Light Reading
Next-gen CMTS said to pack in 144 downstream QAMS and give MSOs the headroom for an IP video migration and a bridge to CCAP

Cisco Doubling Down on CMTS Density

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
8/29/2011
50%
50%

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) is developing a next-gen cable modem termination system (CMTS) that will effectively double the downstream density of its existing 3G60 blade, allowing operators to add headroom for IPTV services, Light Reading Cable has learned.

The new product -- something one cable industry source refers to as the 6G60 -- would pack in 144 downstream QAMs (the modulation scheme cable uses to transmit data on the cable plant), doubling what the existing card can pump out today. However, the new product would keep the upstream capacity fixed at the 60 ports that already grace the 3G60. If Cisco aims to have the so-called 6G60 snap into its flagship CMTS chassis, the uBR10012, it would house 1,152 downstream ports and 480 upstream ports when fully equipped.

Cisco declined to comment about the 6G60 or what's on its current CMTS product roadmap, but some cable engineers identify it as a product that will fill the gap as MSOs start to migrate to the Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP), a budding, super-dense architecture that will converge all cable services and give cable operators a path to IP-based video services. (See CMAP & CESAR Get the Urge to Converge and Comcast Reacts to CMAP, CESAR & CCAP.)

"This would help [cable] get the capacity they need to do a true IPTV migration," the source said. "And it will bridge you all the way to CCAP."

A new breed of video gateways will help cable operators make the transition by transcoding incoming QAM video into IP streams that can be viewed on tablets, PCs and other devices that are hanging off the home network. Some cable operators are convinced that those boxes won't be able to handle the transcoding load if multiple connected devices are making a bunch of simultaneous requests, so they are looking to handle the backload with IP simulcast streams. A device like the 3G60 could give cable operators enough capacity overhead to do that.

And Cisco's apparent focus on a denser downstream follows along major industry trends as video streaming and downloading continue to gobble up IP data traffic. Other CMTS vendors, including Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) and Motorola Mobility LLC , have been staying ahead of the curve with dedicated, denser CMTS blades that beef up downstream capacity. (See Moto Decouples CMTS Downstream and Arris Boosts CMTS Downstream Density .)

Among that group, Motorola recently predicted that the number of downstream channels cable operators will require for Docsis traffic alone will double to eight to 12 channels in 2012, versus the four to six channels that are typically used today. MSOs will need many more Docsis channels to handle IP video simulcasts. (See Cable-Tec Expo: What's the Magic IPTV Number? )

Infonetics Research Inc. Directing Analyst for Broadband Access Jeff Heynen says Cisco's timing may be right, but wonders if Cisco will have to remake its CMTS platform to accommodate the kind of densities that purportedly will grace the 6G60.

"If they are working on a next-generation project, now is the time to do it in terms of product life cycles," he says, noting that a vendor can usually squeeze about 1.5 years out of a CMTS card these days. "But if you're going to double the density, now you're talking about a whole new platform."

Still unknown is when Cisco might launch the new product. Cisco started to talk about the 3G60 in late 2009. Its commercial availability the following year helped the vendor reclaim the CMTS market share lead from Arris in 2010. Cisco's kept that lead ever since. (See Cisco Aiming to One-Up Cable's Upstream , Cisco Reclaims CMTS Lead and Cisco Keeps Hammerlock on CMTS Market.)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:55:03 PM
re: Cisco Doubling Down on CMTS Density


...if Cisco even intends to pull the trigger on a full CCAP product or if it's hedging its bets that this product may plug in those gaps and do a bit more than just bridge over to the day when cable would need CCAP. JB

Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Dr. Dong Sun Talks About Carriers' Digital Transformation & Huawei’s Telco OS

1|29|15   |   6:28   |   (0) comments


Dr. Dong Sun, Chief Architect of Digital Transformation Solutions at Huawei, discusses how telecom operators can become digital ecosystem enablers and deliver optimal user experiences that are in real-time, on-demand, all-online, DIY and social (ROADS).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Chief Network Architect Talks about Network Experience & Operators’ Strategies

1|29|15   |   3:39   |   (0) comments


In the digital age, network experience has become the primary productivity especially for telecom operators. In this video, Wenshuan Dang, Huawei’s Chief Network Architect, discusses how carriers can tackle the challenge of infrastructure complexity in order to enhance business agility and improve user experience.
LRTV Documentaries
The Rise of Virtual CPE

1|27|15   |   01:38   |   (3) comments


As NFV strategies evolve from tests and trials to production telco networks, expect to hear a lot about virtual CPE (customer premises equipment) rollouts during 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
Optical Is Hot in 2015

1|23|15   |   01:56   |   (2) comments


Optical comms technology underpins the whole communications sector and there are some really hot trends set for 2015.
LRTV Custom TV
Policy Control in the Fast Lane

1|22|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


What's making policy control strategic in 2015 and beyond? Amdocs talks with Heavy Reading's Graham Finnie about the key factors driving change in the data services landscape. Find out what his policy management research reveals about the road ahead for policy control – and sign up for
LRTV Documentaries
Highlights From the 2020 Vision Executive Summit

1|21|15   |   4:33   |   (2) comments


In December 2014, Light Reading brought together telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Cisco's Doug Webster shared his company's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Harmonic, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment with Huawei

1|20|15   |   5:42   |   (1) comment


At IBC, Peter Alexander, Senior Vice President & CMO at Harmonic, speaks about the growing interest in pay-TV service and its branching into multiple devices.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sony Marketing Director Olivier Bovis Discusses the Outlook for 4K and Cooperation With Huawei at IBC 2014

1|20|15   |   6:50   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Envivio, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment

1|20|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Pay-TV's Networked Future

1|20|15   |   6:29   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about the future of the pay-TV industry and its transition.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Jeff Heynen: Distributed Access Will Help MSOs Compete in the Future

1|20|15   |   2:26   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about moving to distributed access and the future trend of cable business.
LRTV Interviews
Cisco Talks Transformation

1|20|15   |   13:02   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Cisco VP of Products & Solutions Marketing Doug Webster at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Cisco's approach to network virtualization as well as how service providers can begin to monetize high-capacity networks through the end of the decade.
Upcoming Live Events
February 5, 2015, Washington, DC
February 19, 2015, The Fairmont San Jose, San Jose, CA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 9-10, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2-3, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
Infographics
Hot Topics
Google Continues Gigabit Expansion
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 1/27/2015
BlackBerry Wants Net Neutrality Protection – That's Just Sad
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/22/2015
Cablevision's New WiFi Try – Freewheeling Enough?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 1/26/2015
Overture Builds on NFV Foundation
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/27/2015
LightSpeed Looks to Plug the Gigabit Gap
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 1/23/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Weekly Executive Interview
Join us live for Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, Universal, Intel and Microsoft, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he has to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.