& 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
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
Masergy: It's Time for SD-WAN Options

6|28|17   |   03:09   |   (0) comments


Paul Ruelas, director of network products for Masergy, explains how adding SD-WAN has changed the service mix for his company's customers. In some cases, the change is incremental, enabling more granular customer control. Masergy's newest version, SD-WAN Go, gives up some of those controls for a streamlined version targeting mid-sized customers with the most ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Intel Ushers in the Revolutionary 5G Era

6|28|17   |   5:00   |   (1) comment


5G will bring job opportunities for women in telco and IT, as well as a whole new era of communications for consumers and industries of all kinds, says Caroline Chan, vice president and general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division at Intel.
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX at ANGA COM

6|27|17   |     |   (0) comments


At ANGA COM 2017, Cyrille Morelle, president and CEO of VeEX, updates Alan Breznick with VeEX's new products and technology. This includes VeSion cloud-based platform for network monitoring, AT2500-3G advanced spectrum analyzer and MTTplus-900 WiFi Air Expert module. He also comments on DOCSIS 3.1 deployment and Remote PHY technology.
LRTV Custom TV
The Overall Objective Is to Win the Game

6|26|17   |     |   (0) comments


SCTE•ISBE's Chris Bastian discusses Energy 2020's success to date and the importance of a flexible approach that allows for changes in specific strategies in order to reach significant milestones.
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.
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 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
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
Does AT&T Deserve Time Warner?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/23/2017
Hulu Is Greatest Threat to Pay-TV Providers – Study
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 6/27/2017
Calix: Russo's Not-So-Overnight Success?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 6/28/2017
Verizon Takes 'One Fiber' to More Cities
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/22/2017
AT&T Expects 5G in Late 2018 or Early '19
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 6/22/2017
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.