Wireless Is Waxing at CableLabs’ Kyrio Unit

Louisville, Colo. -- The hunting appears to be pretty good these days at Kyrio, the for-profit unit of CableLabs that has been seeking business growth opportunities both inside and outside the cable industry.  

Kyrio, a spin-off formed in 2012 and originally called NetworkFX (rebranded as Kyrio in 2016), cut its teeth in cable device security using a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) service. It has been expanding into several emerging areas, including mobile and wireless, the Internet of Things, as well as interoperability work centered on network functions virtualization (NFV). While some of those activities have attracted business from companies and industries outside of cable, Kyrio has also taken the reins on DOCSIS certification testing.  

RELATED: Kyrio Takes Over CableLabs Certification Testing Program 

Out of all the opportunities being worked on now or being targeted, wireless is currently the biggest one being pursued, Mitchell Ashley, president and GM of Kyrio, said in a briefing here at the CableLabs headquarters.  

Mitchell Ashley

Mitchell Ashley

WiFi performance testing (for metro WiFi networks as well as in-home WiFi products and technologies) are the largest component of that part of the business, though Kyrio has started to do some testing around 5G. All of that work complements other wireless-facing work Kyrio has undertaken, including a WiFi roaming service/hub that some cable operators, including Midco, have taken advantage of.  

Louisville, Colo.-based Kyrio, which has even rented out a two-story home in the area to help with real-world WiFi performance testing, also expects increasing interest in the emerging CBRS band to also factor into future business.  

RELATED: Comcast Wants to Test CBRS in Philly 

Part of the WiFi testing tends to center access point performance, as well as new whole-home setups that employ extenders and other whole-home gear and software.  

RELATED: Whole-Home WiFi Heats Up 

Kyrio’s being tapped in part by vendors and suppliers for product testing because the division is made to be neutral and independent, and can also serve as an extension of their own in-house labs. Others simply don't have the resources that Kyrio affords them. 

“We don’t have a dog in the hunt on what’s chosen,” Ashley said. “The data is the data…The results speak for themselves.”  

Kyrio has also taken its PKI infrastructure for set-tops and modems and offered that capability to the IoT market, enabling the same security mechanisms and technology to validate and authenticate this new wave of connected devices in a sort of digital ticket exchange.  

RELATED: Kyrio Teams on IoT Device Security 

“IoT has a lot of promise” for Kyrio’s business, Ashley explained.  

Another emerging area for Kyrio is NVF interoperability. Some of that work involves a lab that lets vendors come in to create multi-device scenarios and develop proof of concepts.  

Interoperable, multi-vendor environments represent both a challenge and a promise for NVP, explained Robin Ku, director of Kyrio’s NFV Interop Lab, which is sponsored by Intel and Amdocs. 

Some of that work has involved expanding the NFV ecosystem to support a greater number of virtual applications that can be tested in those interoperable settings.  

“But you have to walk before you run,” Ku said, adding that NFV has “a high degree of interest from MSOs”