Light Reading
Cisco, Arris, Motorola and Casa are already making CMTS upgrades that will push Docsis 3.0 past 1Gbit/s

Cable Access Goes for Bigger Broadband

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
9/28/2012
50%
50%

The latest Docsis 3.0 modems gun for downstream bursts approaching 1Gbit/s, but work already under way at some of the industry's key Docsis network vendors aims to blow past that. (See Intel's New Docsis 3.0 Chip Guns for 1-Gig .)

On the modem side, Hitron Technologies Inc. has already trotted out D3 gateway models based on the new Intel Puma 6 chip that bonds 24 downstream channels and eight upstream channels. Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) has already indicated plans to do the same, and multiple industry sources say Netgear Inc. (Nasdaq: NTGR) has been showing off a prototype.

But most of the cable modem termination system (CMTS) vendors say they are working on new software that will bond 32 downstream channels -- enough for maximum bursts of 1.2Gbit/s when fully loaded. Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) has been quiet about its plans for a next-gen D3 chip, but those CMTS targets could be indicative of what the chipmaker has in mind. (See Broadcom's Next D3 Chip Will Leapfrog Intel .)

Here's a quick review of the CMTS front:

  • Software on Arris's flagship CMTS, the C4, can handle 24 bonded channels, but the vendor has not issued that release commercially, says Stan Brovont, Arris SVP of marketing and business development, who adds that the vendor can't fully test the software until there's an ample supply of the new customer premises equipment (CPE). "It's one thing to write code to make it work for one modem, versus thousands," he says. He confirmed that a 32-channel CMTS is planned but didn't give a time frame.

  • Motorola Mobility is working on a new CMTS software release that can bond 32 downstreams and eight upstreams, expected to be ready by the first half of 2012, says Director of CMTS Marketing Jeffrey Walker.

  • Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) says its new software release for 24 or 32 bonded downstream channels is slated for its fiscal second quarter, which ends in January. But "we can support it sooner than that for testing and trials," a Cisco spokeswoman says.

  • Casa Systems Inc. , which has been supplying the CMTS for the demos of Hitron's 24x8 modems, has already deployed 24-channel bonding in its CMTS for North American and EuroDocsis environments, according to VP of Marketing and Business Development Mark Sumner.

    CMTS readiness for 24x8 modems will be important for the CPE vendors as they get prepped for certification testing. Hitron says it plans to submit a wireless gateway for testing at CableLabs in November. Cable Europe Labs is ready to begin testing on 24x8 modems now, according to Peter Percosan, the organization's managing director.

    Market uncertainty
    It's not yet clear when cable operators will be ready to use any of this new equipment. Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), for example, says it will hold off on any major changes to its Docsis infrastructure while it gauges demand for downstream speeds of 200Mbit/s or more. It's using a surgical fiber-to-the-home/Metro Ethernet approach, rather than Docsis 3.0, for early takers of its 305Mbit/s tier. (See Comcast Gives FTTH a Shot .)

    Other MSOs might move sooner, depending on factors such as competition and how they intend to drive their IP video migrations. Operators in Europe, for example, are faced with more fiber competition or are considering a full IP video simulcast, so they are looking to create a Docsis pipe that can support something in the range of 1Gbit/s, Walker says.

    But most cable operators don't happen to have a bunch of spare channels lying around. Some MSOs are still having trouble finding enough spectrum to fill up today's 8x4 modems, Brovont says. He adds that the CPE and CMTS players need to be ready for when operators do free up more bandwidth and also have a good business reason to use it.

    And it appears that 32 channels could just be a start. Sumner says Casa's already got eyes on a 64-channel downstream, "but nobody will have anything like that anytime soon."

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

    (1)  | 
    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
  • Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
    tmc8080
    50%
    50%
    tmc8080,
    User Rank: Light Bulb
    12/5/2012 | 5:20:09 PM
    re: Cable Access Goes for Bigger Broadband


    Maybe Comcast and Verizon dont' want to be left out of the GIGABIT party when 2013 comes a-roling around.. 2013 seems to be the year of the gigabit-- or is it? No carriers have [publically] stated that their goal is to offer 1 gigabit speeds to residential consumers as of yet (on a wide-scale basis, that is.. other than Google via FTTP).  Still silent on possible upgrades is Cablevision.. are they eyeing new CTMS or FTTP?

    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 Interviews
    The New Wave of IP + Optical Integration

    11|21|14   |   04:29   |   (7) comments


    At the Alcatel-Lucent Technology Symposium, Heavy Reading senior analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how SDN has reshaped the discussion around packet and optical integration.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei Highlights at BBWF 2014

    11|20|14   |   3:40   |   (1) comment


    Broadband World Forum is one of the world's largest telecoms, media and technology events with over 7,800 senior executives from across the globe converging on Amsterdam every year to identify the Next Big Thing. BBWF is an exciting place to meet the entire industry under one roof and identify the latest in network innovation, service optimization and customer ...
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    How Will BCMS Stimulate Margin for Broadband Operators?

    11|19|14   |   6:52   |   (0) comments


    In BBWF 2014, Liu Shuqing emphasizes the value of FMC 2.0 based full service experience by throwing light on the BCMS solution. The underlying principle of this innovative technique is to create network robustness and driving network from connection oriented to ACE – BAND oriented infrastructure, in which applications, cloud, and user experiences will be an asset ...
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    SingleFAN3.0: Better Connected Experience

    11|19|14   |   3:06   |   (1) comment


    At the BBWF 2014, David Hu, the VP of Huawei Access Network Product Line, talked about the future of access networks – SingleFAN3.0: faster broadband, wider coverage, and smarter connection.
    LRTV Interviews
    Basil Alwan Interview: The Road to Cloud

    11|19|14   |   09:09   |   (0) comments


    Alcatel-Lucent's head of IP and Transport talks about the migration towards a web-like networking environment, the impact of the cloud, SDN and NFV, and the yet-to-be-announced FP4 chip.
    LRTV Documentaries
    FairPoint Makes a Fair Point About Analytics

    11|19|14   |   1:56   |   (1) comment


    The US-based communication service provider gets to grips with advanced analytics, tackling data and breaking down the silos within its own business.
    LRTV Documentaries
    Analytics Lets C Spire Get to Know Subs

    11|19|14   |   3:01   |   (2) comments


    It's all about the data for US operator C Spire as it uses analytics to personalize its customer service down to individual subscribers.
    LRTV Interviews
    Nuage Branches Out With SDN: CEO Interview

    11|17|14   |   9:32   |   (0) comments


    Sunil Khandekar, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent's SDN-focused unit Nuage Networks, talks about the opportunities and challenges of breaking out of the data center into wide-area networks.
    Light Reedy
    Telecom Analytics Grows Up

    11|14|14   |   1:15   |   (4) comments


    The big data analytics debate has moved on from a year ago, with some experts suggesting it's no longer a technology challenge.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei Compass

    11|14|14   |   3:17   |   (1) comment


    At OpenStack Summit 2014, Shuo Yang, Huawei Principal Cloud Infrastructure Architect introduced Huawei Compass, the software tool for solving customers' problems on the journey of OpenStack Cloud.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei's Cloud Strategy in European Region

    11|14|14   |   2:56   |   (1) comment


    At OpenStack Summit 2014, Dr. Gotz, CTO of Huawei IT in European Region introduced Huawei's cloud strategy in European region.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    Huawei's Contribution on OpenStack

    11|14|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


    At OpenStack Summit 2014, Dennis Gu, Huawei Chief Architect of Cloud Computing introduced the relationship between OpenStack and cloud computing, and Huawei's contribution on OpenStack.
    Upcoming Live Events
    December 2, 2014, New York City
    December 3, 2014, New York City
    December 8-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
    February 12, 2015, Atlanta, GA
    April 14, 2015, New York City, NY
    May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
    May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
    June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
    Infographics
    Irish Telecom outlines the rise of VoIP technology, including its adoption within businesses and their perception of its quality.
    Hot Topics
    Bell Labs Chief Slams 'Toy' Networks
    Robert Clark, 11/19/2014
    $38.3M: Ain't That a Kik in the SMS
    Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 11/20/2014
    Do You Have a 2020 Vision?
    Dennis Mendyk, Vice President of Research, Heavy Reading, 11/21/2014
    Google, AT&T, BT Unite on Network Data Models
    Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 11/20/2014
    The New Wave of IP + Optical Integration
    Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 11/21/2014
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed