Cisco’s cloud-based offerings are gaining traction. Following its confirmation of a partnership with Kabel Deutschland, Cisco and Charter Communications, the fourth-largest cable operator in the United States have entered into a strategic agreement through which Cisco will supply key products in support of Charter’s breakthrough next-generation video solution.
Cisco is to provide a new advanced TV platform for Vodafone-owned German cable operator Kabel Deutschland with a launch date expected in 2016-17. According to Cisco, subscribers will be able to access all the video they consume through a single user interface which works across all their TVs and personal devices. The platform will be based on a new cloud platform developed jointly by Kabel Deutschland and Cisco, which will also provide connected devices in the home to enable the consumption of video services.
“Cisco is proud to work with a leader and innovator like Kabel Deutschland to realise their vision of transforming their video business to a software-based, agile, cloud-powered platform. Cisco has invested heavily to become the leader in cloud and virtualisation because these technologies will help our customers deliver great services, become more agile and ultimately grow their businesses,” said Yvette Kanouff, senior vice-president and general manager, Cisco Service Provider Video Software and Solutions.
For Charter the products will include Cisco’s cloud-based security suite, including downloadable security solution (DCAS) for set-top boxes, and seamless digital rights management (DRM) solution to support video services on a range of IP devices. Cisco will supply a substantial share of Charter’s next-generation ‘Worldbox’ volume and will continue to supply CableCARD boxes until Charter migrates all current and acquired systems to the downloadable security solution.
“Cisco shares Charter’s vision of the future of network architecture, where our network’s intelligence is located in the cloud rather than in devices at the edge,” said Tom Rutledge, President and CEO of Charter Communications. “We are excited that Cisco will be a key supplier of the Charter Worldbox, and that their Downloadable Security Solution and Digital Rights Management solutions will be part of Charter’s next-generation, cloud-based video solution.”
“Cisco greatly values our enduring partnership with Charter,” said Cisco chairman and CEO John Chambers. “We are proud to join Charter today to showcase the leading-edge IP and cloud-based video solutions they are developing, and the Cisco products at their core. Charter’s new video solution, featuring cloud-driven video experiences offered across many devices will be a huge win for Charter subscribers.”
Charter expects to deploy downloadable security to its current systems this year and will then continue deployment to acquired systems. The downloadable security solution has been a multi-year effort involving multiple cable vendors. The downloadable security solution is an open solution, which has been ported to multiple vendors’ CPE. It interoperates with in-place proprietary conditional access system implementations, facilitating efficient footprint wide roll-out across different cable video network architectures. Downloadable security allows current and future vendors worldwide to supply ‘Worldboxes’ to Charter. Charter is currently working with vendors towards manufacturing compatible boxes for the retail market as well, with the expectation that these devices will function in other cable systems using downloadable security solution.
Charter will offer both an HD only and an HD-DVR ‘Worldbox’ featuring dual IP/QAM capabilities, configurable up to 16 tuners, a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem, 1 Gig of RAM, high-powered USB to enable future applications, and a terabyte of storage on the HD-DVR. Charter expects to launch its new fully featured cloud based user interface, Spectrum Guide on Worldboxes, as well as on legacy boxes currently deployed within the Charter footprint. The Spectrum Guide features intuitive search and discovery capabilities with attractive graphics and TV and movie poster art that provides customers an enhanced state-of-the-art experience.