According to a certification/qualification update posted on the CableLabs site, three vendors, so far, have come away with certifications in Wave 56.
- Maspro Denkoh Corp. of Japan won Docsis 2.0 certification for an embedded cable modem.
- Scientific Atlanta obtained Docsis 2.0 certification for the DPC2160 cable modem.
- Thomson S.A. (NYSE: TMS; Euronext Paris: 18453) obtained PacketCable 1.5 and Docsis 2.0 certification for the DHG536 embedded multimedia terminal adapter.
That's swell, but Wave 56 is more interesting for including the first tests for Docsis 3.0 modems and cable modem termination systems (CMTSs). The new spec supports IPv6 addressing, IP multicast, and channel bonding techniques that will push shared Internet speeds beyond 100 Mbit/s. (See CableLabs Preps for Docsis 3.0 Tests .)
Sources say at least five suppliers are in for Docsis 3.0 testing: Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS), Casa Systems Inc. , Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), and SA, with Casa being the only CMTS vendor seeking "Full" Docsis 3.0 qualification. (See Vendors Ride First Docsis 3.0 Wave .)
Although Docsis 2.0 certifications for Wave 56 have been handed out, the Docsis certification board has requested more time for the more complex Docsis 3.0 portion, according to a CableLabs spokesman. The spokesman did not say when the board will conduct its final review of 3.0 test results. But an SA spokeswoman said CableLabs recently informed vendors that it expects all results from Wave 56 to be released by close of business on Tuesday, Dec. 18.
Operators can offer faster services based on Docsis 3.0 techniques before products are qualified or certified. But having product stamped by CableLabs in Wave 56 could help spur final product releases as MSOs tee up deployment and trial activity for 2008. Among operators, Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) recently said it expects to have a Docsis 3.0 infrastructure in place for one-in-five homes by the end of next year. (See Comcast Closes In on 100 Mbit/s.)
Coming out of Wave 56 with a passing grade for Docsis 3.0 the first time through would be quite an accomplishment for the vendors, though, considering what happened with Docsis 1.0 and Docsis 1.1.
CableLabs did not approve any equipment for 1.0 until March 1999 and the conclusion of Certification Wave 7. In late 2000, Wave 16 was the first to test products based on Docsis 1.1, a spec that added quality of service to the mix. Products based on Docsis 1.1, however, did not pass until September 2001 and the conclusion of Wave 19.
That gap closed by the time CableLabs began tests for Docsis 2.0 with Certification Wave 24, which kicked off in late 2002. That wave concluded with 2.0 approvals for modems from Motorola, Scientific Atlanta, Terayon Communication Systems, Texas Instruments Inc. (NYSE: TXN), and Xrosstech Inc. Terayon (now part of Motorola) also came through that wave with the first Docsis 2.0-qualified CMTS.
Vendors in Wave 56 aren't there just to kick the tires and see how well they stack up against the new specs. Getting tested is anything but cheap.
According to CableLabs pricing data, the certification fee for Docsis 3.0 modem testing runs $87,500, compared to $70,000 for Docsis 2.0 modem testing. The fee for Docsis 3.0 CMTS testing is $155,000, versus $135,000 for Docsis 2.0.
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News