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CCAP

SlideshowIs CCAP Already Out of Date?

Robert Harris 2/24/2014 | 12:30:54 PM
Re: CCAP Obsolete? As an operator, I pushed for the development of the CCAP specifications. But in the intervening years, network trends have changed considerably. QAM-based video growth has slowed while demand for HSD data services has continued to grow 40-50% annually. To accommodate this growth, operators are rapidly splitting nodes (both logically and physically) and converting spectrum to DOCSIS.  But as we project forward, the current implementation of CCAP becomes too expensive – it simply can't provide the necessary savings in power and hubsite footprint.

Looking at other networking environments that faced similar challenges (e.g., Cellular, WiFi, xDSL), we find they distributed the processing related to the physical layer (PHY and MAC protocols) closer to subscribers while centralizing higher layer functions such as subscriber management and service activation. The same approach should serve cable well.

 Consequently, I don't believe there'll be a one size fits all approach. In some locations, a monolithic, centralized CCAP will be sufficient. But I expect a distributed and virtualized CCAP approach to be the right answer in the majority of cases.
Gainspeed 2/22/2014 | 6:33:22 AM
Re: CCAP Obsolete? We agree that CCAP creates a necessary unified architecture baseline. First-generation CCAP products help address a pressing need, but will not scale adequately to meet the enormous shift to IP-based video, which is driving huge IP capacity growth – accelerating DOCSIS channel adds and service groups splits. To scale the network, we believe that a new "virtualized" CCAP implementation is necessary—one with centralized intelligence and control and distributed processing.

As for cost, leveraging industry-standard Ethernet pluggables provides the lowest cost transport solution for cable operators. And using Ethernet transport enables RF generation to occur in the field as opposed to the hub/headend, which dramatically simplifies deployment and operations and significantly boosts RF performance compared to analog transport.

In addition, the enormous shift to IP-based video makes it logical to push IP/Ethernet deep into the network. With the right implementation, the existing HFC infrastructure is more than capable of serving MSO and end-user customer needs for many years to come at a fraction of the cost of broad-based fiber deployment.
Marek Hajduczenia 2/20/2014 | 3:25:12 PM
Re: CCAP Obsolete? I think you should look at it from a different perspective - the end goal is getting fiber out there to the customer. You can do it in baby steps with CCAP being one of intermediate step, ot save yourself the trouble (and a lot of CAPEX) and just invest into fiber all the way where demographies are right and keep the rest of the network as it is today.
yaronwar 2/18/2014 | 11:02:32 PM
Re: CCAP Obsolete? This is true. we need to push more and more into the network. But this is exactly where CCAP comes into place. A unifued edge QAM that replaces CMTS, narrowcaat edge QAM and broadcat edge QAM. One RF port that output full 1GHz of bandwidth will replace all of the above, plus lots of RF combiners/splitters and even more wires in the headend. All this will result in lower real estate usage and lower power needed at the headend.

Pushing complwxity into the network will cause higher OpEx and will take a whole new generation of field technitians. Also, 10G links into the network, espevialy long distance (and DOCSIS can go 50 miles without issues) are very costly, not to mention the Ethernet switches that will serve them.
albreznick 2/18/2014 | 9:38:11 PM
Re: CCAP Obsolete? Good question. Becausethe headend is getting too crowded and here's only so much power and functionality that can be pumped into it.   
yaronwar 2/18/2014 | 9:13:55 PM
Re: CCAP Obsolete? In times where the trend is to get to passive access networks as much as we can (e.g.  GPON, FTTLA) I find it hard to believe cable MSO will push more complexity into the distribution network. 

Telcos are pushing MSANs (or MSAGs) deep into the network as they have no choice if they want to use the copper last mile. But why should cable go there??
albreznick 2/18/2014 | 8:23:28 PM
How many options? I wonder how many different options willemerge for distributing intelligence and key functions in the network. Or will a standadized approach gain consensus quickly? And what will this all mean for CCAP?  
albreznick 2/17/2014 | 7:13:51 PM
CCAP Obsolete? Could CCAP really be on the verge of becoming obsolete when MSO deployments have just started? That's pretty hard to believe. But it does seem like cable operators' CCAP deployment strategies may have to change as more functions and intelligence get moved out of the cable headend and into the network, as White and others are promoting. Will be interesting to see that evolution.      
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