WideOpenWest announced that it has begun to deploy a new virtualized Distributed Access platform from Nokia as it looks to mine more capacity from its HFC network in certain scenarios.
WOW isn’t going for a wholesale move…at least not yet. Early on, WOW has identified some legacy brownfield markets (in Chicago and Cleveland, Ohio, according to Light Reading) where it will use Nokia’s Unified Cable Access platform (including the Gainspeed Controller and Gainspeed SC-2D Access Node and Gainspeed Video Engine) to help it pack on more capacity.
“We have a couple of markets where we’re launching [Nokia] in locations where we are at exhaust on particular nodes and particular CMTSs [cable modem termination systems,” Cash Hagen, WOW’s chief operations officer, said. “The initial deployment allows us to go in and get immediate relief for those…Ultimately, the goal is to get to a point where this proves itself out and potentially could be [used] on a go-forward basis.”
WOW has been rolling out 1-Gig service on HFC using DOCSIS 3.1 and Arris E6000 CCAP chassis.
Hagen stressed that the work with Nokia isn’t a test or a trial, as WOW has had the company’s equipment (initially from Gainspeed, a startup acquired by Nokia last year) on its network for about two and a half years.
“It’s been through the paces…and we’re ready to go,” he said, adding that WOW plans to identify more brownfields to deploy Nokia’s solution next year, as well as some greenfield opportunities.
Though WOW’s DAA-focused work centers on fidelity and capacity gains as utilization of the DOCSIS network continues to rise and as the operator continues to split nodes and shrink down the size of individual service group, Hagen said a secondary benefit will be the relief it gives for power and space requirements at the headend.
Nokia’s new platform can run in Remote PHY or Remote MAC/PHY mode, as functionality has been reduced to a software element. Hagen said WOW is in the Remote MAC/PHY camp.