Rogers Communications is the first cable operator to announce the availability of a broadband gateway that's capable of bonding 24 downstream channels and 8 upstream channels – enough to produce downstream bursts close to 1 Gbps.
The gateway, made by Hitron Technologies Americas, is powered by the Intel Puma 6mg chipset and paired with MaxLinear’s MxL267 Full-Spectrum Capture tuner. A fully-loaded 24x8 modem can hit max speeds of 960 Mbps down and 320 Mbps up when used in North American DOCSIS 3.0 systems with 6MHz-wide channel spacing.
Rogers, citing research conducted by Allion USA, said its new gateway is also outfitted with 2.4 GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi radios that are capable of delivering peak in-home wireless speeds of 420 Mbps.Rogers is renting the new device, dubbed the Advanced Wi-Fi Modem, for $12 per month.
Among Rogers’s residential broadband packages, its current, fastest DOCSIS-based offering is “Ultimate,” which tops out at 150 Mbps downstream by 10 Mbps upstream. The Ultimate tier is paired with a monthly usage cap of 250 Gigabytes and sells for $122.99.
Given the extra headroom supported by the new gateway, the new modem puts Rogers in position to deliver much faster DOCSIS-powered tiers, and keep the pressure on incumbent telco, Bell Canada.
The MSO also offers a GPON-based product called “Ultimate Fibre,” that delivers downstream speeds up to 250 Mbps and upstream speeds up to 25 Mbps, paired with a monthly 500 GB cap, for $225.99 per month. But unlike Rogers’s DOCSIS platform, the GPON product is offered only in select areas, including parts of Toronto and the MSO’s Atlantic region.
Rogers said its new, souped up DOCSIS 3.0 gateway will help it keep pace with bandwidth demands and how that bandwidth is shared on the customer’s in-home wireless network.
"Our customers have an average of six connected devices in the home and they've told us they want a faster internet connection, no matter where they are, whether in the basement or the backyard," said Phil Hartling, senior vice-president, consumer segment, Rogers Communications, in a statement. "Our new modem supports our customers' needs as everything moves online and takes Wi-Fi to the next level to deliver our fastest, furthest reaching, and most consistent in-home internet experience."
The rollout serves as vindication for Hitron, which has focused heavily on strategies centered on 24x8 products based on the Intel/MaxLinear combo. Hitron’s CGN3 received certification from Cablelabs earlier this year. Rogers is the first announced customer for Hitron’s 24x8 portfolio. Other MSOs that buy gear from Hitron include Suddenlink Communications, ONO of Spain, and ZON of Portugal.
A 24-channel D3 entry from Netgear passed the CableLabs test late last year.
Broadcom, meanwhile, has developed a gateway silicon that tacks on a DOCSIS 3.0 chip that can bond up to 32 channels – enough for 1.2 Gbps downstream bursts using North American DOCSIS channel spacing, and up to 1.6 Gbps in EuroDOCSIS settings that use 8MHz-wide channels.