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TDC, Huawei Team on DOCSIS 3.1 Field Trial

Offering more evidence that cable’s next-gen IP platform for HFC networks is nearing a deployment-ready state, Huawei and TDC Group said they have completed  a DOCSIS 3.1 field trial, claiming they achieved a downstream transmission rate of 840 Mbps using a 96 MHz swath of bandwidth.

Huawei said the trial, conducted with TDC in Copenhagen, involved the China-based vendor’s distributed Converged Cable Access Platform and a prototype modem powered by silicon from STMicroelectronics (Broadcom and Intel are among the other known chipmakers that are developing D3.1-based silicon).

The trial, announced at the recent ANGA COM event in Cologne, Germany, comes as vendors and operators prepare for the initial wave of deployments of a CableLabs-specified platform that will aim for downstream capacity of up to 10 Gbps down and at least 1 Gbps upstream.  

D3.1 will rely on blocks of orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM), eschewing the use of 6MHz- and 8MHz-wide channels use by current-gen DOCSIS 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.

TDC plans to launch DOCSIS 3.1 in 2016 and use it to provide download speeds of 1 Gbps. Comcast has also begun DOCSIS 3.1 field trials in anticipating of a broad deployment.

“The success of this early field test confirms that moving to 1 Gbps speeds in the coaxial network is an optimal business opportunity with a promising timescales for a 2016 launch,” Peter Bukhave, vice president of TV network development at TDC, said in a statement.

“Huawei is aiming to be the top provider in DOCSIS 3.1 era,” added Wang Zhengan, president of Huawei’s Access Network Product Line. “The success of the early field test proves Huawei’s innovation capabilities in the DOCSIS industry and reflects the gains from Huawei’s steady efforts in coaxial broadband domain. We are ready to work closely with carriers’ MSO, including TDC, to promote the global DOCSIS 3.1 commercial use progress and meet MSOs’ demands for building ultra-broadband networks.”

Huawei is aiming high, but it will have plenty of competitive company on the access network, as Arris, Cisco Systems, Casa Systems, Harmonic, Gainspeed, among others, are also developing CCAPs that support DOCSIS 3.1.