Casa Supersizes for CCAP

Casa Systems has introduced a high-density, integrated chassis designed to meet the specs for the Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP), a next-gen architecture that aims to help cable operators put all their services under one roof and pave the way toward an all-IP transition.

Casa said the new chassis, dubbed the C100G, can house the vendor’s CCAP-ready DS8X96 downstream module, SMM8X10G switching module, and US16x4 upstream module. The C100G is the follow-on to the C10G, a smaller chassis originally developd as a cable modem termination system (CMTS) that can house up to 11 of Casa’s DS8X96 modules, which are outfitted to deliver 96 channels per port (up to 32 channels of narrowcast and 64 channels of broadcast).

“The C100G will support significantly more channels. It’s a…denser platform that will be targeted to the tier 1s,” said Casa vice president of marketing Mark Sumner.

The new chassis will also be compatible with new, higher density modules that Casa has under development. Casa declined to detail the specifications of successor to the DS8X96, but, according to Sumner, the company expects to introduce it before the end of 2013.

Casa, he said, has begun to deploy the C100G chassis to yet unnamed customers that are also testing the company’s DS8X96 modules. Liberty Global, Shenzhen Topway Video Communication of China and Citycable of Switzerland are among Casa's known MSO customers. Citycable, an MSO that serves 70,000 homes and businesses in Lausanne, announced late last year that it had selected the C10G CMTS and intends to layer in CCAP capabilities.

Casa is using the new lineup to target a CCAP market that could be worth more than $1 billion by 2017, according to Multimedia Research Group.  In addition to allowing MSOs to unify and streamline how services are delivered, MSOs are looking for space-saving CCAP devices to reduce power and cooling requirements.

Sumner expects deployments to begin to pick up in the U.S. and Europe in the second half of the year, noting that MSOs in Asia and Latin America are also taking a close look at CCAP.

Others going for their share of the CCAP pie include Arris Group, Cisco Systems, CommScope and Harmonic.

Of the CCAP group, Arris has introduced the E6000 Converged Edge Router, a CCAP-pointing device that will start off as a high-density CMTS, and has not announced the final fate of a CCAP product that Motorola Home has been developing. Cisco, meanwhile, is adding CCAP-like densities to its uBR10000 CMTS as it readies its next-gen platform, the Converged Broadband Router, or cBR-8. CommScope and Harmonic have both introduced “non-routing” CCAP products that will begin as downstream-only edge, high-density edge QAMs, with plans to add upstream/ CMTS capabilities later on.

Based on the current state of CMTS and edge QAM markets, Casa is chasing the leaders in each category as CCAP deployments get underway.

When factoring in its recent acquisition of Motorola Home, Arris represented 59% of CMTS port shipments in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to Infonetics Research. Cisco was next, with 32%, followed by Casa’s 9%. Cisco also represented 34% of edge QAM revenues in that period, edging out Harmonic’s 32%.

But Casa and the others are entering the CCAP fray as MSOs start up a new buying cycle that could shake up the market.

“With the announcement of the C100G and its successful deployment in both lab and production networks, Casa Systems is in a strong position here in the U.S. and globally as operators begin to make their CCAP buying decisions,” Infonetics principal analyst of broadband access and pay TV Jeff Heynen said, in a statement.