Advanced Television

OpenVault: PNM, PMA critical in rollouts of new DOCSIS tech

May 8, 2024

Proactive Network Maintenance (PNM) and Profile Management Applications (PMA) will play significant roles as cable broadband operators deploy new technologies to maximsze the value of their DOCSIS 3.1 infrastructure investments, according to a new white paper from OpenVault.

The paper describes how emerging alternatives use two additional OFDM channels within the DOCSIS 3.1 frequency band, DOCSIS 4.0 or DOCSIS 3.1+ modems and DOCSIS 3.1 CMTS hardware and nodes to effect a cost-effective upgrade. The resulting architecture – referred to as DOCSIS 3.1+, DOCSIS 3.1 boosted, DOCSIS 3.1 stretch or DOCSIS 3.1 extended – can deliver speeds up to 8 Gbps downstream and 1.5 Gbps upstream.

According to Telecompetitor, DOCSIS 3.1+ “may prove to be quite popular with smaller cable companies and could enable them to skip DOCSIS 4.0, or at least defer decisions about it.” Jeff Heynen, vice president of Broadband Access and Home Networking for Dell’Oro Group, tells Telecompetitor that DOCSIS 3.1+ “will allow the smaller providers ‘to compete without a huge capital outlay.’”

The OpenVault paper notes that PNM and PMA solutions – an essential part of future DOCSIS rollouts – will be particularly important as the industry capitalizes on DOCSIS 3.1+ technology. In DOCSIS 3.1 architectures, PNM and PMA will help to address key issues that can impact interoperability, performance and subscriber satisfaction.

Cable operators stand to gain immensely from PMA/PNM integration via:

  • Excellent quality of experience (QoE): Subscribers are treated to reliable services.
  • Efficiency and efficacy: Modulation profiles are optimized, and impairments are corrected, ensuring continuous high data speeds
  • Economical operations: With a proactive stance, unplanned troubleshooting and extensive maintenance lessens, leading to substantial cost savings due to unnecessary truck rolls, effective field force management and reduced CSR calls.

“In terms of proactive measures, there’s room for improvement,” says Brady Volpe, Chief Product Officer for OpenVault and one of the authors of the paper. “Consider this analogy: Would you rather be the firefighter constantly extinguishing fires, or the one installing smoke detectors? While installing smoke detectors may not grab headlines, it’s the lives they save that truly matter. PNM and PMA provide observability and initiate automated remediation that quietly optimize network performance and consumer experiences.”

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