Tele Columbus Tees Up 400-Meg Broadband

DOCSIS 3.1 is poised to usher in cable’s multi-gigabit broadband era later this year, but operators around the world continue to push the envelope with current-gen DOCSIS 3.0 technologies.

Tele Columbus, the third-largest cable operator in Germany, said it will use DOCSIS 3.0 (via its hybrid fiber/coax plant and fiber-to-the-business network) to launch a 400 Mbps (downstream) service on April 1, initially targeting customers in Potsdam, where it connects to about 40,000 homes.

Tele Columbus, which also just set an IPO price range of  €8 to €12 per share that could raise €495 million (US$583.6 million) to be used toward growth purposes, said it will announce pricing closer to the launch, and is setting plans to extend access to the 400-meg product to other markets.

Broadband TV News notes that Tele Columbus’s current top-end tier offers 150 Mbps. In Europe, Com Hem set the bar using DOCSIS 3.1 last year with the debut of a 500 Mbps tier that’s paired with an upstream that maxes out at 50 Mbps.

Further out, expect cable operators to target speeds of 1 Gbps or more over HFC as technology for DOCSIS 3.1 becomes available. Notably, Broadcom introduced a D3.1 reference design last week, and STMicroelectronics showed off D3.1 demos at last week’s International CES in Las Vegas.