Advanced Television

CommScope announces new breakthroughs

September 24, 2019

Continuing its leadership in next-generation network technologies, CommScope has announced three new breakthroughs that dramatically improve network scale, speed and latency. The advances – in architecture design, interface speed, and edge performance – create unprecedented choice and control for broadband network operators. All will become elements of the company’s Distributed Access Architecture (DAA) and 10G portfolios. CommScope will discuss and demonstrate the new technologies at the SCTE•ISBE Cable-Tec Expo beginning September 30th in New Orleans.

“The most important new use cases are relentless about response time. Faster speed plus lower latency is the new normal,” said Morgan Kurk, executive vice president and chief technology officer, CommScope. “Three things are required to achieve this—an end-to-end view of the network; an agnostic approach to technology; and a distributed architecture that breeds innovation in the core, throughout the access layer, and at the edge.”

The company separately announced significant progress with European and U.S. service providers delivering the earliest benefits of 10G innovations and at varying stages of network transformations.

“The innovations being fielded now are all about anticipating the network of tomorrow,” said Kurk. “5G especially requires a flexible network, and open architectures gain new importance when cloud plus edge approaches become the imperative.”

CommScope will also use the Expo to mark the 10th anniversary of its first virtualized, cloud-based solution for cable providers. The company offered its first managed service in 2006, and its first conventional cloud service in 2009.

CommScope has been at the leading edge of technology development in media and broadband networks for more than 20 years. It disclosed its foundational work in 10G earlier this year, and announced a breakthrough, 8.5 Gbps network trial with Virgin Media in Europe shortly thereafter.

Raising the Performance Bar from Core to Edge

CommScope will detail technology breakthroughs next week that improve performance at the core, throughout the access layer, and at the edge:

  • DAA Aggregator – This massively scalable new architecture extends fiber deeper into the network, lowers total cost of ownership, and requires relatively minor changes to existing fiber deep networks. The change significantly increases the number of homes passed per RPD serving group – from 20 to 40 to between 150 to 300 – enabling deeper reach into neighborhoods and a simplified path to network upgrades.
  • Extended Soft FDD – This new combination of software-only Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) and Extended Spectrum DOCSIS (ESD) – pushes network interface speeds beyond 1.2 GHz and is already being hailed as a preliminary flavor of DOCSIS 4.0. The advance comes just four months after the company first demonstrated soft FDD.
  • Revolutionary new DOCSIS timing protocol – Precise timing distribution over the DOCSIS network is now possible. Such precision is imperative for time-critical processing and applications, where a fraction of a second means the difference between success and failure. Current and future applications include mobile backhaul, virtual reality, and autonomous vehicle control.

“It’s no longer enough to have the fastest network,” said Tom Cloonan, CommScope chief technologist for network solutions in the company’s Office of the CTO. “2020 is about efficiency and simplicity. There will be significant changes to architectures over time, and it’s important to work with a company that has both industry-leading technology and the expertise to execute at any point in that transformation.”

“CommScope furthers its industry leadership role by introducing new solutions that address the needs of cable operators as they modernize their networks,” said Liliane Offredo-Zreik of ACG Research. “CommScope has the most comprehensive portfolio that meets the evolving and increasingly divergent needs of the cable industry.”

Europe, U.S. Building Gigabit Cities from the Ground Up

CommScope also revealed European and U.S. network-transformation projects currently underway, including its role as a foundation of Europe’s first eight Gigabit Cities with Liberty Global in Southampton (England), Utrecht (Netherlands), Warsaw (Poland), and Bochum, Dusseldorf, Cologne, Frankfurt, and Mannheim (Germany). The European projects build on CommScope’s regional momentum, including groundbreaking Remote PHY work being done for Stofa and Eltrona.

Toward that end, the company also announced it anchors a forthcoming fiber-to-the-home conversion through which municipal network innovator Wyandotte Municipal Services/Wyandotte Cable (Wyandotte, Michigan) will offer smart home applications. Wyandotte’s aggressive and innovative plan for full conversion to fiber-to-the-home relied on CommScope’s advisory services to identify its strategic opportunity, assess the various technology and architecture options, and ultimately design its path forward. The final end-to-end plan included relocating and expanding their headend. The advanced edge performance also lays the groundwork for wireless integration.

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