Light Reading

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        ADD A COMMENT
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
Anshul Sadana answers questions from Steve Saunders, Light Reading's founder and CEO, about Arista's CloudVision, a global cloud network controller for workload orchestration and workflow automation delivering a turnkey solution for cloud networking.
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
Video Exclusive With Basil Alwan, Alcatel-Lucent

7|24|15   |   26:44   |   (4) comments


Basil Alwan, President of IP Routing & Transport at Alcatel-Lucent, discusses virtualization, cultural challenges, the capex crunch and more with Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders.
LRTV Custom TV
VDF: Enable the Financial With Mobile Money

7|20|15   |   06:53   |   (0) comments


Ian Ravenscroft discusses how operators can expand to occupy the entire digital services value chain through service innovation.
LRTV Custom TV
Telefónica on OSS Transformation

7|20|15   |   06:01   |   (0) comments


Jose Gonzales discusses the details of Telefónica's operation transformation program.
LRTV Custom TV
Judi Achmadi on Huawei's Cloud Storage Solution

7|20|15   |   03:33   |   (0) comments


Judi discusses the key business goals of TelekomSigma's public cloud service and how Huawei's solution helps them address challenges.
LRTV Custom TV
KPN Enlightening Digital Business & IT Transformation

7|20|15   |   06:19   |   (0) comments


Rob de Beer discusses the changes that operators need to make with service innovation now coming from the Internet world.
LRTV Custom TV
Stratus Telco-Grade Cloud Solutions & NFV

7|20|15   |   07:34   |   (0) comments


Ali Kafel from Stratus Technologies addresses high-availability concerns within the telco industry with a solution that enables telcos to provide high-availability and stateful fault-tolerance using a software-based approach.
LRTV Documentaries
The Six Million Dollar Business Man

7|20|15   |   01:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Saunders, publisher. A man barely alive after an acquisition malfunction imploded the company he founded. Gentlemen, we can rebuild Light Reading. Better, faster, stronger.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Anukool Lakhina, Guavus

7|20|15   |   38:51   |   (1) comment


Guavus CEO Anukool Lakhina talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the role of operational analytics in the communications services and networking sectors, particularly in relation to IoT.
LRTV Custom TV
IBM's Flash Storage With Intel QuickAssist

7|20|15   |   03:18   |   (0) comments


Intel's Bev Crair and IBM's Eric Herzog discuss how IBM's V9000 Flash Storage System has helped customers around the world. Featuring real-time compression powered by Intel QuickAssist Technology, the V9000 is a next-gen flash storage solution.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Thailand's AIS: Transforming to an FMC Operator

7|17|15   |   4:53   |   (0) comments


Saran Phaloprakarn, Senior VP of Fixed Broadband Business Management of Thailand's AIS, was a keynote speaker at the first Asia-Pacific Ultra Broadband Summit in Bangkok. In this video, he talks to Heavy Reading about transforming into an FMC (FBB+MBB+Content) operator.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Cambodia's TRC Discusses Its Plans for National Broadband

7|17|15   |   10:33   |   (0) comments


In this video, Chakyra Moa, Chairman of Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia (TRC), talks in in-depth with Heavy Reading about the Cambodia's current telecom market and TRC's goals and expectations for the future.
LRTV Documentaries
5G Phone

7|16|15   |   2:09   |   (4) comments


A man has an opportunity to purchase the world's first working 5G phone. Imagine the possibilities...
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Network operators start seeing savings from NFV in the first year, according to a study by Affirmed Networks and ACG.
Hot Topics
T-Mobile Launches RCS Messaging
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 7/22/2015
Huawei Working Hard for Rural Success
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/22/2015
AT&T U-verse TV Hits the Skids
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 7/24/2015
Robbins Succeeds Chambers as Cisco Changes CEOs
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 7/27/2015
RJio to Launch Its Own 4G Devices Brand
Gagandeep Kaur, Contributing Editor, 7/27/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Basil Alwan, President of IP Routing & Transport at Alcatel-Lucent, discusses virtualization, cultural challenges, the capex crunch and more with Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders.
Guavus CEO Anukool Lakhina talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the role of operational analytics in the communications services and networking sectors, particularly in relation to IoT.
Cats with Phones
Distract-a-Cat Click Here
The vibrate function makes for a useful cat distraction.