquired Zector, which is behind the ZumoCast software that allows users to stream media over the Web from a personal computer to a mobile device. "The vast majority of content resides on PCs, and being able to connect to your PC to access content is very important," Jha added.

But Motorola is involved in the tablet business as well, launching its XOOM tablet with Verizon Wireless on Google’s Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.

Asked if Motorola learned any lessons from the launch of its first tablet, Jha said, "The price points moved much faster than we anticipated; we needed to have more content and applications available early; and we needed to launch globally with Wi-Fi much earlier. Wi-Fi turned out to be a bigger portion of the shipment than we recognized initially."

But Jha indicated he was pleased with Motorola’s choice to align itself with the Android operating system early on: "There are two ecosystems if you’re a developer you have to support – Apple and Android." While there are three or four other big operating systems competing in the marketplace, "It’s not clear to me that they all will succeed," he added. "There is a clear shift to HTML5 as the basis for most platforms."

SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2011 is schedule for Nov. 15–17 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

-Linda Hardesty

The Daily

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