& 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

Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
NEXT COURSE
Wednesday, September 14, 1:00PM EDT
What Is Agile?
Kent J. McDonald, Product Owner, Agile Alliance
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Friday, September 16, 1:00PM EDT
How to Implement Agile
,
Wednesday, September 21, 1:00PM EDT
What Is DevOps?
Colin Kincaid, CTO, Service Provider, Cisco
Friday, September 23, 1:00PM EDT
How to Implement DevOps
,
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
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.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat: Intel's Alexis Black Bjorlin

8|17|16   |   06:23   |   (0) comments


Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Accelerating Telecom Digital Transformation With Nominum DNS

8|1|16   |   12:04   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's Steve Saunders gets an update from Nominum CEO Gary Messiana on how his company is helping carriers on the digital transformation journey.
LRTV Custom TV
Reinventing Operations for a Virtual, Software-Defined World

7|28|16   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Jim Hodges speaks with Accenture's Larry Socher and Matt Anderson about what service providers must do to transform their business to get the benefits of SDN and NFV including: leveraging DevOps, introducing real-time OSS and implementing analytics.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Fujitsu Sales Leader Shares Lessons Learned

7|27|16   |   5:12   |   (1) comment


As Fujitsu's only female sales leader, Annie Bogue knows the importance of asking for what you want, being flexible (she's been relocated five times), keeping a meticulous calendar, 'leaning in,' working harder than everyone else around you, being aware and more.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
VeEX Test & Measurement Solutions

7|25|16   |   08:57   |   (0) comments


Cyrille Morelle, president and CEO of VeEX Inc., talks test and measurement with Light Reading's Steve Saunders at BCE 2016. This includes innovative products such as VeSion Cloud-Based platform for network monitoring; MTTplus Modular Test platform for Access, Business, Carrier Ethernet, Transport and Core services; and OPX-BOX+ for Fiber Optics.
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX: Live From BCE 2016

7|25|16   |   03:20   |   (0) comments


VeEX's Senior Director of Business Development, Perry Romano, explains how VeEX provides tools to help install, maintain, monitor and manage network infrastructure efficiently and effectively. The portfolio of products on display include the RXT-6000, MTTplus and TX300s.
LRTV Custom TV
Real-Time Telemetry & Analytics for Intelligent SDN Orchestration

7|25|16   |   03:09   |   (0) comments


Packet Design CEO Scott Sherwood discusses how real-time network telemetry and analytics are enabling a new breed of SDN orchestration applications.
From the Founder
The Russo Report: Driving Disruption

7|25|16   |   07:44   |   (2) comments


In the first episode of a four-part series, Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders and Calix President and CEO Carl Russo drive around town discussing the disruptive mega-changes in the communications industry and where hope lies for service providers to meet the escalating demands of the cloud.
LRTV Custom TV
NetScout: Maximizing Enterprise Cloud for Digital Transformation

7|20|16   |   04:53   |   (0) comments


Light Reading Editor Mitch Wagner talks to NetScout CMO Jim McNiel about maximizing the benefits of enterprise cloud and digital transformation while minimizing potential pitfalls with a proper monitoring and instrumentation strategy.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Ciena's VP Offers a Career Crash Course

7|20|16   |   4:14   |   (2) comments


How did Ciena's Vice President of Sales, Angela Finn, carve out her career path? Simple, she tells WiC. She stayed true to her company, customers and principles. She shares her advice for women on how to be authentic and credible, as well as for companies that want to make a real change to their culture and practices.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 2 – Climbing the Virtualization Maturity Curve

7|19|16   |   06:56   |   (0) comments


Many of the initial use case implementations are single-vendor and self-contained. The industry is still climbing the virtualization maturity curve, needing further clarity and stability in the NFV infrastructure (NFVi) and greater availability and choice of virtualized network functions (VNFs). Interoperability between NFVis and VNFs from different vendors ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa Networks' Kumar Mehta on SD-WAN Managed Services

7|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


In Silicon Valley, Steve Saunders sits down with Versa's Kumar Mehta for an interview focused on why service providers are building SD-WAN managed services, and how Versa's telco customers are innovating.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Five of the Top 10 most targeted countries in Check Point Software Technologies' global Malware & Threat Index for Q1 2016 are in Africa.
Hot Topics
Cisco Developing 'Monica' Digital Assistant
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 8/22/2016
Cisco Throws 5,500 Overboard on Cruise to Richer Waters
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 8/17/2016
VoLTE Can Drive 4G Small Cells Adoption
Ravi Narayanan, Senior Analyst – Cloud & Next Generation Mobile Networks, Heavy Reading, 8/18/2016
Slow Roll Builds for DOCSIS 3.1
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 8/17/2016
Rocket Fiber Lights Up Detroit With Gigabit
Elizabeth Miller Coyne, Managing Editor, 8/22/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
There's no question that, come 2020, 5G technology will turn the world's conception of what mobile networking is on its head. Within the world of 5G development, Dr. ...
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Bridging the tech skills gap is a major challenge for service providers and suppliers alike today – and the challenge is two-fold when it comes to increasing the number of women in the comms space. Level 3 Communications has made it a priority to overcome both challenges by implementing several unique programs focused on building the right candidates from within – in addition to filling the funnel by supporting STEM and other education programs. During this radio show, you’ll learn about these programs from Mary Beth McGrath, SVP of Global Talent Management at Level 3, and the best ways to bridge your own skills gap so that you are motivated and equipped for change. Plus you’ll have the chance to ask Mary Beth your questions live on the air.