Nokia's latest acquisition is a sign that there's money to be made in helping cablecos deliver gigabit services.

Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video

June 10, 2016

3 Min Read
Gigabites: Nokia Woos Cable's Gigabit Leaders

It's that Gigabites time again. In today's edition, Nokia invests in the cable gigabit market, Huawei claims an industry-first 10-Gig platform for HFC networks, several service providers expand their gigabit deployments and more.

  • Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) expanded its cable profile this week with a move designed to help the cable industry deliver more gigabit broadband services. The Finnish company announced its intent to acquire cable access specialist Gainspeed , which has developed technology that it believes will improve the performance of hybrid fiber-coaxial networks. (See Nokia Swings Deal for Gainspeed.)

    The decision is a way for Nokia to show it's serious about working with the cable industry, but it's also a boon for Gainspeed's technology, which now has a greater chance of adoption with the resources of Nokia behind it. Gainspeed has only been around since 2012, and while it has garnered fans in the industry, cable operators are notoriously squeamish about deploying solutions from startup companies, fearing that the solutions won't scale.

    Prior to the acquisition announcement, Gainspeed had raised $55 million through a series of investment rounds. The company has not announced any commercial customers, but WideOpenWest Holdings LLC (WOW) now says it's been testing the Gainspeed solution and preparing to deploy it in conjunction with a strategy to deliver gigabit services.

For more gigabit coverage and insights, check out our dedicated Gigabit/Broadband content channel here on Light Reading.

  • Nokia wasn't the only vendor making gigabit news this week. Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. announced at ANGACOM that it's launched the industry's first HFC access network solution capable of delivering speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second. The solution supports DOCSIS 3.1 for cable using a distributed CCAP platform, and 10G PON for fiber. Huawei's unlikely to get any love for the technology in the US, however. The US government recently launched a security probe into Huawei's trading practices, and operators in the US market are already heavily incented not to use Huawei equipment in their networks. (See Huawei Launches Industry’s First 10Gbit/s HFC Access Platform and US Probe Into Huawei Threatens Trade War.)

    • Several service providers announced plans to expand their gigabit deployments this week. Rogers Communications Inc. (Toronto: RCI) said it is now offering its first gigabit broadband services to customers on the Atlantic edge of New Brunswick in Canada; AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) launched GigaPower in neighborhoods of both San Diego, California and El Paso, Texas; and Cable One Inc. released news that it will bring gigabit service to Moorhead in Fargo, North Dakota. Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) also announced that it's signed a contract to help develop a new gigabit community in Atlanta that will include both residential and business customers.

    • And finally, in case you missed it, Alphabet Inc. this week alluded to plans to use fixed wireless technologies to extend its gigabit broadband services to more customers. Alphabet believes that new technologies will make it cheaper for subsidiary Google Fiber Inc. to spread gigabit service far and wide. (See Alphabet Wants to Network the Nation's Cities.)

    • — Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Mari Silbey

Senior Editor, Cable/Video

Mari Silbey is a senior editor covering broadband infrastructure, video delivery, smart cities and all things cable. Previously, she worked independently for nearly a decade, contributing to trade publications, authoring custom research reports and consulting for a variety of corporate and association clients. Among her storied (and sometimes dubious) achievements, Mari launched the corporate blog for Motorola's Home division way back in 2007, ran a content development program for Limelight Networks and did her best to entertain the video nerd masses as a long-time columnist for the media blog Zatz Not Funny. She is based in Washington, D.C.

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