Motorola Cable Modems Get Seoul

Its DOCSIS 3.0 headend gear has yet to get the OK from CableLabs, but that didn't stop Motorola from landing two more customers for its channel-bonding cable modem termination system: C&M and CJ CableNet, two of the largest cable operators in South Korea.

The two operators are using the Motorola BSR 64000 CMTS and SurfBoard cable modems to provide Internet service with 100-megabit-per-second downloads to their subscribers later this month.

That boost in downstream bandwidth is a key feature of the CableLabs-developed Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) 3.0, which "bonds" together multiple channels in a cable network to provide speeds of up to 160 Mbps down -- or higher.

On Wednesday, CableLabs announced it qualified the first three DOCSIS 3.0 CMTSs submitted for certification from Arris, Casa Systems and Cisco Systems. Motorola did not submit its CMTS for the first wave of DOCSIS 3.0 testing; the company did submit its 3.0 cable modem, but that approval is pending.

Still, the lack of CableLabs' seal of approval did not deter C&M and CJ CableNet from rolling out Motorola's DOCSIS 3.0 solution. “The investments we’re making in hardware now will continue to pay off as we begin our migration to a full DOCSIS 3.0 environment,” C&M chief technology officer JW Koh said, in a prepared statement.

Cable operators in certain Asian markets are seeing particularly aggressive broadband competition with 100-Mbps offerings from telcos, and have felt a more urgent need to get their hands on the channel-bonding capabilities than perhaps their North American kin. For example, Motorola earlier this year initiated a project with Singapore cable operator StarHub to test DOCSIS 3.0 equipment providing 145-Mbps service.

C&M operates 15 cable systems in Seoul and other markets in South Korea, while CJ CableNet runs 13 systems. Motorola noted in its announcement that a portion of the revenue from the contracts with the two Korean operators was recognized in prior quarters.