Aurora Networks is pitching cable operators on a digital return-path solution that promises to double upstream DOCSIS 3.0 capacity -- although an MSO would first have to reclaim analog TV channels to take advantage of it.
The vendor's Universal Digital Return module uses the 54-88 MHz spectrum, which historically has been used for analog broadcast television, essentially doubling today's standard North American use of the 5-42 MHz return path.
According to Aurora, digital return is the only practical way to achieve the high link performance required by a fully loaded 5-85 MHz upstream pass band and using 64-QAM (or 256-QAM) DOCSIS 3.0 upstream bonded channel technology independent of distances beyond 100 kilometers.
"The beauty of digital return technology is the independence of RF loads and required laser performance," Aurora vice president of marketing John Dahlquist said in announcing the product. "Digital return technology provides operators with a cost-effective pathway to meet performance requirements that are currently not achieved by today's upstream analog lasers."
The company noted that the Universal Digital Return product also supports today's standard 5-42 MHz return path as well as other band-split configurations (up to 50, 65 and 85 MHz).
Aurora also claimed Universal Digital Return provides for more efficient node segmentation. The product provides two unique RF input channels per transmitter, up to 15 wavelengths with CWDM (coarse wave division multiplexing), and up to 40 wavelengths with DWDM (dense wave division multiplexing).
Aurora will show the solution the CableNET pavilion at the Cable Show this week.