Comcast Issues CCAP RFP
Jorge Salinger, Comcast's VP of access network architecture, said during his keynote that the RFP follows the MSO's ongoing CCAP operational-readiness trial, and that the cable operator hopes to select some equipment later this year for initial deployments.
"Beyond 2012, we'll be deploying CCAP devices almost exclusively," he said, adding that Comcast plans to redeploy legacy CMTS and edge QAM gear in other systems as it begins to introduce CCAP in some markets.
As a reminder, CCAP combines the functions of the cable modem termination system (CMTS) and the edge QAMs, allowing for the co-mingling of cable's Docsis IP and QAM traffic. The density of the space- and power-reducing platform is expected to help speed cable's migration to IP video and ease the deployment of new services, such as network DVRs.
Salinger confirmed that the MSO's RFP covers the all-in-one, integrated CCAP chassis, as well as a more modular, "non-routing" implementation that will let cable operators deploy a new generation of dense edge QAM devices and use them in downstream-only mode. (See Cable Rethinks 'Modular' CCAP .)
It's not yet known who will respond to the RFP, but likely candidates will include all manner of CMTS and edge QAM vendors, such as Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS), Casa Systems Inc. , Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), CommScope Inc. , Harmonic Inc. (Nasdaq: HLIT) and Motorola Mobility LLC . Comcast will test the gear in its own labs as makes its early equipment selections. In the meantime, CableLabs is developing a CCAP qualification testing program for the cable industry.
Ahead of the initial deployment, Comcast has been getting its operations ready to support CCAP devices. "It's not a trivial thing … it's more than a box upgrade," Salinger said, noting that the MSO's operational-readiness trial, targeted for completion in mid-2012, has involved "a few service groups" on a total of eight nodes. Comcast is conducting the trial in an undisclosed system in the Northeastern U.S. (See Comcast Gets Ready for CCAP .)
In conjunction, Comcast has been emulating CCAP in software to help it develop provisioning and management tools and figuring out how to consolidate the monitoring of its Docsis and video traffic.
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable