Liberty Global (NASDAQ: LBTYA, LBTYB, and LBTYK) has selected Vecima Networks Inc. (TSX: VCM) and Vector Technologies to support deployments of Remote PHY (R-PHY) based Distributed Access Architecture (DAA) in its European footprint. Field trials of the R-PHY technology are scheduled for this fall in Liberty Global’s Western and Central European operating companies.
The technology collaboration sees Vecima supply its ERM112 Remote PHY Device (RPD) module, which Polish company Vector Technologies will house in its ACCERON Compact R-PHY Node. Jeff White, senior vice president cable strategy at Vecima, said the collaboration formed specifically to pursue the deal with Liberty Global, but that the two companies could partner for other opportunities as well.
The DAA deployment is part of Liberty Global’s drive to enable 10G capabilities across its European networks. “The partnership with Vecima and Vector Technologies was a natural extension of our ongoing business activities, mainly focused on our mission to create the next-generation broadband networks in Europe,” said Seamus Gallagher, Liberty Global’s vice president of access network strategy, via a press release announcing the deal. “Currently, we have over 19 million homes connected throughout Europe with speeds of 1 Gbps. DAA brings many benefits, such as increased network bandwidth and less equipment in the headend and hub by enabling a multi-service -- video/data/voice/mobile backhaul -- unified, fiber core network. We are excited to continue our gigabit rollout with a solution that helps avoid vendor lock-in and supports multi-vendor interoperability.”
That multivendor interoperability, particularly the ability to operate with a variety of CCAP platforms, was a key factor in winning Liberty Global’s business, White stated. The contract with Liberty Global is part of a significant uptick in DAA activities around the world that has seen Vecima’s DAA customer roster jump from 3 to 33 since last June, according to White. Many operators are close to exhausting their CCAP capacity due to the bandwidth demands of the COVID pandemic, which has spurred operators to take the next step toward DAA, he said.
White came to Vecima via its recent acquisition of access network assets from Nokia (see “Vecima to acquire Nokia's DOCSIS distributed access, EPON/DPoE assets”). White joined Nokia from GainSpeed, a company he co-founded that was a pioneer in software-based DAA technology (see "Nokia Nails Down Gainspeed Buy").
[Editor's Note: The original version of this story stated the number of Vecima's DAA customers as "more than 20." The number was changed to 33 when Vecima provided updated information.]