INTX 2015: Cisco Guns for Multi-Gigabit Speeds

Comcast, Altice Testing DOCSIS 3.1-Capable ‘Battlestar’
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Taking aim at the cable’s emerging multi-gigabit-capable DOCSIS 3.1 platform, Cisco Systems is using the INTX event in Chicago this week to unveil the cBR-8, the vendor’s next-gen Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP). 

The cBR-8, known in industry circles for its code-name, "Battlestar,” is designed to support DOCSIS 3.1, a new CableLabs spec for HFC networks that is targeting capacities of up to 10 Gbps downstream and at least 1 Gbps in the upstream, and expected to usher in the cable industry’s all-IP transition.

Cisco’s high-density, energy-converging CCAP “hub-in-a-box,” viewed as the successor to the company’s uBR10000-series cable modem termination system, combines the functions of a CMTS and the edge QAM, meaning it can support cable’s full complement of data, voice and video services.

Cisco said the cBR-8 is shipping now to multiple cable operators worldwide, including Comcast and Altice Group, which announced last month that it would use Cisco’s CCAP as the foundation of an eventual move to DOCSIS 3.1, starting with Numericable in France.

Cisco said the cBR-8 is a multi-access platform that can also support fiber-fed PON architectures as well as service provider WiFi.

Cisco’s cBR-8 will match up in the market with D3.1-pointing products from Arris and its new flagship CCAP, the E6000, Casa Systems, and Harmonic, which announced last month that its NSG Pro CCAP was on track for DOCSIS 3.1 trials later this year.

Infonetics analyst Jeff Heynen told Multichannel News recently that there’s a sizable portion of Cisco cable footprint awaiting to be upgraded with the cBR-8. 

“Platforms like Cisco's cBR-8 will provide next-generation speed and capacity, enabling converged cable access architecture for multi-Gigabit services, increased scalability and improved operational efficiency to keep up with the unprecedented growth of broadband and IP video traffic,” Comcast SVP Kevin McElearney said in a statement.

With a combination of Cisco’s Evolved CCAP, DOCSIS 3.1 and migration to NFV/SDN, Altice will continue providing the best customer experience, based on the highest bandwidth and cutting edge technology,” added Max Blumberg, CTO of Altice Group.

Implementing cBR-8 into the network will allow our customers to scale to full DOCSIS 3.1 and converged video services, reducing both capex and opex costs, while keeping the cable network competitive and cost-effective for the next decade,” said Brett Wingo, VP and GM of Cisco’s service provider infrastructure group. 

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