Contributed by John Mattson, Director of Product Management, Cable Marketing
New 3G60 Broadband Processing Engine Enables Cable Operators to Cost-Effectively Move to All-IP Networks
The long-awaited 3G60 line card for the uBR10012 CMTS has finally arrived. Ever since Cisco first conceived this line card, many worldwide cable providers have been waiting for its debut with breathless anticipation. In my 22 years in the cable industry I can’t recall any other product with as much advance customer interest as this one.
Why is the 3G60 such a hot commodity? Because it finally brings the right combination of very high capacity and very low cost-per-port that enables operators to realistically deploy Video-over-DOCSIS (VDOC) service. And VDOC is the key to moving to a converged, all-IP network, which dramatically reduces both capital and operating costs and provides unprecedented flexibility to introduce new services quickly and efficiently.
The 3G60 provides up to 72 downstream ports and 60 upstream ports on a single line card, – over 3 times the density of any line card on the market today. Using the 3G60, a single uBR10012 can support up to 576 downstream and 480 upstream ports per chassis. In addition, starting from a minimal base system, all of the upstream and downstream ports on the 3G60 can be provisioned via software licensing, so customers can install the card and then only pay for the ports they use. The 3G60 supports DOCSIS® 3.0 downstream channel bonding of as few as 2 up to as many as 24 channels, which makes downstream speeds of over 900 megabits per second possible.
The massive scalability of the 3G60 supports the accelerating transition to a more interactive video experience. By leveraging the power of the installed DOCSIS IP network, cable operators can take advantage of Cisco’s Video-over-DOCSIS (VDOC) solution to cost-effectively deliver a converged video, voice and data experience to their customers. Cisco’s VDOC solution enables service providers to rapidly deliver enhanced interactive services, offer a personalized consumer experience including both managed and unmanaged services, and make a seamless transition to an all-IP network.
High-speed data service continues to be a growing aspect of global service providers’ business, and it is a high priority for them to deliver faster Internet speeds to accommodate increased video traffic and other rich-media applications that consumers and businesses rely on for communication, news, information and entertainment. The Cisco DOCSIS 3.0 solution enables service providers to use channel bonding to deliver triple-play services of high-speed data, voice and video and to dynamically allocate DOCSIS network bandwidth based on subscriber demand.
Cable operators are faced with real and potential threats from telephone companies, satellite providers and over-the-top offerings. In order to compete effectively, they need to provide their customers with increasing amounts of bandwidth, competitive prices, and a wide array of services and capabilities so subscribers don’t need to look elsewhere to find the content they want, when they want it and where they want it. Using VDOC, they can move to an all-IP network that enables them to offer their subscribers the flexibility and service richness they want, all from the Cable provider’s own portal. The 3G60 is so important because it alone provides the capacity and cost-effectiveness to launch VDOC at scale.
The cable industry has come a long way since Cisco launched the first DOCSIS 3.0 CMTS technology four years ago. The 3G60 marks the culmination of the promise of DOCSIS 3.0 technology from both a capacity and bandwidth as well as a cost standpoint. Cable operators have been using the bandwidth capabilities of DOCSIS 3.0, with speeds up to 50 or 100 Mbps, as a marketing tool for some time now. But as customers begin to use more and more video-heavy services, they begin to actually consume bandwidth in larger chunks and operators have expressed concern about how to scale up to deliver download speeds 100 Mbps or more to a larger portion of their subscriber base.
This is exactly why the 3G60 is so essential for cable operators.
The 3G60 provides 10 times the capacity and 20 times the download speed at only 1/10 the cost of DOCSIS 2.0-based solutions!