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Leading Belgian Cable Operator VOO Deploys IPv6

Belgian cable operator VOO looked at the future of the Internet several years ago and recognized that they needed a plan to move to IPv6 if they were to continue to efficiently grow their business. As the leading provider of broadband cable services in the southern part of Belgium they provide video, high speed Internet at speeds of up to 100Mbps, and digital telephony services, primarily to residential customers in Wallonia and Brussels. The company has been one of the fastest growing service providers in Europe; since VOO launched its triple play services at end of 2009, they’ve acquired more than 1 million subscribers. VOO also recently acquired a 3G mobile license to expand their service capabilities.

For network operators such as VOO, business and service is continuity critical. They cannot afford to have services affected while they migrate to new technology. VOO ultimately selected Cisco’s Carrier Grade IPv6 solution since we gave them a clear migration path to IPv6 and they sought a trusted partner who could offer a future flexible solution. Using our dual-stack technology with the Cisco CRS-3 and CMTS they can run IPv4 and IPv6 simultaneously in order to maintain a high-quality customer experience during the transition.

Nico Weymaere, VOO’s Chief Technology Officer shares his view on the positive impact of IPv6 for both his company and the Internet:

The IPv6 capabilities of the VOO network will provide them a foundation to easily support new services. As we’ve noted previously with our Visual Networking Index, by 2016, there will be nearly 19 billion global network connections (fixed and mobile); the equivalent of two and a half connections for every person on earth. We can’t get there with the limited address space provided by IPv4.

On behalf of Cisco, let me thank the entire VOO team for putting your trust in us.

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Cisco’s “Pole Position” Driving Service Provider Video Infrastructure Investment

If you read the trade press, service provider video business models are under assault.  IPTV operators are challenged by the high cost of video services, while traditional pay-TV operators are seeing growing OTT traffic threatening their cost and revenue structures.  Amidst all this, ACG Research recently reported that the service provider video infrastructure market grew 4.5% sequentially in Q2 2011, to $3.5 billion.  According to ACG, Cisco grew its market leadership position in the overall service provider video infrastructure market to 41.9%, added three share points in the CMTS market to 65.8%, and gained a commanding 34.6% share in the IPTV set top box market.

What’s contributing to this growth? Two factors: an evolving understanding of video, and an appreciation of the shifting composition of network traffic. Read More »

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Leading the Charge in the DOCSIS Revolution

It was only a matter of time before DOCSIS 3.0 swept the cable industry. The benefits that DOCSIS 3.0 IP capabilities can deliver—more content, more mobility, more personalization, all at a lower cost—are simply too great to ignore. That industry evolution is now picking up speed, and I’m happy to report that Cisco is leading the pack in DOCSIS 3.0 technologies.

LightReading recently published quarterly market share estimates for August 2011. The upshot: Cisco is maintaining “a hammerlock” on the CMTS market, with a global market share of about 60 percent.

ACG Research (ACG Market Release 2Q11 Worldwide Video Infrastructure) found similar results, stating that Cisco’s CMTS market share grew by nearly 3 points last quarter to a commanding 65.8 percent of the market. Read More »

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Yes, Virginia, There is a (Very!) Long-Term Future for DOCSIS Technologies

Contributed By John Chapman, Chief Technology Officer, Cisco Cable Access Business Unit, and Engineering Fellow

Earlier this year, as part of CableLabs’ “Innovation Showcase,” in Atlanta, we showed how DOCSIS 3.0-based technologies can gracefully and powerfully scale, if operators were to continue increasing the number of digital channels they place into a DOCSIS bond.

The question we were endeavoring to answer was this: Is DOCSIS dead, or does it have another 15+ years of life in it? The answer is clearly the latter.  Why? Because the classification and QoS features in backbone routers (like our recently announced ASR 9000 System) are architected for massive speed, in terms of packets-per-second - and those features will migrate down into cable CMTS gear.

The demo for CableLabs focused on our 3G60 CMTS cards, which bonded 48 downstream channels and 12 upstream channels, using 256 QAM in the downstream, and 64-QAM in the upstream. The result was a 1.6 Gbps downstream pipe, and 300 Mbps upstream. But that was back in February. The bond size was generous, but still partial. When you consider the full spectrum capacity of cable television systems - from 54 MHz to 1 GHz, downstream, and from 5 MHz to 42 MHz upstream - clearly, there’s a lot more breathing room for wideband IP services.

Read More »

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CMAP, CESAR, Whatever It Takes

By Mark Palazzo, VP/GM, Cable Access Business Unit, Cisco Systems

One of the more nuanced aspects of hard-core technological developments in the cable industry these recent months is the “CMAP v. CESAR” debate. Haven’t heard of it? Boiled way down, it’s a different set of viewpoints about the best way to migrate to a converged CMTS and universal edge QAM architecture, in conjunction with cable’s HFC (hybrid fiber-coax) plant migration.

To put this in historical context, cable operators “went digital” in phases. Digital video was first, followed by broadband data via cable modems, followed fairly shortly after by voice over IP. Operators use a form of modulation called “QAM” (quadrature amplitude modulation) to get video, data and voice signals over the plant to subscribing homes and businesses.

At issue was simple market timing: Digital video vendors built QAM products specifically to support video; broadband-side vendors built different QAM products, for high-speed data; and voice equipment vendors built QAM based TDM products for voice. The proprietary data and voice products where later replaced with the standardized DOCSIS CMTS platform. Read More »

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