Under the auspices of its Convergence Council, CableLabs, a sister organization of the SCTE, has been working on convergence since at least 2021. Miriam Sorond served as the council’s original chair. Other members of the council include executives from Intel, Mavenir, Cisco, Nokia Bell Laboratories, Ciena, CommScope, and Samsung. Belal Hamzeh, CTO of CableLabs, replaced Sorond at the beginning of the year.
Operators are pursuing several parts as part of their project strategy, prioritizing what they believe to be the most crucial elements to converge first, according to Bastian. As requested by the CableLabs membership, “They [the Convergence Council] are working on different elements of it.”
How quickly CableLabs might release a converged specification is not quite apparent. Furthermore, even if it does, it doesn’t follow that it will inevitably become an SCTE standard. According to Bastian, a spec is more of an initial concept while a standard ensures compatibility across national borders and among several vendors.
In addition to standards, Bastian pointed out that SCTE has concentrated on creating and disseminating guidelines on operating best practices to aid staff in adapting to a converged environment.
“This workforce, all they’ll know is wireline. You put some antennas up there, you get into the wireless world, how do we have to change that workforce’s world to support that,” he said. That kind of support, plus SCTE training initiatives, will help telecom workers better understand “how do they install it, how do they operate it, how do they use the tools to get the proper telemetry off it.”