Thursday, 09 December 2021

Successfully testing 10 Gbps with HFC cable. Hope for Vodafone?

Vodafone is currently the third operator to deploy fixed broadband in Spain with 11.3 million households covered. That figure will soon be surpassed by the MásMóvil group, which together with Euskaltel already has a total of 11.81 million households. Both parties represent practically the entire deployment of HFCs in Spain, and the almost 10 million homes that have coverage with this technology between Vodafone and Euskaltel are in luck.

Vodafone currently has 7.56 million homes with HFC coverage, while Euskaltel has 2.3 million. Vodafone continues to bet on offering this technology in homes that are already deployed, while Euskaltel has already begun to replace HFC with FTTH. While in Euskaltel, in the last two years, some 26,000 HFC lines have been lost, in Vodafone they have increased by about 3,500.

DOCSIS 4.0: Hope for HFC

The HFC continues to offer good performance thanks to technologies such as DOCSIS 3.0 and DOCSIS 3.1, but with the arrival of the XGS-PON it becomes much more difficult to compete with the scalability, stability and capacity of FTTH. However, the large number of wired households around the world makes it worthwhile to continue to improve that technology as FTTH is gradually being replaced.




For this reason, Comcast, one of the largest operators in the United States and with an extensive cable network, has announced that it has successfully made the first 10 Gbps connection in HFC networks. To do this, they have used Virtualized Cable Modem Termination System (vCMTS) with Full Duplex DOCSIS 4.0 (FDX) technology.

The company has been working on this technology for a year and a half, when the new standard was announced. Its goal is to reach hundreds of millions of people around the world. Cable was initially deployed in the United States with the objective of offering television, but not to offer Internet; and much less for the speeds that are already reached today.

10 Gbps downstream and 6 Gbps upstream

The test has been a success. In it they have managed to connect all the necessary elements to offer 10 Gbps in the networks already deployed to millions of homes. However, they do not yet have a definitive date to offer this technology. Networks with DOCSIS 3.1 are configured to run on FDX, and Comcast is already working to develop amplifiers that will take full advantage of DOCSIS 4.0 technology.

The transition to this new technology will not be sudden, but will be done gradually. With this standard, speeds of 10 Gbps downstream and 6 Gbps upstream can be achieved. Additionally, latency is substantially improved, along with an increased ability to detect network problems. Finally, it also improves the security of the connections.





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