Lammers: cable is ready for symmetrical services

DOCSIS 3.1 is already capable of enabling cable operators to delivery symmetrical bandwidth ahead of Full Duplex DOCSIS becoming available according to Chris Lammers, COO of CableLabs.

Full Duplex DOCSIS is part of the DOCSIS 3.1 specification and can “allow cable operators to…increase upstream capability to be full symmetrical” with 10Mbps, services, Lammers told DTVE at the recent Cable Congress.

CableLabs has begun interoperability tests of Full Duplex DOCSIS and expects prototype implementation in field trials by the end of this year or the beginning of next, with full commercial deployments in 2020, depending on “consumer demand for the service”, he said.

However, said Lammers, DOCSIS 3.1 can deliver 1Gbps and more upstream ensuring that cable will be ahead of competitors before Full Duplex DOCSIS is fully deployed. This, he said, can help bridge the gap between 1Gbps “and more” upstream when there is a need for that in the market. Full Duplex DOCSIS will be able to go further and deliver 10Gbps symmetrical bandwidth, when there is a commercial case for this, he said.

Lammers said that the existing DOCSIS network allows cable operators to deliver IP video. In terms of the evolution to all-IP, DOCSIS 3.1 and Full Duplex DOCSIS will provide the increased bandwidth necessary to phase out QAM video, he said.

“When that happens is geared to each individual operator,” he said. However, the evolution of DOCSIS and the creation of higher capacity for the fibre portion of the network means that when operators want to go for an all-IP transition, the capacity will be there to do it.

Lammers said that CableLabs is also doing “extensive” work in 5G to determine how 5G technologies will enable cable to focus on wireless as an additional solution. He said CableLabs was looking at how the technology could be used to provide additional reach to cable operators. Cable operators would also be able to take advantage of 5G migration by providing backhaul services he said.

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