My contribution to this blog is dedicated to all supporters of the cable business and to those who would like to become supporters. It is for those who are facing the career decision of which industry to enter or are perhaps planning to switch to the cable industry from a different working environment. However, it is also for those more than fortunate ones, who are already working in the industry. I hope they will feel confirmed after reading this article.
A few words to begin with. I’ve been part of the cable business for more than 17 years, so I consider myself to be among the junior members. Recently, I switched from my first place of employment to Teleste. Like so many before, I passed on the chance of escaping. The business card may be new, but I’m still in the industry.
Of course, there is the cliche that the cable industry is one big family. However, for me, it feels just like that, and the annual family reunion is ANGA COM, the most important and favourite industry exhibition. Throwing a glance at European manufacturers, you only find small and medium-sized businesses with a similar history: market actors with decades behind them who followed a similar path from antennas, via multi-subscriber installations, to headend stations and multimedia HFC network components. Of course, there are younger members in the family, but the stakeholders in those companies in many cases have been part of the industry for many years as well.
The “family thing” is a part of the DNA of the European cable industry. There are no huge enterprises in which you, as an employee, are just a number. Even at Teleste, which is after all a listed company, I can approach any VP, SVP and even the CEO with my concerns. Even after a just short time, everybody knows who I am and what I’m doing.
The “family thing” is a part of the DNA of the European cable industry.
It’s also impressive to see the deep knowledge about markets and technologies at every level of the company’s hierarchy. Turnover among employees is low, which means everybody can help, and everybody wants to. This makes the work very efficient and convenient. Newcomers are very welcome and well received, and with a lot of patience. Although my experience with two employers cannot perhaps be universalised, my feeling is genuine and, in its part, a basis for my appreciation for the industry.
There are not many sectors of industry that depend on technical progress like the cable industry. Of course, I expect an outcry from the automobile industry, mobile phone manufacturers or even from agricultural engineering but, hey, in principle, cars still drive like did 50 years ago, mobile phones offer more glass only and tractors still do farming! Of course, this is at most just half the truth but, first of all, I am biased, and second, I want to promote MY guild!
But seriously, when I started working, a headend for TV signals with a somehow sufficient program offer consisted of two to three 19-inch racks full of iron. Today, there is just one 19-inch device, with better signal performance, more features and far less power consumption. Today’s data rates were inconceivable when I started, but modern broadband cable networks are able to deliver data rates that are at least competitive. Thanks to these innovations, the result of powerful R&D departments and labs, cable networks are desired investment goods still. Working in the cable industry means you are at the epicentre of technology, and this is just great!
If I compared working in the cable industry with a holiday, it would be a holiday in Provence, with cultural events, good food and interesting conversation among friends on a sunny terrace. After the holiday, when you’re home again, you think it was an exhausting trip, but you had a great time and you’re looking forward to the next trip.
The progress of this technology is unstoppable.
I don’t want to romanticise working in the cable industry. There is pressure. Pressure in terms of technology and sales prices. Many companies fighting for limited customers. As with any family, there are problems and the industry is currently in the middle of a transition, moving away from the coaxial world, passing through the HFC world, and heading for the fibre world. Away from the analogue modulated world to the “all-IP” world.
The progress of this technology is unstoppable, and the task of every manufacturer is to help shape this transition, move forward in technology and be better than the other market players. Therefore, the cable industry is the right place for those who love challenges and interesting tasks, regardless of whether that is in R&D, product management or sales.
And I’m sure you won’t want to miss the next family reunion when we’ll all meet again at the next ANGA COM after the COVID-19 situation settles down! For Teleste’s offering at this year’s digital show, please visit our website.