Rapid TV News

The Challenges and Opportunities of Assuring Today’s Cable Networks

By Anand Gonuguntla

April 13, 2018
Rapid TV News

Today’s cable operators face a number of challenges as they seek to defend their customers against other types of service providers — whether they be traditional telcos or newer applications and infrastructure like OTT providers. In addition, the proliferation of the Internet of Things has offered up more challenges for managing service across multiple devices.

Cable operators have unique challenges as well. Highly popular DOCSIS networks offer a wide variety of benefits, but are challenging to assure. Getting an end-to-end view of a subscriber’s service quality is problematic, and the goal of proactive service monitoring remains elusive. Since most providers have a variety of monitoring systems in place, gathering end-to-end metrics to monitor their networks is complex. Additionally, the HFC plant is passive in nature, making it difficult to detect and isolate impairments.

Implementing a next-generation service assurance solution can help to improve the customer experience and provide real-time visibility into the performance of an operator’s networks to help ease this concern. Cable operators need an off-the-shelf solution that allows them to process and present the massive amounts of customer and performance data to have better visibility into service quality and customer experience so that they can proactively monitor performance.

Not only must cable MSOs continue to innovate and deliver new services, they must also provide the highest level of customer experience to reduce churn and attract new customers. As MSOs look towards growth, service performance becomes critical. Here are the top five things a service assurance solution can offer cable operators assuring a complex network:

End-to-end coverage – provide a comprehensive, end-to-end assurance solution that comprises the core network as well as the HFC network to quickly identify root cause and ensure minimal network downtime due to network failures

Visualisation – provide graphical visualisation of the cable plant across device reachability and device performance.

Get to the source – correlate cable modem/eMTA communication failures and performance issues to the passive network topology to identify the source of issues in the HFC passive network.

Real-time monitoring and automation – provide real-time performance views across all customer-premise devices with automated correlation of failures and performance issues to quickly dispatch repair crews.

Leverage CableLabs standards – leverage network maintenance guidelines from CableLabs to improve network performance before issues impact customers.

Cable operators have always understood the need to assure their networks. However, the increasing complexities of the market environment and network evolution have left them needing a more defined roadmap for transforming their assurance solutions. Providers must invest to improve network performance to support current as well as future network and service requirements. By keeping these points in mind, operators can not only match the needs of today’s challenges, but can help future-proof their networksfor tomorrow.

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