Mission is Possible: An Evolutionary Approach to Gigabit-Class DOCSIS (2012)

By John Chapman, Cisco; Mike Emmendorfer, Arris; Robert Howald, Motorola Mobility; Shaul Shulman, Intel

This paper is a joint paper presented by four leading suppliers to the cable industry, with the intent to move the industry forward in the area of next generation cable access network migration. To our knowledge, it is a first for four such suppliers to collaborate in this manner on a topic of such critical industry importance. Cable operators are facing a rising threat associated with the limitations of today’s 5 to 42 MHz return path.

Constraints on capacity and peak service rate call for finding additional return spectrum to manage this emerging challenge. We will explain how and why an approach based on the principle of an expanded diplex architecture, and using a “high-split” of up to 300 MHz, is the best path for operators to manage this growth. This includes considering the simultaneous expansion of the downstream capacity. We will describe obstacles associated with legacy CPE in both Motorola and Cisco video architectures and propose solutions to these issues.

To use the reallocated HFC spectrum most effectively, we will consider an evolutionary strategy for DOCSIS and show how it capably meets the requirements ahead.

We will contemplate the application of new generations of communications technology, including a comparison of single-carrier approaches implemented today to multi-carrier techniques such as OFDM, including channelization options. We will consider higher order QAM formats as well as modern FEC tools such as LDPC. We will discuss how these evolution alternatives can be harnessed to best extract network capacity. We will consider how evolution of the access architecture enables this new capacity, and how the end-to-end network components develop to support this growth.

In summary, we will present a strategy that preserves network investment, enables a versatile evolutionary path, and positions operators to create an enduring lifespan to meet the demands of current and future services

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