The U.S. cable MSO market continues to be a dynamic area, with operators focusing on enterprise services, the potential for SD-WAN, partnerships to launch wireless service divisions, and introduction of “skinny bundles,” among other trends. Here are some updates from several of the industry’s largest players.
In keeping with its increasing focus on the enterprise market, CenturyLink recently rolled out a SAP-specific managed offering designed to make it easier for enterprises to migrate applications to the SAP HANA platform and automate management of those applications, noted Light Reading. Relatedly, the operator recently published a study looking at how and why businesses need to step up their strategic plans for digital transformation, and cautioned that, while SD-WAN (which appears poised for significant growth) can be useful for improving cloud-based application connectivity, it’s not a quick fix for internet offload or cheaper-than-MPLS connections.
Speaking of SD-WAN, Comcast recently beta-launched an SD-WAN solution geared toward the midsize and large enterprise market, Light Reading reported. Delivered through a partnership with Versa Networks, the solution—paired with gigabit internet services—is being marketed as ‘carrier-grade,’ in the sense that it provides features like the ability to host third-party virtual network functions (VNFs).
This move, Light Reading elaborated, is a logical extension of Comcast’s strategy targeting national and multi-region enterprises, and part of its ambition to expand its business services reach.
Although unconfirmed by the operator, Charter also appears to be in talks with cable networks about creating a “skinny bundle” of inexpensive streaming options, excluding major sports channels, Light Reading said. This possibility appears both plausible and at odds with the company’s market strategy; it could have a negative affect on higher-value services, or be a hedge against a market trend of price-driven reductions in earnings from service subscriptions.