Cisco Plugged CMTS Into First DOCSIS 3.1 Interop

Cisco Systems confirmed that it was one of six vendors that participated in the first-ever DOCSIS 3.1 interop at CableLabs, which featured early implementations of cable modems, cable modem termination systems (CMTSs) and test equipment designed for the emerging multi-gigabit platform. 

A Cisco spokeswoman said the vendor submitted a CMTS for the plugfest, which took place from December 1-5. Multichannel News will shed light on other suppliers that joined the mix as soon as they are known. CableLabs said it was “premature” to identify which suppliers participated in the interop. 

Arris, a maker of DOCSIS modems and network gear that showed off a pre-D3.1-based downstream implementation at this year’s SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in Denver, told Multichannel News in October that it would forgo the December interop, but expected to join the next one, which is scheduled to take place Jan. 19-23, 2015.  

In addition to chipmakers such as Intel, Broadcom and STMicro, other suppliers with D3.1 on the roadmap include Casa Systems, Harmonic, Technicolor and Netgear, among others. 

This month’s interop marked an important step toward eventual CableLabs certification and qualification of CMTS/CCAP and cable modem products that are based on DOCSIS 3.1, a more efficient platform that aims to support capacities of up to 10 Gbps downstream and at least 1 Gbps upstream by utilizing blocks of OFDM subcarriers and a new forward error correction scheme. In addition to paving the way toward cable’s eventual all-IP migration, DOCSIS 3.1 will enable cable operators to deploy gigabit speeds on a broad basis without having to pull fiber all the way to the premises. 

Among physical layer interop accomplishments, CableLabs said this month’s plugfest successfully demonstrated the transmission and reception of DOCSIS 3.1-based OFDM signals. 

Official certification and qualification against the DOCSIS 3.1 specs could start as early as the second quarter of 2015, followed by a small, initial wave of deployments. CableLabs released the initial product specs for DOCSIS 3.1 in October 2013. 

“The remarkable speed at which DOCSIS 3.1 has gone from concept, to specification, to interoperability testing demonstrates the great value of collaboration by industry stakeholders,” said Phil McKinney, president and chief executive officer of CableLabs, in a statement. “This is a great step forward toward future deployment.”

“The success of this first DOCSIS 3.1 interop validates that multi-Gigabit services will soon be a reality for cable broadband customers,” added Tom Lookabaugh, chief research and development officer at CableLabs. “Operators around the world can now look forward to a new generation of capabilities added to their DOCSIS-based networks.