Adjusting its product line to a pandemic lockdown environment in which operators are looking to quickly address peak upstream capacity expansion with moves such as node splits, Harmonic has introduced its new CableOS Reef.
The San Jose, Calif.-based technology vendor calls the Reef a dense Remote PHY Shelf (RPS)—a product that converges a cable operators services, including IP-based data, legacy video and out-of-band signals, into a centralized indoor platform. The operator’s services are converged over IP and transmitted from a single RF port.
Notably, according to Asaf Matatyaou, VP of solutions and product management for Harmonic’s cable access business, the Reef allows operators to add capacity with node splits without incurring all the extra labor, wiring, plant size expansion and power usage typically associated with splitting and combining.
Housing up to nine modular line cards in two standard rack units, each with two independent Remote-PHY devices (RPDs) for a total of 18 RPDs, CableOS Reef delivers significantly increased density relative to existing solutions and lower power consumption per service group.
“It’s far more cost effective from a power, space and wiring perspective,” Matatyaou told MCN. “Traditionally, node segmentation requires combining and splitting, and that sits on racks and racks of receivers and transmitters.”
Reef can be deployed with networks that run Harmonic’s CableOS virtualized Cable Modem Termination System (CMTS) software. But it can also be used with non-CableOS networks that are built around remote PHY architecture.
Harmonic said during its first-quarter earnings report in late-April that increased upstream usage amid pandemic-related sheltering-in-place market dynamics is shifting operator priorities.
According to the NCTA, since March 1, there has been a 35% increase in upstream traffic on U.S. cable networks.
Harmonic is on the leading edge as operators migrate to virtualization and Distributed Access Architecture (DAA). Commercial deployments of CableOS reached 27 in the first quarter, up 17% over Q4. Modems served globally by CableOS increased sequentially by 30% to 1.3 million.
But the increased upstream peaks associated with rampant Zoom video conferencing has shifted client priorities toward immediate capacity expansion solutions.
And CableOS Reef, Matatyaou said, “Is going into trials as we speak.”