iNovo Makes a Bigger Docsis 3.0 Play
iNovo Broadband Inc. , the Atlanta-area startup run by several former Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) executives, is branching out into the wireless Docsis 3.0 voice gateway market, putting it on a crash course with vendors such as Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) and Technicolor SA (Euronext Paris: TCH; NYSE: TCH).
According to the latest list of CableLabs -certified products, iNovo obtained the stamp for a D3 voice gateway during the tail end of Certification Wave 93. That gives the consumer premises equipment (CPE) specialist the green light to sell the product at retail. Certification, however, is typically a barrier that most Docsis vendors must cross before they can get inside a cable operator for additional testing and, eventually, purchase orders. (See iNovo Starts Its Run at Cisco & Motorola.)
Similar to the a standalone Docsis 3.0 modem from iNovo that was certified earlier this fall, the gateway is powered by a Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) chipset that can bond eight downstream channels and four upstream channels, according to iNovo VP of Business Development Barry Hardek.
The gateway is also outfitted with a 2x2 MIMO 802.11n antennae and Broadcom's 1GHz Full Band Capture (FBC) tuner and spectrum analysis capability. The FBC component lets operators use channels from anywhere on the spectrum for channel bonding up to 1GHz (versus the old method that required channels to be bonded from distinct 100MHz-wide blocks). The spectrum analysis piece, which is rapidly becoming a popular feature among MSOs, lets operators monitor and test the device remotely and cut down on on-site monitoring and truck rolls. (See Broadcom Extends Bridge to Cable IPTV.)
"The potential for operational savings there is great," Hardek says.
iNovo expects to have its first two Docsis 3.0 products ready for general availability by the first quarter of 2013. The company, which also intends to make a variety of IP and hybrid IP/QAM gateways and set-tops, has not announced any customers. But it's clearly looking outside the U.S. "We have customer activity going on across the globe," Hardek said.
iNovo, now run by longtime Cisco and Scientific-Atlanta exec Michael Harney, has raised about $2 million in seed money. It has expressed interest in pursuing an "A" round of about $10 million. (See Ex-Cisco Exec Takes Helm of iNovo.)
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable