This paper draws on lessons from the past (within the telecommunications space) to predict some of the new technologies that may be considered by Multiple System Operators (MSOs) as they move forward into a service provider world of the future. It is a future that will undoubtedly demand more and more bandwidth to be offered to subscribers over time.
After presenting some historical data on the evolution of telecommunications systems and some new traffic engineering information on bandwidth growth trends, the paper will attempt to identify the life-span of the current Hybrid Fiber/Coax (HFC) infrastructure through which most Voice, Video, and Data services will be provided in the future. Potential techniques for extending that lifespan will also be explored. It will be shown that with appropriate management, the lifespan of the current HFC network can likely be extended well into the 2030s or 2040s (or beyond).
The paper then explores some of the key technologies that may be utilized in concert with or in lieu of the existing HFC network during this period.
Most of the predictions in this paper will
draw heavily on the historical lessons that can be learned from the network evolutions that have taken place within the Telco & Wireless industry during the past two decades. The paper will attempt to show why these lessons may be applicable to the future evolutions that are likely to take place in the Cable industry.