Smart Amplifiers – Are They Worth It? (2022)

By Mike Darling, Shaw Communications

As the newest generation of the Data over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) ecosystem takes shape, multiple system operators (MSOs) are contemplating upgrading their hybrid fibre coax (HFC) networks. Whether an operator chooses the full duplex (FDX) or frequency division duplex (FDD) variant of DOCSIS 4.0, all amplifiers in the network will need to be replaced by newer versions. Historically, amplifiers were simple devices set up during install and only revisited during routine maintenance or troubleshooting. However, there is an opportunity to enhance the functionality of these devices with the aim of decreasing the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the HFC network and to reduce the incidence and duration of customer impacting outages. This paper will present a fresh perspective on smart amplifier functionality and evaluate the potential benefits of deployment.

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