& cplSiteName &

Vendors Plan for Comcast's 'God' Box

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
3/2/2010
50%
50%

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s three cable modem termination system (CMTS) suppliers -- Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), and Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) -- all intend to build a new class of dense, multi-service networking gear that adhere to the product specs being developed by the MSO.

Jorge Salinger, Comcast's VP of access architecture, spelled out some of the technical details on that product -- the Converged Multiservice Access Platform (CMAP) -- at a Light Reading Cable and Heavy Reading event in Denver last week. As described, Comcast's multi-service CMAP product will look to reduce headend space and power requirements by combining functions such as the CMTS and edge QAM. (See Comcast Proposes Its God Box .)

With the specs, Comcast hopes to give suppliers the option to develop a super-integrated CMAP chassis or to build more modular implementations for the architecture's Access Shelf and Packet Shelf components. Comcast is already reaching out to other MSOs to incorporate their requirements and develop a more unified product spec that extends beyond the MSO.

Salinger last week identified some potential suppliers for those modular components during his keynote, but later stressed that it would be safe to assume that CMTS suppliers would also be playing a part in the development of the integrated and/or modular implementations.

CMTS guys: We're on board
With that in mind, all of Comcast's existing CMTS suppliers, which also happen to make edge QAMs, made it unsurprisingly clear that they are technically aligned with the plan and expect to throw their hats in the ring as the project progresses.

"We are in complete agreement with Jorge in terms of the needs, objective, and basic CMAP architecture details as reported," an Arris spokesman said. The CMAP effort offers a "natural extension of our capabilities," he added, noting that Arris is working on developing denser CMTS and edge routing equipment for all its customers.

"We've been intimately involved with the CMAP development from the beginning," added Mark Palazzo, VP and general manager of Cisco's cable access business unit. "But we have initiatives going on beyond CMAP for the development of future cable access technologies."

Arris and Cisco didn't reveal any new product details or offer any expected timing on expected CMAP product availability. Motorola, on the other hand, had a bit more to share on its CMAP intentions.

Motorola is already working on a next-gen device called the Video Edge Services Platform (VESP) that would succeed the company's current CMTS product line, according to Joe Cozzolino, the senior vice president and general manager of Moto's access networks solutions unit.

Moto's designing the VESP to incorporate features that are already fairly well aligned with Comcast's vision for the CMAP -- namely higher density on the Docsis MAC and edge QAM side, combined with Ethernet routing. Moto's VESP also aims to support a mix of traditional MPEG and IP-based video traffic, and access to subscriber management systems and the overarching "control plane" -- all in one super-chassis.

As densities go, Motorola's VESP is already shooting for 100 Gbit/s per slot on the access side and 400 Gbit/s on the packet processing side, well above the 2 Gbit/s to 4 Gbit/s it's seeing today on a per-slot basis.

Moto's VESP and traditional CMTS teams will have access to the same integration team, but VESP development will be largely on its own, operating in parallel in a "black box environment."

"I don't want to distract that [CMTS] team with the new platform," Cozzolino said. "Most larger companies don't do a good job because they get caught up in feature enhancements on the existing platform, so you have to separate that."

And he's also got a top cable engineer on the case, having brought in Jerry White, the former chief technology officer of RiverDelta Networks, as a consultant to help develop the VESP's initial "market requirements document" and to work on the actual product development. They're old pals, too. Cozzolino also hailed from RiverDelta, a CMTS startup that Motorola bought in 2001 for $300 million.

But VESP won't be hitting the market anytime soon. Cozzolino expects the product to become available toward the end of 2011 or early 2012.

The Phase I, "proof of concept" version of the product could enter trials by the second half of next year. That iteration won't bake in EPON or video caching out of the shoot, but will be added in later with new blades, Cozzolino said.

Casa Systems Inc. , a CMTS and edge QAM startup based in Andover, Mass., has yet to respond to questions on whether it intends to develop products based on Comcast's CMAP specs.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
What WTTX Can Deliver

2|23|17   |     |   (0) comments


Mohamed Madkour explains the benefits of WTTX while Dimitris Mavrakis discusses the challenges of delivering home broadband access.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei on Mobile Broadband

2|23|17   |     |   (0) comments


Mohamed Madkour shares his vision on MBB for the next three years.
LRTV Custom TV
Analysys Mason Talks About the Future of Digital Operations

2|23|17   |     |   (0) comments


The future of digital operations has three key aspects: 1. Highly automated operations for both service and network; 2. Highly converged BSS/OSS for business and resources; 3. Highly merged management and control for real-time cloud native operations.
LRTV Interviews
Software Trends in the Telecom Sector

2|23|17   |   03:40   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading senior analyst James Crawshaw talks with Telecoms.com Editorial Director Scott Bicheno about trends and developments in the telecoms software sector and what to expect at MWC 2017.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei's Pre-MWC Analyst Briefing 2017 Highlights

2|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei shares its vision for this year's MWC.
LRTV Interviews
MWC17: 5G, Cloud RAN & More

2|21|17   |   04:35   |   (0) comments


Ovum Senior Analyst Julian Bright talks to Scott Bicheno from Telecoms.com about all things MWC, including Cloud RAN, Huawei's pitch to the industry and the road to 5G.
LRTV Interviews
MWC 2017's Key 2-Letter Terms

2|20|17   |   08:29   |   (1) comment


5G, AI, VR... these are just some of the two-letter terms that will dominate show-floor chat at MWC 2017 in Barcelona, according to these two blow-hards (a.k.a. Scott Bicheno of Telecoms.com and Light Reading's Ray Le Maistre). And then there's PB...
LRTV Interviews
Key Trends for Mobile Operators in Developing Markets

2|20|17   |   06:37   |   (0) comments


Ovum's Matthew Reed talks to Scott Bicheno from Telecoms.com about the challenges and opportunities facing mobile operators in the developing markets of Africa and the Middle East.
LRTV Documentaries
YouTube Takes on Facebook Live-Streaming

2|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Popular 'YouTubers' will be the first to get the new service on their smartphones. You have been warned.
LRTV Custom TV
Open Source NFV/SDN Automation

2|17|17   |   05:54   |   (0) comments


AT&T ECOMP (Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy) code is transitioning into the Linux Foundation for placement into open source. In this video, Carol Wilson provides an update on the maturation of open source ECOMP and meets with industry leaders from AT&T, Bell Canada, Orange, Linux Foundation and Amdocs to discuss what this means for the ...
LRTV Documentaries
Uber & NASA Collaborate on Flying Car Project

2|16|17   |     |   (0) comments


Is Uber for real? Well, it's hired NASA engineer Mark Moore to lead the project, and he wouldn't come cheap.
LRTV Documentaries
Zuckerberg Tries Out the Oculus Rift VR Glove

2|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


Facebook CEO shows off a new way to interact with the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset: an Oculus glove.
Upcoming Live Events
March 21-22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
March 22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
March 22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Broadband Has a Problem on the Pole
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/21/2017
Uber's HR Nightmare: Company Investigates Sexual Harassment Claims
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 2/21/2017
Is the Time Right for a Cisco/Ericsson Wedding?
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 2/17/2017
Verizon to Start Fixed 5G Customer Trials in April
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/22/2017
Nice to See at Least One CSP Taking My Advice
Mitch Wagner, Editor, Enterprise Cloud, 2/17/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders chats with Sportlogiq CEO Craig Buntin about sports data analysis.
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Animals with Phones
No One Likes This Click Here
Take a hint!
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.