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Cable Looks to Double Down on DOCSIS Data Channels in 2012

Author: Jeff Walker, Director, CMTS Product Marketing

The days of cable operators dedicating only one channel to DOCSIS data traffic are behind us. In 2011, a typical MSO is using four to six 6MHz channels for subscriber data connections. In 2012, Motorola predicts that range will double, with operators using eight to twelve channels for DOCSIS traffic alone.

The change is a direct result of growing consumer demand for Internet services. Downstream traffic is skyrocketing at a rate of roughly 50 percent a year, thanks in large part to streaming video on the web. Upstream traffic is only growing at a rate of 20 to 30 percent annually, but that could, and probably will change drastically as consumers adopt new video chat features through social networking platforms.

MSOs are raising their numbers of DOCSIS channels to handle both the overall increase in broadband capacity needed, and consumer demands for greater speed. Downstream channel bonding is now in widespread use across the country, and while many operators are only bonding two or three channels at a time today, that number will continue to grow in response to increasing speed requirements. Upstream channel bonding is not far behind.

So what does all of this data traffic mean for cable video? Cable operators are still reallocating spectrum that was formerly used for analog video, but it’s not all going over to DOCSIS delivery. Far from it. MSOs are using roughly eight channels for narrowcast video-on-demand streaming today, and in 2012 we’re seeing indications that operators will use anywhere from eight to 16 channels for VOD. That’s due in part to growing VOD catalogs, and in part to new experiments with network-based DVR delivery. In short, there’s growth happening in every direction, and it’s all fueled by insatiable consumer demand for entertainment and communication across multiple platforms.

4 Responses

  1. […] — in 2012, Moto Mobility Director of Cable Modem Termination System Product Marketing Jeff Walker predicts on the company blog. He says such an increase would address cable's need to boost overall broadband […]

  2. […] CMTS Downstream and Arris Boosts CMTS Downstream Density .) Among that group, Motorola recently predicted that the number of downstream channels cable operators will require for Docsis traffic alone will […]

  3. […] challenges have been met, deployments will happen at whatever rate capital budgets allow. Increasing demand for VOD services and over-the-top video, which increases the requirement for narrowcast channels, will help to drive MSO capital budget […]

  4. […] from traditional data and video infrastructures to the new CCAP model of delivery. Given today’s demand for narrowcast video channels, there is strong incentive for operators to install high-density, chassis-based edge QAMs in select […]

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