(Warsaw, 29 June 2016): The cable industry is well placed to benefit from innovation and new technology development in the entertainment sector. At Cable Congress, the cable industry’s flagship event, industry leaders outlined the opportunities for cable operators from bandwidth-heavy advancements in virtual and augmented technology. This growth is not simply organic, speakers agreed, but relies on the cable industry continuing to invest in great content.
Throughout the day cable industry representatives heard how innovation, the theme of the second day of Cable Congress, is an opportunity for consumers and cable operators to connect better. Users demand simplicity, portability and great content, which industry leaders welcomed as part of an industry ambition to meet customers’ future expectations.
Phil McKinney, President and CEO of CableLabs, said “the key with innovation is not about seeing what everyone else sees. It’s about fresh eyes.”
Liberty Global Chief Technology Officer Balan Nair explained that the cable industry is on the right path for growth on the back of innovation. Listing his own company’s three innovation areas for the next few years, he included rules for the Internet of Things, 5G and artificial intelligence as areas in which the sector can expect to play a more disruptive role. Building a corporate culture where making mistakes is acceptable is also an important strategy to harness the cable industry’s innovative ambition. “The only people who make mistakes are those doing something,” he said. Nair also listed challenges for the industry. He said that “net neutrality, taken to its extremes, where the operator has no control over its network, is not a good thing.” There should be a balance between the needs of the operator and of stakeholders.
“Technology fuels itself” said Kevin Baughan, Chief Development Officer at UK’s innovation agency Innovate UK. “Most new technologies arise because of combinations of existing ones, which provide the building blocks for new solutions. Collaboration is the keyword here. All players in the chain need to work together if they want to be at the forefront of innovation.”
André Kudelski, Chairman and CEO of Kudelski Group, said the way to deliver innovation is “to think long-term but adapt fast.” Risk is a key feature of all success stories, he added, but it must be calculated. “It’s all about smart risk taking.” Kudelski also pointed to regulation – and the lack thereof – as a driver for innovation. He noted companies with the most disrupting effect are unregulated players challenging heavily regulated ones.
Other highlights of day 2 of Cable Congress included the 2016 Innovation Award being presented to Plume WIFI, and a CoderDojo, hosted by UPC Polska with the support of Liberty Global, which gave local children an opportunity to develop and demonstrate their coding skills.
Cable Congress 2016 is taking place in Warsaw from Tuesday 28 June until Thursday 30 June. The opening day focused on disruption, whilst today – day 2 – focuses on innovation and the final day on action. Please visit www.cablecongress.com for the latest updates, talk to us on Twitter via @CableEurope, and follow the conversation live using #cablecongress.
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