DOCSIS 3.1 Is Right on Schedule

A walk on the T&M side
Viavi Solutions Inc. showed off the latest version of its OneExpert signal analyzers, the ONX-580, which is capable of characterizing both MPEG and OFDM streams. The company said the model on display was its first to incorporate a DOCSIS 3.1 chipset (the chipsets have been available from Broadcom in sample amounts for several months).

Comsonics showed a tester that ordinarily would be used for leakage detection but has been repurposed to detect potential interference from LTE-U.

Averna 's DP-1000 DOCSIS tester, typically used for qualification/certification, was being used for one demo.

Trilithic Inc. was showing a D3.1 field tester capable of characterizing PLCs (physical layer link channels). The company will soon be commercially offering a firmware upgrade, followed by a hardware upgrade with a D3.1 chipset built in. The idea is to get a tester with enough baseline capabilities to enable field technicians to validate D3.1 deployments.

Keysite Technologies was doing signal analysis using its 86900 software to characterize the OFDM signals. OFDM is a modulation scheme common to WiFi and cellular communications, but new to cable as part of DOCSIS 3.1. The characterization challenge, Keysight representatives said, is that in D3.1, OFDM bit densities are far, far denser than in any other applications.

FutureWei 's Jack Moran, showing off a distributed CCAP system from Huawei, endorsed the Rohde & Schwarz GmbH & Co. KG tester being used to show a constellation diagram. "The only thing that can analyze it is a Rohde & Schwarz signal analyzer," Moran said.

— Brian Santo, Senior Editor, Components, T&M, Light Reading

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KBode 9/27/2015 | 10:14:29 AM
Re: service offerings The same story is playing out in a LOT Of markets where phone companies aren't really keeping pace with DSL upgrades, or don't want (or simply can't afford) to spend any serious money on fiber. Even in AT&T U-Verse "upgraded" markets that telco is way, way behind cable in terms of speed. Which made their decision to buy a satellite TV company all the more interesting...
HeadendT36139 9/25/2015 | 9:42:52 AM
Re: cable gigabit pricing Well, it's all a matter of bandwidth allocation. If a cable company moves thier HD and VOD video to MPEG4 it will free up a lot of bandwidth. That's a fairly cheap upgrade in highly centralized video plants. Node segmentation is usually a fairly inexpensive bandwidth increase, if it is availalble. DOCSIS 3.1 compatable CPE deployment will need to happen fairly quicky, but I'm sure the marketing department can come up with an incentive to get people to trade up.

The real long term cost is going to be moving to a mid-split diplex filter. Most of the amplifiers can support it, but someone has to go out and physically swap at least 2 per amp. In even a small system that could be a few hundred stops (and service interruptions) by a line tech or contrator.
davidhoffman5 9/24/2015 | 4:45:30 PM
Re: service offerings If the cable company does not directly compete with a company that is offering such rates, then they have no incentive to do so. If there is no geogrraphical overlap, then there will be NO price matching. Cox Cable could stomp AT&T into the ground in central Gerorgia in terms of internet service pricing. But AT&T offers no real competition, so Cox stays with its speed tiers and caps in a not so competitive way. 
inkstainedwretch 9/24/2015 | 12:55:28 PM
cable gigabit pricing Most analysts believe Google Fiber is pricing gigabit at below cost. It would not surprise me to learn that the telcos, too, are pricing gigabit at below cost. When the cable ops roll out D3.1 and gigabit service along with it, and if they match their rivals' prices, they'll probably end up offering gigabit at below cost too. If everyone is selling below cost -- and that's what this is looking like -- no one has any particular advantage from a cost standpoint. -- Brian Santo
cnwedit 9/24/2015 | 11:58:55 AM
Re: service offerings I would agree on the pricing issue. Unless cable puts fiber where it has first-mover advantage - and that's not the expected strategy - being second into a market, even a close-second, with gigabit service won't matter much if their service is extensively more expensive. 

AT&T brought Gigabit into the Chicago area for about the same price Comcast was charging for 50 Mbit/s service. If Comcast wants to compete, they'll have to hit the same price point. 
tmc8080 9/24/2015 | 8:30:56 AM
service offerings It remains to be seen what pricing will be.. ONLY ATT begrudgingly matches pricing where Google is or will lay down their fiber network... So cable companies have a steep hill to climb to get pricing down.. they could start by offerng services in the 300 to 500 megabits range for $50 to $70.. Time Warner already offers a promo of $65 for 300mbits. No other cable company jumped on that bandwagon yet.. not even comcast.
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