Huawei Plugs Into DOCSIS 3.1 Interops

Huawei Technologies has emerged as one of a small but growing group of suppliers that have participated in CableLabs’s first two interoperability test events for DOCSIS 3.1, a next-gen IP platform that is shooting for downstream capabilities of up to 10 Gbps and at least 1 Gbps in the upstream.

The Chinese telecom supplier said it jumped in with its Distributed Converged Cable Access Platform (D-CCAP), noting that the product demonstrated 192 MHz-wide downstream channel modulation using 4096QAM. Huawei said it also completed upstream physical layer modulation with 1024QAM at 48MHz.

“We look forward to collaborating with CableLabs again to promote the commercial use of DOCSIS 3.1 technology and meeting MSOs' requirements for ultra-broadband network construction,” Wang Zheggan, Huawei’s president, access network product line, said in a statement.

Suppliers that participated in CableLabs’s first D3.1 interop last December included Averna and Cisco Systems, among others. The second CableLabs D3.1 plugfest took place in January 2015.

CableLabs’s next D3.1 interop is scheduled for April 27-May 8.

CableLabs is conducting those plugfests ahead of official qualification and certification testing that is expected to get underway by the first half of 2015. According to Light Reading, CableLabs director of network technologies Belal Hamzeh said last month that the goal is to start official D3.1 certification testing in May. In that same report, Comcast said it has begun to test D3.1-based traffic in the field in anticipation of broad rollouts starting in 2016.

Liberty Global and NBN Co, the government-owned entity that is tasked with bringing faster broadband speeds to Australia, are among others that have committed to deploy DOCSIS 3.1. Cox Communications is also expected to use D3.1 for its ambitious deployment of gigabit services.

DOCSIS 3.1, designed to support capacities of up to 10 Gbps downstream and at least 1 Gbps upstream, will be a more efficient platform that will rely on blocks of orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) rather than the 6MHz- and 8MHz-wide channels used by today’s DOCSIS 3.0 networks. When combined with low density parity-check, a forward error correction scheme that uses less bandwidth than the current Reed-Solomon approach, DOCSIS 3.1 is expected to be about 50% more efficient from a bits-per-hertz perspective than DOCSIS 3.0. To aid the transition, the first wave of D3.1 modems will be hybrids that can support DOCSIS 3.0 traffic and OFDM-based traffic for D3.1.