Comcast-backed RDK software reaches over 60M devices

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The new total for RDK is up from 50 million since last spring. (Comcast)

RDK Management provided figures today pointing toward the continued adoption of RDK (Reference Design Kit) open source software used to power customer-premise equipment (CPE) for broadband and video service providers.

“RDK now powers more than 60 million devices deployed by service providers around the world that require flexibility and control over their CPE software and diagnostics data,” said Steve Heeb, president and general manager of RDK, in a statement. “The new RDK App Framework enables them to develop and manage apps easily, and RDK broadband software is capable of powering next-gen gateways across DOCSIS, DSL, and GPON. Over the past year, the RDK community has been actively working to develop open source software for connected cameras, which we expect to make available soon, to provide a new avenue of growth for operators.”

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The new total is up from 50 million since last spring. Companies that have disclosed deployment plans for RDK-based services include Comcast, Cox, J:COM, Liberty Global, Megacable, Melita, MEO, NOS, NOWO, Rogers, Shaw, SFR (part of Altice Europe), Tele Columbus, Vidéotron, Vodafone (formerly Kabel Deutschland), VTR, and Ziggo.

RDK is an open source software platform that standardizes core functions used in broadband, video and IoT connected devices. The hope is that by standardizing these functions, service providers can develop and deploy applications and services, independent of hardware platforms, and control their device diagnostics data, business models and apps.

RDK is competing for market share in the pay TV space with Android TV. Pay TV operators’ options when it comes to building new set-top boxes typically include either something based on Linux, Android TV or RDK. Given the demand from consumers for streaming video apps alongside traditional video services, Android TV makes for a compelling choice with its built-in access to thousands of apps via Google Play.

Comcast potentially addressed the app gap for RDK last year when it acquired Metrological, which runs its own app store. nScreenMedia analyst Colin Dixon, who broke the news of the deal, said that the agreement likely puts RDK in a better position to compete against Android TV.

“The combination of RDK and Metrological provides a much more credible option for operators against Android TV,” he wrote. “Though it is unclear how Comcast will manage Metrological if it has bought it, we should expect the bond between RDK and Metrological to become much stronger.”