One third of cable subscribers to be passed by DOCSIS 3.1 by April 2017

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
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Biggest Trend among Cable Operators: Massive DOCSIS Deployments and a Shift to Remote/Distributed Access

CAMPBELL, California — IHS (NYSE: IHS) conducted in-depth interviews with cable operators across the globe that collectively control 87 percent of the world’s cable capex and found that 42 percent of them plan to deploy a distributed access architecture (DAA) by 2017.

In the study, CCAP, DOCSIS 3.1, and Distributed Access Strategies and Vendor Leadership: Global Cable Operator Survey, respondent operators say their primary choices for distributed access are R-PHY, R-MACPHY and R-CCAP.

“Cable operators are clearly committed to both DOCSIS 3.1 and distributed access architectures to increase bandwidth in their access networks. Though there is no consensus yet on which distributed access technology most will use, there’s no question they will distribute some portion of the DOCSIS layer to their optical nodes,” said Jeff Heynen, research director for broadband access and pay TV at IHS.

Service providers - when do you expect to deploy distributed access architectures (DAA)? - Already deployed, By 2016, By 2017, 2018 or later, No plans


  • The operational benefits cable operators are reaping from moving from CMTS to CCAP are just the first step in a long-term transition to distributing data processing capabilities throughout the network
  • Survey respondents, on average, say that about a third of their residential subscribers will be passed by DOCSIS 3.1-enabled headends by April 2017
  • By 2017, nearly half of respondents will have return path (upstream) frequencies of 86–100MHz, while a quarter will have 101–200MHz of return path spectrum


The 29-page IHS Infonetics study, led by IHS analyst Jeff Heynen, focuses on DOCSIS 3.1, converged cable access platforms (CCAPs) and distributed access architectures, and how and when cable operators will deploy these technologies and architectures to improve their broadband and IP service offerings over the next 2 years. The study includes operator ratings of CCAP and distributed access equipment suppliers (Arris Group, Casa Systems, Cisco Systems, Gainspeed, Harmonic Inc, Huawei and Pace plc/Aurora) on 9 criteria.