While broadband networks have seen many advancements and technical innovations in recent months, one in particular stands out as a rule changer – that of digital return.
The return or upstream path of HFC network architectures has seen a dramatic change over the last 18 months as a new technology – known as baseband digital reverse has been deployed in increasing numbers. While the key technical benefits of a digital return band are increased return bandwidth, extended optical reach, and the elimination of performance barriers common to analog transmission, the use of baseband digital return further opens up opportunities for improving performance while lowering mean time to repair (MTTR).
A primary benefit here is realized by reducing overall equipment requirements. Architectures that are reduced in component count are made possible with this technology and this paper explores and demonstrates by example how transmitter counts have been lowered by 50%, how fiber counts have been reduced by 50% and how optical amplifiers have been eliminated altogether.