DOCSIS 3.1 looks set to play a significant role in the development of a Gigabit Europe broadband market and provide fertile ground for vendors that have developed next-generation cable network products.
That's the key takeaway from the recent ANGA COM event in Cologne, Germany, which attracted about 18,000 attendees (up 6% year-on-year) and featured multiple DOCSIS 3.1 developments from key suppliers and network operators.
"ANGA COM felt like cable shows in the US used to," stated Alan Breznick, Light Reading's cable/video practice leader. "The show floor was crowded for hours, booths were jammed, deals were getting done, there was a buzz in the air and folks seemed excited to be there."
Having spent a few days at ANGA, he noted that, unlike many cable shows in the US, which are either dwindling in size or just holding steady, ANGA is growing at a healthy clip and attracted attendees from 89 countries. "It's more than just a German cable show now," noted the industry analyst.
At the heart of the buzz was DOCSIS 3.1, which dominated the show floor and news announcements from the show:
"The rollout of DOCSIS 3.1 appears to be just as high a priority in Europe as in North America," noted Breznick. "Even without Google Fiber driving them on here, cable operators are pushing ahead with Gigabit speeds because of fiber buildouts by the incumbent telcos and the desire to seize greater market share."
Cyrille Morelle, CEO of test vendor VeEX, has certainly noticed a marked uptick in D3.1 activity, noting that every operator he talks to is looking for some sort of DOCSIS 3.1 capability. He adds that the new technology is not just about speed but about "technology that works better and can reduce opex. If an operator deploys DOCSIS 3.1 on existing plant, and they can do this, then the benefits can be seen immediately," he notes.
The VeEX chief also notes that there's more to the Gigabit revolution than DOCSIS 3.1, though, citing the deployment of a 10G EPON (Ethernet Passive Optical Network) system by Estonian cable operator Starman, which is sourcing technology from Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) for the alternative access network deployment.
— Ray Le Maistre, , Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading