Light Reading
Harmonic pursues new "Distributed CCAP" course with debut of NSG Exo product that pushes CMTS and edgeQAM functions out of the cable headend and into the access network.

Harmonic Pushes CCAP Into the Network

Alan Breznick
5/14/2014
50%
50%

Seeking to broaden its role in the rapidly evolving market for Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP) and other next-gen gear, Harmonic is debuting a new "Distributed CCAP" product that shifts the RF delivery functions out of the cable headend and down into the access network.

Harmonic Inc. (Nasdaq: HLIT) claims that its new product, known as the NSG Exo and set to be unveiled at the ANGACom show in Cologne, Germany, next week, is its first cable modem termination system (CMTS) device. That's a big step for the company, which has specialized in crafting edgeQAM devices for processing video signals but hadn't entered the data processing side of the business before.

Even more notably, the NSG Exo is Harmonic's first full-fledged CCAP product, capable of processing and delivering both DOCSIS broadband signals and digital video signals to customers through a single, integrated device. Although Harmonic already offers a centralized, headend-based CCAP product, known as the NSG Pro, it is still basically a dense edgeQAM device that has not yet been updated with all the CMTS functions demanded by the CCAP standard.

Further, the NSG Exo, which is due out in the third quarter, represents Harmonic's attempt to play in the cable industry's budding market for Distributed Access Architecture (DAA) systems. Such other major cable equipment manufacturers as Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS), Pace Micro Technology , and Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), along with brash startups like Gainspeed , are also staking claims to this space by moving at least some traditional CMTS functions out of the headend and deep into the access network.

Harmonic, however, is singing a somewhat different tune than any of its rivals. With the NDG Exo, the edge QAM specialist is moving all of the traditional functions of the CMTS device out of the headend and placing them in the fiber nodes at the access network's edge. While rival equipment vendors are looking to move just the DOCSIS PHY and/or MAC functions into the network, Harmonic is striving to push the DOCSIS PHY, MAC, and provisioning functions deep into the network.

"We're removing anything that's DOCSIS from the headend," says Asaf Matatyaou, director of cable edge and access solutions for Harmonic. "What we're saying is: Don't split up DOCSIS."

Harmonic officials contend that this approach, similar to the centralized CCAP approach, will produce great power and cost savings for cable operators, especially in dense environments. For example, they believe the NSG Exo is particularly well suited for commercial locations, college campuses, hotels, and apartment buildings served by deep fiber lines.

But Harmonic executives think there is still a strong need for a centralized CCAP chassis based in the cable headend, especially for serving individual homes. With the company already offering such a centralized CCAP device in its initial NSG Pro product, they argue that the two products will complement each other and broaden the market for CCAP technology down the line.

"Centralized CCAP is not going away any time soon," says Matatyaou. "I don't think it [Distributed CCAP] takes away anything from traditional CCAP at all."

Matatyaou said Harmonic is now in "multiple trials around the world" with the NSG Exo. Besides cable providers, he argues that the product should appeal to telcos and other network operators that extend fiber lines to buildings with internal coaxial cable networks.

At the same time, Matatyaou says Harmonic is now shipping its original NSG Pro product to "multiple Tier I customers in multiple regions" of the world. "We're happy with the deployment of the NSG Pro."

Previously, Harmonic has said that it had received two multimillion-dollar orders for the NSG Pro from large North American MSOs but hasn't disclosed which ones. The company is now working on upgrading the NSG Pro for full CMTS and CCAP capabilities, with the enhanced product due to be released sometime next year. (See Harmonic Seeks New Melody in 2014 .)

As it rolls out the NSG Exo, Harmonic is also teaming up more closely with Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) on a broader "flexible edge" initiative that separates the IP service routing plane from the underlying access technology. With this approach, the two vendors are aiming to make it easier for cable operators to mix and match the best equipment, simplify their networks, and cut operational costs, among other things. We'll have more on this in future stories.

— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Flash Poll
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sales Director of INIT on Plug & Play Switch Devices

9|19|14   |   3:21   |   (0) comments


INIT Italy uses both the Huawei S5700 and S7700 series switches for the campus LAN environment. Sales Director Andrea Curti says their company chose these Huawei devices over others because of their performance, flexible scalability and plug-and-play features.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Saudi Arabia Upgrades Vocational Training System

9|19|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


The Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) has 100,000 students, 150 government-owned institutions and oversees 1000 private institutes. The CIO of TVTC explains that Huawei devices have allowed them to manage multiple datacenters using just one software program, scientifically tracking the progress of students and teachers, saving them millions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Media Solutions Are Here to Stay

9|19|14   |   4:35   |   (0) comments


The current media revolution requires rapid upgrades in technology. New formats (HD, 3D, 4K etc.) and the subsequent explosion of file sizes demand sophisticated network and storage architecture. Social media and the multiple distribution channels require a robust asset management system. Gartner analyst Venecia Liu speaks about the current technological trends in ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Microgenesis on Huawei's Switches

9|19|14   |   3:57   |   (0) comments


Microgenesis is a solutions and system integrator company in the Philippines whose areas of expertise include data centers, networking and security products. In this video, Executive Director Jeffrey Choa talks to us about his customers needs and they benefit from using Huawei switches.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Network Solutions Help the Philippines Jump Ahead

9|17|14   |   2:59   |   (0) comments


In the past, the Philippines has under-invested in technology. Now, the CEO of Softshell talks about how Huawei products help the Philippines jump ahead as the economy improves.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
VCS Observation for Safer Cities in the Netherlands

9|17|14   |   5:20   |   (0) comments


Holland's VCS Observation has been operating for 22 years. Its main goal is to get cities safer. CEO Wim van Deijzen tells us some of the challenges his company faces and how Huawei is helping to overcome these challenges.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
A Conversation With Serbia's Ministry of Interior

9|17|14   |   4:38   |   (0) comments


At HCC 2014, the Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia talks to us about his projects and corporation with Huawei. Solutions like Safe City and E-Government and services like cloud computing are just some of the areas his department is interested in.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
IHS Analyst Discusses eLTE at CCW 2014

9|10|14   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Thomas Lynch, associate director of critical communications at IHS Technology, talks about broadband in critical communications.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
TCAA on Huawei eLTE: A Broadband Solution for Mission-Critical Communications

9|10|14   |   2:29   |   (0) comments


At CCW2014 in Singapore, the TCCA's Phil Kidner talks about the importance of broadband data for critical communications.
LRTV Custom TV
Spotlight on Cisco: SDN for Optical Networks

9|8|14   |   9:27   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Greg Nehib talks OpenFlow and more on the 'Software-Defined Networking for Optical Networks' panel at the Big Telecom Event in June 2014.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Evolved Programmable Network (EPN)

9|8|14   |   4:05   |   (0) comments


A look at the various demos Cisco showed at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event highlighting Cisco's EPN innovation and how SDN and NFV technologies are enabling a variety of new services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Future of Ultra-Broadband, With Kevin Kelly (UBBF2014)

9|5|14   |   1:13   |   (1) comment


If you think the technological changes we've seen up to now are astounding, just wait until you see what the future has in store. Discuss upcoming breakthroughs with Kevin Kelly, Founding Executive Editor of Wired Magazine, at the Huawei Ultra-Broadband Forum on September 24.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
A survey conducted by Vasona Networks suggests that 72% of mobile users expect good performance all the time, and they'll blame the network operator when it's not up to par.
Today's Cartoon
Vacation Special Caption Competition Click Here
Latest Comment
Hot Topics
AT&T: We'll Bundle Fixed Wireless & DirecTV
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 9/15/2014
New NFV Forum Focused on Interoperability
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/16/2014
NFV & The Data Center: Top 10 Takeaways
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/18/2014
Connecticut Cities Crowdsource Gigabit Nets
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 9/15/2014
Pics: LR's Women in Telecom Breakfast
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/16/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed