DOCSIS 3.0 CMTSs and Cable Modems Achieve 'Firsts'

Friday, May 9th, 2008 
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Six Modems Certified and Three CMTSs Qualified

LOUISVILLE, Colorado — Modems and headend gear for DOCSIS 3.0, from multiple supplying companies, were found during a recently concluded test wave to comply with CableLabs specifications. The DOCSIS 3.0 specifications enable downstream data rates of 160 Mbps or higher and upstream data rates of 120 Mbps or higher.

CableLabs® has awarded certification status for Data over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS®) 3.0 cable modems to Ambit, Arris, Cisco, Motorola for two modems; and SMC. This represents the first certification of DOCSIS 3.0 cable modems. CableLabs also awarded “full” qualification status for Cable Modem Termination Systems (CMTS) to Casa Systems for two devices. This is the first qualification of a DOCSIS 3.0 CMTS representing “full” or complete compliance with all requirements of the DOCSIS 3.0 specification for headends. Motorola received bronze qualification for its CMTS.

“We have now achieved successful certification testing for a system of very high-speed cable data products,” said Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast Corp., and Chairman of the CableLabs Board of Directors. “This is a great accomplishment, ensuring that cable customers will continue to have access to the fastest Internet service available, along with access to more advanced service offerings,” he added.

“Congratulations to the successful vendors and to the CableLabs staff who have worked so hard to help our industry bring the goals and objectives of the DOCSIS 3.0 project to fruition,” said CableLabs President and CEO Dr. Richard R. Green. “This is a great success for our industry and demonstrates how adopting a flexible program can speed solutions to our industry.”

DOCSIS 3.0 achieves the higher data rates through channel bonding in both the upstream and downstream directions. In addition, DOCSIS 3.0 is backward compatible with all existing DOCSIS products. Another key element of DOCSIS 3.0 is Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6). IPv6 also will allow cable operators to effectively manage the proliferation of devices that are capturing consumer interest, including portable media players, cellular phones, gaming consoles, PDAs and others.

The headends were tested under a tiered program that was created as a way to encourage CMTS makers to submit gear for testing earlier than they otherwise might have done. CableLabs also offered suppliers numerous informal interoperability events where vendors worked together in CableLabs’ facilities to test and evaluate their implementations of the specifications.

The three-tiered program for CMTS qualification–bronze, silver and full–progressively scales compliance with some of the more long term DOCSIS 3.0 CMTS requirements. DOCSIS 3.0 modem testing allows only one level of certification that evaluates compliance with the complete DOCSIS modem specification.