Taking a leap into the cable industry's future, Casa Systems and the Finnish technology vendor Teleste Corp. are joining forces to develop a new, distributed version of the Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP) that will support next-gen RemotePHY architecture and equipment.
Teleste and Casa Systems Inc. , a Boston startup that's off to a strong early start in the emerging CCAP market, announced Tuesday morning at the Angacom show in Cologne, Germany, that they are working on the joint solution. Their aim is to produce a "proof-of-concept implementation" of the end-to-end system by the late fall. (See Telenet Chooses Casa for CCAP.)
Distributed CCAP represents a way to move the cable modem termination system (CMTS) functions of a CCAP chassis out of the cable headend and deep into the access network, saving power and costs and enabling cable operators to serve apartment buildings, business offices, college campuses, and other high-density locations more effectively. Another key cable vendor, Harmonic, unveiled its own version of a distributed CCAP solution, known as the NSG Exo, last week and is showing off a prototype at Angacom this week. (See Harmonic Pushes CCAP Into the Network.)
CCAP is a headend platform that combines the functions of the CMTS and edgeQAM devices in one chassis or integrated system, also saving power and costs and enabling the convergence on video and data services on one network. Though cable operators have just started introducing CCAP devices into their most heavily burdened markets, they are already looking ahead to the next step of moving at least some of the CCAP functions to the optical fiber nodes deep in their access networks.
RemotePHY, also known as distributed PHY, represents one of the early ways of doing that. Initially promoted by such vendors as Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and now embraced by the biggest North American MSO, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), RemotePHY calls for shifting the point at which digital signals are converted into RF signals from the headend to the fiber-optic node, thereby increasing the bandwidth of the cable HFC plant. PHY refers to the physical component of the CMTS.
In their joint development efforts, Casa Systems and Teleste will link Casa's C100G CCAP headend chassis with Teleste's RemotePHY optical node. In effect, the C100G chassis will act as the head of the operations, directing the optical nodes deployed at the edge of the cable access network.
With Teleste already well established in the European market, the two partners said they're aiming their joint solution primarily at European cable operators. However, if it does well, don't be surprised to see it jump across the Atlantic to North America pretty quickly.
— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading