& cplSiteName &

Cable Ponders Life After Docsis

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
4/26/2010
50%
50%

Two industry sources have confirmed that CableLabs has begun work on a data-over-coax project that looks beyond Docsis 3.0 and might bring an end to the practice of dividing bandwidth into 6MHz or 8MHz channels.

The discussions, reported by Multichannel News on Sunday, are in the "pretty early stages," a source confirmed to Light Reading Cable. "This would be a big effort," the person added, saying it would require the development of new chips and new systems.

According to the report, CableLabs and its members are working from scratch, targeting capacities of 5 Gbit/s or more using new media access control (MAC) and physical layer (PHY) components.

That means it would be years before products are developed, and even longer before they might be deployed.

"I assume they're planning for the second half of the decade, because this would be a massive effort," says Heavy Reading senior analyst Alan Breznick, noting that several operators are already looking at ways to graft EPON to their Docsis systems for business services and some limited residential service scenarios.

And no one is suggesting that the industry is getting ready to migrate to a channel-free, and possibly more efficient, spectrum environment anytime soon. "Docsis 3.0 is very strong, and has good legs," notes an industry source who is familiar with the CableLabs project.

CableLabs declined to comment. The Louisville, Colo.-based R&D house told Multichannel News that it "is in business to explore many different technologies on behalf of its members."

Getting to 1 Gig
Capacity of 5 Gbit/s already exists on most upgraded cable plant, but the bandwidth is divided into the aforementioned channels. (North American Docsis uses a 6MHz channel width; EuroDocsis uses 8MHz.) A plant built to 750MHz supports capacity for almost 5 Gbit/s, while 1GHz plants support more than 6 Gbit/s, with the individual channels divided up for the actual cable services (broadcast video, video-on-demand, switched digital video, VoIP, high-speed data, etc.).

And Docsis 3.0 is perfectly capable of delivering burst speeds in excess of 1 Gbit/s. Vendors have already told Light Reading Cable that they are working on D3 modem configurations that can bond eight or 16 downstream channels, and are seeing requests to bond 32 downstream channels -- enough for a 1.2 Gbit/s burst. (See The Ultimate Cable Modem .)

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and other MSOs have been deploying wideband aggressively; Heavy Reading forecasts that among North American MSOs, Docsis 3.0 will pass 90 million homes by 2012. (See Wideband Growth Continues in North America.)

Comcast, meanwhile, is hooking up with an array of partners on a next-generation access architecture project that mixes Docsis 3.0, PON, and a way to help cable migrate to more IP-delivered video services. (See Cox Adds Weight to Comcast's Big Box Project and Comcast Proposes Its God Box .)

Even if the CableLabs project is just starting, the fact that such work is underway indicates that the cable industry intends to squeeze as much out of its hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) plant as it can before moving to a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) platform.

That has not stopped operators such as Canada's Shaw Communications Inc. from considering the use of FTTH architectures and Radio Frequency Over Glass (RFoG) in all their new buildouts. (See Shaw Vetting FTTH for All New Builds and Costs Could Keep RFoG a Niche Player .)

The CableLabs effort also calls into question whether the consortium will go to the lengths to specify a Docsis-optimized FTTH platform that uses the technology's management plane. A July 2006 CableLabs report called "Cable Response Alternatives to FTTP" caused a bit of a stir by suggesting that it might be more cost-effective for MSOs to deploy FTTP when node sizes are less than 125 homes passed.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:38:25 PM
re: Cable Ponders Life After Docsis
Getting more word on this project, and I'm hearing that this approach under consideration isn't entirely new, since it's been on the table for some time.



But it's interesting that cable's taking a fresh look at this idea now, and suggests that D3 won't be the end-game for data-over-coax.



I'm still cultivating details on all this, but any thoughts out there as to why a channel-free world would offer cable a more efficient environment to deliver multi-gigabit speeds?
JB

rjmcmahon
50%
50%
rjmcmahon,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:26:09 PM
re: Cable Ponders Life After Docsis


Probably cheaper to use optical ethernet equipment and the broadcast biz-model would likely get in the way.

furious_george
50%
50%
furious_george,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:26:09 PM
re: Cable Ponders Life After Docsis


I would assume that going channel free would indicate the reduction in guardband for each 6 or 8 MHz channel. 


