Charter Communications has established a multi-year partnership with Precision Optical Technologies that aligns with the cable provider’s DAA network expansion and operational enhancement initiatives.
As part of this collaboration, Charter will deploy Precision OT’s active and passive portfolio of solutions, including 10G DWDM tunable optics, 100G and 400G optics, Bluetooth®DWDM tuning modules and passive connectivity solutions.
Greg Mott, SVP of Field Operations Engineering at Charter Communications, said Precision OT’s products will be crucial to its DAA transition. “The team at Precision OT clearly understands Charter’s broadband network evolution — cost, scale, and speed — and their mix of solutions will help us deliver on our commitments across our 41-state service area,” he said.
An aggressive plan
Charter set an aggressive plan in 2022 to upgrade its network over the next three years.
The cable MSO, according to a FierceTelecom report, plans to offer download speeds of 5 Gbps across a large part of its footprint and top-tier speeds of 10 Gbps by 2025. Interestingly, it wants to do it for a $100 cost per passing.
During the first phase, Charter will deploy high-split architecture to increase its usable spectrum to 1.2 GHz across 15% of its footprint. This migration, which began in four mid-sized markets this year and will continue through 2023, will enable speeds of 2/1 Gbps.
In Phase 2, beginning in early 2024, Charter will continue its high-split upgrades but modify its approach to roll out distributed access architecture (DAA) using Remote PHY. The cable MSO said this phase will cover another 50% of its footprint and allow the operator to boost downstream speeds to 5 Gbps.
At the end of 2024, Charter will begin the fourth phase, deploying extended spectrum DOCSIS 4.0 (ESD) in the remaining 35% of its footprint to enable download speeds of up to 10 Gbps.
Cable’s symmetrical transition
The endgame Charter and other cable operators are shooting for is the ability to deliver symmetrical speeds over existing HFC and fiber. This will enable cable operators to battle FTTH and providers effectively.
According to Dell’Oro Group, cable access concentrator revenue was up 15 percent year-over-year at $270 million in the second quarter.
Remote PHY devices, Remote OLTs, and Virtual CMTS platforms recorded significant revenue gains for the quarter as cable operators continue expanding their DAA and fiber initiatives.
Cable operators are increasing their deployment of Remote PHY and virtual CMTS platforms.
Jeff Heynen, VP at Dell’Oro Group, said cable operators have much to gain from using Remote PHY and virtual CMTS architecture. “The benefits for cable operators deploying Remote PHY and virtual CMTS architecture are improved signal quality, improved modulation ratios, and if they are adding high splits and mid splits, they will do them in conjunction with Remote PHY deployments because of the additional bandwidth and signal quality improvements,” he said.