Predictions On The Evolution Of Access Networks To The Year 2030 & Beyond (2014)

By Tom Cloonan (CTO-Network Solutions), Mike Emmendorfer (Sr. Director), John Ulm (Engineering Fellow), Ayham Al-Banna (Distinguished System Engineer), Santhana Chari (Sr. Director) , ARRIS

As the Cable Industry moves forward into the future, MSOs will experience profound changes in their HFC plants and in their head-end equipment. These changes will be required to support the challenging bandwidth growth that is expected within all of the MSO service types, including DOCSIS HSD, DOCSIS IP Video, SDV, VoD, nDVR, and Digital Broadcast Video (SD, HD, 4K, & 8K resolutions). These expected changes are forcing many MSOs to wonder about the ultimate evolution of their head-ends and HFC plants. Many questions abound. Will head-end-based CCAPs be able to support the future bandwidth per RF port? Will head-end-based CCAPs be able to support the number of RF ports needed after many rounds of nodes-splits? Will the power and rack-space requirements of future CCAPs fit within head-end budgets? Will MSOs need to use the bandwidth expansion capabilities offered by DOCSIS 3.1? Will MSOs need to use the higher-order modulations offered by DOCSIS 3.1? Will Digital Optics be required to enable the higher-order modulation in DOCSIS 3.1? Will Distributed Access Architectures be required to provide the required scale? If so, which Distributed Access Architectures will likely be utilized? Will it be Remote PHY? Will it be Remote CCAP? Will RFoG offer needed benefits in the future? Will EPON and EPOC offer needed benefits in the future? When do the traffic engineering analyses predict that transitions will take place between these different technologies? This paper will look into the crystal ball and use basic trend analyses and traffic engineering analyses to create predictions that attempt

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