DOCSIS 3.1 Drives CCAP Momentum

DOCSIS 3.1 is on everyone's mind this year, including CCAP vendors. Here's a look at what some of them doing. At the CableLabs Winter ...

CCAP video and DAA migration
CCAP video and DAA migration

CCAP video and DAA migrationCCAP video and DAA migrationDOCSIS 3.1 is on everyone's mind this year, including CCAP vendors. Here's a look at what some of them doing.

At the CableLabs Winter Conference in Orlando earlier this month, Casa Systems ran a DOCSIS 3.1 demonstration with upstream speeds of more than 400 Mbps using its C40G US 16 x 8 CCAP module. This is a smaller form factor CCAP that incorporates the same functionality as Casa's C100G, but helps reduce a service provider's space requirements and costs.

"This levels the DOCSIS 3.1 playing field," said Alicia Thomas, Casa's director of marketing communications. "It shows that DOCSIS 3.1 speeds are accessible today to all service providers, including those with cost and headend restraints."

Previously, Casa showed speeds of more than 4.5 Gbps downstream with the C100G. "Together, the demos show our ability to deliver full DOCSIS 3.1 capabilities now - both upstream and downstream - for providers with different space, power and cost considerations," Thomas said.

Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) has deployed the C100G throughout hub sites in New York City and migrated thousands of subscribers to the fully integrated CCAP platform. At last fall's SCTE Cable-Tec Expo, TWC and Casa showcased how the rollout has reduced rack space requirements and energy consumption by 30%.

"Subscribers are benefitting from higher Internet speeds, (and) Time Warner has simplified operations through network convergence," Thomas said.

Moving forward, 2016 is poised to be the year DOCSIS 3.1 moves from field trials to reality with operators outlining deployment plans and beginning rollouts, Thomas said.

"This will inevitably fuel more advancements in the CCAP space too, so it will be more important than ever for service providers to understand the capabilities of CCAP equipment - is it truly DOCSIS 3.1-ready today?" Thomas said.

In ARRIS' (NASDAQ:ARRS) quarterly results, the company noted that the fourth quarter saw records in several key metrics with its E6000 CCAP platform, including chassis shipments, total downstream channel shift, and downstream channel software licenses.

"The strategy to establish footprint in order to sell future upgrades on the platform is very important and pays dividends for years to come," said Bruce William McClelland, president-network & cloud, ARRIS.

ARRIS saw "more significant" deployment of legacy video MPEG channels on the E6000 platform, which contributed to software license sales during the quarter. Field trials on the DOCSIS 3.1 features began as expected.

"It's becoming very clear that DOCSIS 3.1 will be a major priority for the majority of our customers in 2016 and beyond. This will translate into more software sales, as well as a new round of hardware upgrades starting later this year," McClelland said.

Gainspeed virtualizes the CCAP and utilizes a distributed access architecture (DAA), which the company says allows operators to grow data capacity while setting up their network for an IP/fiber-to-the-home future. At Expo, Gainspeed demonstrated support for DOCSIS 3.1 and showcased a 1 Gbps downstream service.

"Scaling the network to gigabit speeds puts a tremendous strain on the MSO facilities - power, space, cooling - and DAA is designed to specifically address that," said Samir Parikh, VP of product management, Gainspeed.

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