Light Reading

Docsis 3.1 Rides the Wireless Wave

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
1/28/2013
50%
50%

The Docsis 3.1 specs under development at CableLabs won't be published until later this year, but it's already well-established that cable's latest, greatest data platform will make big use of orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) as the industry begins to break away from the use of less efficient 6MHz- and 8MHz-wide channels. (See Docsis 3.1 Set for a Spring Fling.) OFDM will provide Docsis with a new order of bandwidth efficiency, but it also offers some sound business reasons for cable to adopt it. OFDM, already used for Wi-Fi and Long Term Evolution (LTE), could lead to better economies of scale and get more vendors interested in the cable market, explained Daniel Howard, the SVP of engineer and CTO at Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE), during a webcast earlier this month on the topic (SCTE is tasked with helping the cable industry get trained up for Docsis 3.1). (See Setting the Stage for Docsis 3.1.) But back to the coming efficiencies. By letting MSOs scrunch small (20KHz-to-50KHz-wide) subcarriers into blocks of spectrum (or "waveforms" up to about 200MHz wide) without interfering with each other, OFDM essentially eliminates the wasteful guard bands required for today's single-channel QAM technology. OFDM also deals well in noisy environments and can handle other impairments such as micro-reflections, meaning cable can be better able to maintain higher forms of modulations and push more bits per hertz on the cable plant even when plant conditions aren't ideal. OFDM's use of adaptive bit loading also allows operators to dial those modulations up and down at the subcarrier level. In the SC-QAM world, the entire 6MHz or 8MHz channel must operate at the same modulation. Howard also pointed out a popular misconception that OFDM alone will help operators achieve higher modulations that can put more bits down the pipe in the same amount of space. (See Docsis 3.1 Targets 10-Gig Downstream.) To hit those anticipated, improved performance levels, OFDM will be paired with low density parity-check (LDPC), a Forward Error Correction (FEC) scheme that will also require less bandwidth than the current Reed-Solomon approach. When used together in Docsis 3.1, they should improve cable's bandwidth efficiency by about 50 percent. So it follows that cable should be able to pump out 5Gbit/s in 500MHz of spectrum with Docsis 3.1, versus 780MHz of spectrum using today's Docsis 3.0 platform. Although Docsis 3.1 will help cable push the limits and extend the life of the hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) plant, the irony is that the industry will owe a debt of gratitude in part to a technology that's helped wireless operators get the most out of their precious spectrum. — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/29/2013 | 3:08:41 PM
re: Docsis 3.1 Rides the Wireless Wave
The intro of D3.1-áshouldn't have much of an effect on legacy Docsis CPE.-á Operators will need to light up new spectrum for D3.1, but they'll continue to use the spectrum they're using now for D1.0-D3.0 modems for years to come.-á To help with the transition, vendors are expected to develop hybrid CPE devcies that can handle both Docsis 3.0 and 3.1. JB
Peyton Maynard-Koran
50%
50%
Peyton Maynard-Koran,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/29/2013 | 2:37:18 PM
re: Docsis 3.1 Rides the Wireless Wave
How does all of this affect the millions of 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 modems that are deployed?
From The Founder
Against the odds, Huawei is growing its telecoms networking equipment business in the US -- that should be ringing some alarm bells for domestic vendors.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Jeff Miller, ActiveVideo

8|28|15   |   19:05   |   (0) comments


Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Vodafone: Mobile Money Is About Customer Trust

8|27|15   |   06.36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading spoke with Vodafone's Ian Ravenscroft about the unique responsibilities and opportunities facing operators handling customers' financial transactions over the network.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Palo Alto Networks on Expanding in the Carrier/Service Provider Market

8|26|15   |   07:54   |   (0) comments


Alfred Lee from Palo Alto Networks tells Steve Saunders about their new chassis-based system, the PA-7080, and how it can benefit service providers compared to legacy firewalls.
LRTV Custom TV
Global Services Forum Preview

8|25|15   |   02:36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders talks about Huawei's upcoming Global Services Forum with the help of Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan and Teresa Mastrangelo.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Infoblox on DNS Threat Index

8|19|15   |   04:39   |   (0) comments


Dilip Pillaipakam from Infoblox talks to Steve Saunders about his company's core network services.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Ihab Tarazi, Equinix

8|14|15   |   20:18   |   (1) comment


Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the dramatic changes in the data center, cloud and interconnect markets and discusses the impact of SDN and NFV in the coming years.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
The Netformx Ecosystem

8|14|15   |   09:39   |   (1) comment


Ittai Bareket, CEO of Netformx, talks with Steve Saunders about the Netformx Ecosystem, which employs cutting-edge prescriptive analytics to help solution providers maximize profits.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa Networks on Leveraging VNFs

8|12|15   |   07:37   |   (0) comments


Kumar Mehta, founder and CEO of stealth mode startup Versa Networks, talks with Steve Saunders about how providers can best leverage virtualized network functions (VNFs).
LRTV Custom TV
Transforming the Network Through OPNFV

8|5|15   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Sandra Rivera, VP Data Center Group; GM Network Platforms Group, Intel Corporation, on OPNFV Arno and how the industry is coming together to accelerate the deployment of NFV and transform the network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei ONS Product Demo

8|3|15   |   6:01   |   (0) comments


Huawei shows at Open Networking Summit 2015 in Santa Clara how its SDN and NFV solutions embrace openness.
LRTV Custom TV
End-User or Enterprise Benefits to the New IP

7|30|15   |   04:27   |   (1) comment


Andrew Coward discusses what the New IP means to end users or enterprise customers. He explains compelling reasons, including how every customer can get their own network, from the transformation to the New IP.
LRTV Custom TV
Network Visibility & the New IP

7|30|15   |   02:23   |   (0) comments


Mukund Srigopal provides an explanation of what network visibility is and how it is essential as service providers transition to the New IP. In addition, the importance of the network packet broker is discussed.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Cisco's cloud and virtualization portfolio can increase business agility and innovation by building a more flexible network architecture.
Hot Topics
T-Mobile CEO Plays Data Traffic Cop
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/31/2015
Verizon Hums a Driving Tune
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/26/2015
Sprint's Claure: '3 to 5 Years' to Turnaround
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/25/2015
CEO Chat With Bill Gates
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 8/31/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
September 22, 2015
Media Begins With “Me”
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
The scene: Last Saturday, lunchtime, the interior of a shi-shi-foo-foo eatery in Manhattan's SoHo district.
Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
Cats with Phones
Cats Are a Smartphone's Best Friend Click Here
Whoever said cats didn't live to please their humans?