– Hitron to Submit 960 Mbps Gateway to CableLabs
– Shipments to Start Early 2013
DOCSIS is not sitting still. The conventional wisdom a few
years ago was that DOCSIS 3.0 technology would eventually
enable cablecos to offer speeds of up to 100 Mbps. That record
has been shattered by Comcast, Virgin Media and others that
already offer speeds in excess of 100 Mbps — and are
delivering it now. DOCSIS speeds are going to continue to
Taiwan-based Hitron Technologies will shortly submit a DOCSIS
3.0 gateway that has almost 1 Gbps downstream to CableLabs for
DOCSIS 3.0 certification, according to Todd Babic, Hitron’s
sales and marketing officer. Tests begin November 8 and
results are expected February or March 2013.
Cablecos use a hybrid network architecture that is fiber to a
distribution point in the neighborhood or at the MDU and then
coax (copper wire with shielding) from there to the home.
The 1 Gbps has been an ideal speed that was achievable only
over an all fiber network, which is very expensive and time
consuming to build. The telcos, their suppliers and some
chipmakers are still in development of a technology called
G.fast that could allow them to offer speeds of up to 500 Mbps
to 1 Gbps. G.fast products are not expected until 2014.
The unanswered question is “why does a consumer need 1 Gbps?”
and the answer is that he doesn’t. Of course, that same
question was asked about half a Mbps and again at 1 Mbps and
again at 3 Mbps and then again, at 10 Mbps and most recently
at 40 Mbps.
Businesses are a different matter and Hitron makes many cable
modems that the cablecos install in businesses.
The new Hitron gateway uses Intel’s Puma 6 chip, which can
bond 24 downstream channels and eight upstream channels. That
supports speed bursts of 960 Mbps down and 320 Mbps up.
It will initially have the 11n version of Wi-Fi, but will have
11ac early in 2013.
Hitron said that more than 100 cablecos are testing/evaluating
a prototype that is a modem only version but it intends to
make gateways, not modems.
It does not intend to sell the product through retailers, only
to cablecos whose cable modem termination systems (CMTSs),
which will need software upgrades to support the new gateway.