Extended Spectrum DOCSIS: A Pragmatic Approach (2019)

By Steve Condra, Teleste Intercept LLC; Kari Maki & Arttu Purmonen, Teleste Corporation

Extended Spectrum DOCSIS (ESD) has been a topical subject due to ever-increasing broadband speeds in the digital landscape. While cable industry veterans have competed over who boasts the highest frequency, very little, if anything, has been published about what moving towards 1.8 GHz or even beyond that means in practice. We have performed real 1.8 GHz full spectrum measurements and, in the process, have revealed what it takes to offer new services using frequencies of up to 1.8 GHz. Our focus is on the amplifiers that are often needed even after distributed access roll-outs. The results of our measurements are enriched by cable operators who have contributed to and grounded our research by providing feedback and real network challenges. Our study covers variables that are expected to limit ESD implementations in North America, such as 1) length of cables, 2) length of amplifier cascades, 3)existing taps, 4) performance of the state-of-the-art amplifiers equipped with the latest hybrids and 5)capabilities of the latest Remote PHY (RPD) products. The results of our study provide pragmatic proposals for how DOCSIS OFDM frequency blocks are placed above currently employed frequencies and what kinds of limitations these proposals have. Our objective is to offer the latest information and unbiased practical proposals that can help cable operators obtain the most out of their networks with minimal changes. Although some changes will be crucial, significant costs can be mitigated through careful planning. Careful planning is not limited to the choice of amplifiers and taps, given that managing the interplay between RPDs and amplifiers must be considered to reach the rising broadband speed expectations of subscribers.

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