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Cable Congress

60 seconds with… Com Hem CTO Thomas Helbo

ThomasHelboCom Hem chief technology officer Thomas Helbo discusses how the cable industry will shape up for the years to come 

Cable Congress: Are you optimistic about the future of the cable industry?

Thomas Helbo: Cable is looking at some of the most exciting years ahead, with many new technologies and emerging services on the horizon.

CC: What do you think has driven confidence in the sector?

TH: Taking the industry as a whole, I think that we have been very committed to improving the customer experience around cable. Sustained investment and a ceaseless strive for quality have improved our reputation across the board in recent years. Customers feel comfortable with the services we provide, and trust us to continue delivering great services.  

CC: Technological innovation must have played a part too?

TH: Cable has been evolving over the last fifteen to twenty years away from pure TV services, to the world of broadband. With DOCSIS3.0, we took a quantum leap and many operators have networks capable of services on 1 Gbit/s. We are not an industry which shies away from making investments in the future, and most operators are currently planning the next big leap to rebuild the existing infrastructure to support DOCSIS3.1 or even Full Duplex DOCSIS.

CC: TV remains important though?

 TH: TV is certainly important, but what we think of as TV is changing too. In the TV market, streaming is becoming an increasingly important part of the TV environment and in most networks video is more than 50% of the network traffic.

CC:  Does this shift towards streaming represent new challenges?

TH: With more and more devices being used for TV, multiple new content sources are becoming a natural part of the overall TV consumption pattern. Cable has a history as a content aggregator and shall continue to evolve in this direction. More and more STB frameworks are supporting these new possibilities for accessing different kinds of content. Combined with universal search and recommendations, cable is ready to meet the challenges of the future.

CC: What do you see as the biggest challenge in the sector at present?

TH: One of the most important requirements for the continued success of the cable industry is the increased use of data collected in the network. Cable providers have often been seen as front-runners in using data to improve operations, but now we need to increase the usage from a commercial perspective - like when providing the most accurate recommendations for the customers both on content and ads.