CableLabs To Pack On More Wireless Muscle

In yet another of example of how significant WiFi and other wireless technologies are becoming to the cable industry, CableLabs is seeking a high-level executive and other important engineering slots that will be focused on the hot area. 

According to current job postings, CableLabs is looking for a vice president of wireless who will head up the wireless access R&D group at the MSO-backed Louisville, Colo.-based group.

While the new VP, who will need expertise in WiFi, Passpoint, 3G, LTE and emerging 5G technologies, will be tasked with identifying opportunities and maintaining short- and long-term wireless-facing roadmaps and strategies, the wireless access group that person leads will be responsible for “project execution and strategy related to all aspects of wireless.”  

CableLabs is also looking to hire a principal architect – wireless technologies who will be focused on physical layer and RF engineering, and contribute to broadband engineering team R&D projects, including specs development, modeling and measurement.

CableLabs confirmed that Dan Rice, senior vice president of network technology, is currently leading the group’s wireless efforts.

The positions being sought now are clear indicators that CableLabs plans to amplify its focus on wireless, which is rapidly becoming a component of the cable industry’s broadband arsenal.

As was clear at the SCTE Cable-Tex Expo last fall, CableLabs is pushing ahead with projects, activities and cross-industry partnerships tied to “carrier-grade” WiFi, work that will enhance the industry’s growing network of hotspots. In addition to tapping them to supply data, the cable industry is expected to take a closer look at WiFi-first voice strategies that  use cellular as a backup. Cablevision Systems, meanwhile, just launched a WiFi-only phone service called Freewheel.

And CableLabs is keeping close tabs on potential concerns, including LTE Unlicensed, an expanded use of LTE that could dominate unlicensed spectrum and possible knock out  WiFi. As CableLabs CEO Phil McKinney noted last fall, the R&D house is trying to head off this potential issue by working with the LTE and WiFi industries on technical approaches that would enable better spectrum sharing.