Operators will seed their markets with new, speedier DOCSIS 4.0 modems and gateways ahead of network-side upgrades, Vantiva CTO Charles Cheevers says. Wi-Fi 7 is a perfect match for D4.0, so what role will Wi-Fi 8 play?

Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor

March 20, 2024

At a Glance

  • How the rollout of DOCSIS 4.0 will be different than the deployment of DOCSIS 3.1 (01:45)
  • Next-gen DOCSIS 3.1 devices will have some legs, but there's still a big focus on full-featured DOCSIS 4.0 CPE (03:20)
  • What operators should know about Wi-Fi 8 (06:50)

DOCSIS 4.0 will put cable operators in position to deliver multi-gigabit speeds, lower latencies and improved reliability on their widely deployed hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) networks. But this generation of DOCSIS is markedly different from its predecessor, DOCSIS 3.1, in that operators will seed their markets with D4.0 modems and gateways in great numbers before DOCSIS 4.0 network upgrades are wrapped up.

"It's a unique time in the generations of DOCSIS," Charles Cheevers, CTO of Vantiva, said last week on the sidelines of Light Reading's Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event in Denver.

"This [generation] might be a little different in that the 4.0 devices might starting rolling out in DOCSIS 3.1 mode initially until the network catches up with it," added Cheevers, who joined Vantiva in January via the company's acquisition of CommScope's Home Networks unit.

That scenario will put operators in position to deliver faster downstream speeds by taking advantage of the additional orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) channels that this new generation of D4.0 customer premises equipment (CPE) will support.

The same could be said for a wave of coming next-generation DOCSIS 3.1 modems that also will support additional OFDM channels but can't support the "ultra high" splits that DOCSIS 4.0 can. That's a tradeoff that operators will need to make, Cheevers said.

Wi-Fi 8 is coming

Though Wi-Fi 7 is a perfect pairing for DOCSIS 4.0, Cheevers noted that Wi-Fi 8 is already in the works.

He views Wi-Fi 8 as a standard that will initially be used to support dense enterprises and larger venues through the standard's new "ultra-high reliability" capabilities.

Below is a snapshot of topics that Cheevers discusses in this video (click the closed captioning button on the player for a lightly edited transcript):

  • An update on Vantiva's DOCSIS 4.0 roadmap, including standalone modems and integrated gateways (00:55)

  • Why DOCSIS 4.0 is not only about speed, but also an improved overall platform for cable broadband (01:25)

  • How the rollout of DOCSIS 4.0 modems will vary from the deployment of DOCSIS 3.1 devices (01:45)

  • Next-gen DOCSIS 3.1 devices will have some legs, but there's still a big focus on full-featured DOCSIS 4.0 CPE (03:20)

  • The connection between DOCSIS 4.0 and Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 7 (04:40)

  • What operators should know about Wi-Fi 8 (06:50)

About the Author(s)

Jeff Baumgartner

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Jeff Baumgartner is a Senior Editor for Light Reading and is responsible for the day-to-day news coverage and analysis of the cable and video sectors. Follow him on X and LinkedIn.

Baumgartner also served as Site Editor for Light Reading Cable from 2007-2013. In between his two stints at Light Reading, he led tech coverage for Multichannel News and was a regular contributor to Broadcasting + Cable. Baumgartner was named to the 2018 class of the Cable TV Pioneers.

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