Note I am an optics guy, and I am assuming that this is being handled similarly to some of the talk around flexible ROADM channels for speeds of 400G and beyond.


furious_george

From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
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
Heavy Reading: The Web-Scale View

1|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Rome, Heavy Reading's former chief analyst Patrick Donegan shared insight from the recent web-scale operators report, which featured research on how web-scale operators view the market, the best web-scale companies to ...
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Cloud Scale Networking: Automation, Virtualization & Simplification

1|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


Cisco's Sanjeev Mervana outlines the latest innovations in networking technology at CES 2017 in Las Vegas.
LRTV Custom TV
ADVA Talks Innovation & the Future of Networking

1|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ray Le Maistre and Christoph Glingener, CTO of ADVA Optical Networking, discuss the current state of the industry, cooperation and collaboration, open innovation and the future of networking.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Infinite Video Platform

1|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Cisco's Infinite Video Platform allows service providers to deliver broadcast-quality video over IP networks. Infinite video supports many devices, from 4K TVs to tablets to game consoles. Join Cisco's Rajeev Raman for a brief tour and live demo.
LRTV Interviews
Masergy: Ability to Adapt Key for NFV

1|16|17   |   6:40   |   (0) comments


Speaking at Light Reading's 2020 Vision in Rome, Masergy's VP, Global Technology, Ray Watson, said agility is key to providing the mix and match NFV-based services that are driving business for the managed service provider today.
LRTV Interviews
Equinix: The Data Explosion

1|13|17   |   4:16   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision in Rome, Eric Schwartz, president of EMEA, Equinix, talked about how Equinix is helping its customers manage the influx of data today, and how it's preparing for a future filled with millions of connected IoT devices.
LRTV Interviews
Heavy Reading: The Changing Data Center Landscape

1|12|17   |   6:05   |   (1) comment


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision event in Rome, Heavy Reading's Senior Analyst Roz Roseboro talks about how virtualization is impacting data center evolution and how that evolution is affecting the relationship between service providers, data center operators and public cloud providers.
LRTV Interviews
Boingo: Prepping for Millions of Devices

1|12|17   |   5:07   |   (1) comment


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision in Rome, Boingo's CTO Derek Peterson discusses how wireless operators will address the needs of low-bandwidth and high-bandwidth apps at the same time, the need for more MHz, the impact of IoT and more.
LRTV Interviews
Comcast Shows Off Gig Gateway at CES

1|11|17   |     |   (1) comment


With its largest presence at CES in years, Comcast took the wraps off its long-awaited gigabit gateway and a new platform for managing the home WiFi network. Light Reading Senior Editor Mari Silbey sat down with EVP Chris Satchell to discuss the latest Comcast advance, and met with VP of Product Strategy and Development Andrea Peiro to walk through a demo of the ...
LRTV Interviews
Colt: End-to-End Key for 2017

1|10|17   |   6:21   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Rome, Nico Fischbach of Colt said having a multi-carrier, end-to-end service proposition is going to be key for 2017 -- and SD-WAN is instrumental in making it happen.
From the Founder
Cisco's Clemson on Mobile Cloud Video

1|9|17   |     |   (1) comment


Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators. "If you think about where we're going… whether it's a mobile application, or a video ...
LRTV Custom TV
VMware Telco NFV Solutions – Preparing for 5G & IOT

1|9|17   |     |   (0) comments


Shekar Ayyar, EVP & Corporate Strategy/General Manager of Telco for VMware, discusses VMware's Telco NFV solutions role and foundation for the Imminent Arrival of 5G & IOT.
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
A Women in Comms Glossary
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 1/18/2017
Next Plugfest Gets G.fast Closer to Market
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 1/13/2017
TV's Paradox: No HDR Without 4K
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 1/17/2017
Nokia CTO: 2017 Is the Year 5G Gets in the Field
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 1/19/2017
Cable Has One Thing Verizon Needs
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 1/17/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders chats with Sportlogiq CEO Craig Buntin about sports data analysis.
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
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.