& cplSiteName &

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

From The Founder
Kicking off BCE 2017, Light Reading founder Steve Saunders lays blame for NFV's slow ramp-up and urges telecom to return to old-fashioned standards building and interoperability.
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 Interviews
CenturyLink: Let's Get Past SD-WAN Hype

6|23|17   |   04:02   |   (0) comments


Technology becomes a "shiny object" unless it's properly focused on solving business needs for enterprise customers, says Bill Grubbs, network solutions architect for CenturyLink. He explains to Light Reading why SD-WAN deployments have to be tailored to specific needs – and more.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Infinera's Sales Director Paints Tech's Big Picture

6|21|17   |   4:14   |   (1) comment


Shannon Williams, Infinera's director of sales, shares how she achieves work's many balancing acts -- between her role and the broader company, today and tomorrow's tech and more.
LRTV Custom TV
SD-WAN Innovation & Trends

6|20|17   |     |   (0) comments


Versa CEO Kelly Ahuja discusses with Carol Wilson the current status and trends in the SD-WAN market, Versa's innovation around building a software platform with broad contextualization, and the advantages that startups can bring to the SD-WAN market.
LRTV Interviews
Ovum's Dario Talmesio on 5G in Europe

6|20|17   |   02:16   |   (0) comments


At 5G World 2017, Dario Talmesio, principal analyst and practice leader on Ovum's fixed and mobile telecoms European team, explains the emerging trends amongst European operators as they prepare for 5G.
LRTV Custom TV
Putting Power on a Pedestal

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


ARRIS's John Ulm says a major accomplishment of SCTE•ISBE's Energy 2020 program is increased focus on power cost and consumption, including inclusion of energy requirements in operators' RFPs and RFIs.
LRTV Custom TV
Gigabit Access: The Last-Mile Pipe for All Future Services

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


A Gigabit access platform being deployed today must be able to deliver all types of services to an increasing number of devices. A non-blocking architecture is necessary to support the ever-increasing growth in bandwidth demand. The Huawei Gigabit access solution is based on a distributed design that is fully scalable to deliver a unprecedented performance.
LRTV Custom TV
Key Factors to Successfully Deploy an SD-WAN Service

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


As service providers transition their SD-WAN solution from trials and limited deployments into production at large scale, there are important considerations to successfully operationalize these solutions and realize their full potential, without adding complexity, introducing uncertainty or disrupting current business operations. Sunil Khandekar, CEO and Founder ...
LRTV Custom TV
IoT Solutions: Rational Exuberance

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments


IoT solutions are morphing from hype into viable business opportunities. Huawei has the platform and ecosystem support to help carriers successfully address new business opportunities in the IoT space.
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing ICN as a Network Slice for Mobile Data Distribution

6|19|17   |     |   (1) comment


Network slicing in 5G allows the potential introduction of new network architectures such as Information-centric Networks (ICN) as a slice, managed over a shared pool of compute, storage and bandwidth resource. Services over an ICN slice can benefit from many architectural features such as Name Based Networking, Security, Multicasting, Multi-homing, Mobility, ...
LRTV Interviews
Ovum's Mike Roberts on 5G Uptake

6|19|17   |   04:08   |   (0) comments


Mike Roberts, research director for Ovum's service provider markets group, explains why he has boosted his 5G subscriptions forecast.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T's Hubbard on Intersection of SD-WAN & MPLS

6|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


Rick Hubbard, SVP of Network Product Management for AT&T Business Solutions, discusses how AT&T's approach to SD-WAN fits in with its overall virtualization strategy, explains how SD-WAN can improve enterprise customers' use of the cloud and addresses the intersection of SD-WAN and MPLS.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Keep Connected IoT Devices Under Control With Allot

6|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


Allot AVP of International Pre-Sales, Daniel Keidar, explains how communications service providers can protect infrastructure and service availability from flooding attacks caused by malfunctioning or bot-infected devices connected to their network.
Upcoming Live Events
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
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
Netflix's Lesson in Culture Expectation Settings
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 6/21/2017
No Imagination: UK Chip Biz Goes Up for Sale
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/22/2017
Kalanick Steps Down as Uber CEO
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 6/21/2017
BT Tech Chief Makes Plea to 5G Chip Vendors
Ray Le Maistre, International Group Editor, 6/20/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
Animals with Phones
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.