& 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
Download our complete guide to de-risking NFV deployment in 2016, including:
  • An eight-step strategy to deploying NFV safely, based on input from the companies that have already started virtualizing their production networks.
  • Interviews with leading executives at Colt, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Cisco, Nokia, ZTE, Ericsson and Heavy Reading.
  • Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    Prepping for the Future: Upskill U Explained
    During this short kick-off video, Doug Webster, Vice President of Service Provider Marketing, Cisco, and Light Reading’s CEO & Founder Steve Saunders give an overview of Upskill U.
    LRTV Documentaries
    LRTV Report: Mobile Core Innovation

    4|28|16   |   25:32   |   (0) comments


    Hear from multiple industry experts from Deutsche Telekom, SK Telecom, Heavy Reading, Huawei, Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia, NEC and many more about developments in the mobile core as operators virtualize their IMS and evolved packet core systems and prepare for a 5G world.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    NFV World Congress Highlight

    4|26|16   |     |   (0) comments


    The highlight of the NFV World Congress contains exciting telecom news. Join us for an inside look at Huawei's ICT 2020 plan and its latest collaboration with industry leaders.
    LRTV Interviews
    Unified Comms Finds Its Voice

    4|25|16   |   03:44   |   (0) comments


    Peter Quinlan, VP of UCC Product Management at Tata Communications, talks about the evolution of the unified communications and collaboration services sector and how voice is now a big part of current developments.
    LRTV Documentaries
    So... What Do We Do Now?

    4|25|16   |   03:24   |   (0) comments


    After a long hiatus, Max Dingman, the CEO of a GeeGhiz, returns for a motivational board room pep talk.
    LRTV Documentaries
    NAB 2016 Highlights

    4|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Light Reading's Cable/Video Practice Leader Alan Breznick climbs down from the slots to tell us about the latest news in broadcast technology at NAB 2016 in Las Vegas.
    Between the CEOs
    CEO Chat: Deepfield's Craig Labovitz

    4|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


    In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
    Shades of Ray
    Leading Lights 2016: Shortlists Announced

    4|20|16   |   0:53   |   (0) comments


    The judging is over and the Leading Lights 2016 shortlists have been published -- you can see who made the cut by clicking on this link.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Introducing MulteFire – Qualcomm at MWC 2016

    4|18|16   |   3.29   |   (0) comments


    MulteFire is the latest option for using LTE in unlicensed spectrum. As oppose to its close 'siblings', LAA and LTE-U, MulteFire operates solely in unlicensed spectrum, which enables it to offer the best of two worlds – LTE-like performance with WiFi-like deployment simplicity. In this interview, Sanjeev Athalye, Sr. Director, Product Management at Qualcomm ...
    Between the CEOs
    CEO Chat: Grant Van Rooyen of Cologix

    4|18|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    ONS 2016 – Demonstration of Huawei's NetMatrix Multi-Vendor SDN Orchestrator

    4|15|16   |     |   (0) comments


    This demonstration shows how Huawei's NetMatrix SDN Orchestrator (SDN-O) addresses an operator's core service agility needs for services spanning multi-domain, multivendor networks: it includes a demonstration of:
    - Rapid New Service Design: using YANG to model a complex example of multi-domain, multivendor L3VPN network connectivity service that ...
    LRTV Custom TV
    AT&T Wants to Own North Carolina

    4|15|16   |     |   (1) comment


    Venessa Harrison, president of North Carolina for AT&T, tells how the company will expand its GigaPower service beyond the seven N.C. cities it already serves.

  • This blog, sponsored by AT&T, is the second part of a ten-part series examining next-generation broadband technologies titled "Behind the Speeds."
  • LRTV Interviews
    Will NC Be First Gigabit State?

    4|15|16   |     |   (1) comment


    Alan Fitzpatrick, co-founder of Charlotte Hearts Gigabit, spells out the state's progress in at least starting to wire nearly every major market for gigabit service.
    Upcoming Live Events
    May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
    May 23, 2016, Austin Convention Center
    May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
    December 6-8, 2016,
    June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Infographics
    A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
    Hot Topics
    Ultra-Broadband Summit, Hong Kong
    Iain Morris, News Editor, 4/27/2016
    GoT Fans Curse HBO (Not Right) Now
    Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/25/2016
    Analysts More Than Bullish on Comcast MVNO
    Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/22/2016
    Mitel Asks: What Time of Day Do You Shower?
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/25/2016
    Charter Jumps Gun on TWC Restructuring
    Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/26/2016
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
    Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
    Animals with Phones
    Live Digital Audio

    Of all the tech companies in the Valley, Intel has made the most aggressive commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workplace culture. It's doing so by taking concrete, measurable steps, making a large financial investment and through a commitment to complete transparency about its progress. In this radio show, WiC Director Sarah Thomas will be joined by Shlomit Weiss, Intel's Vice President, Data Center Group, and General Manager of Networking Engineering, who will share with us why Intel is tackling this huge challenge, how and to what effect. She will also discuss her unique experiences leading development of Client SOC development in the past and today leading development of all of the chipmaker's silicon hardware for networking IPs and discrete devices and managing a team of 600 engineers across Israel, Europe and the US.