CableLabs 'duplex' project aims to deliver symmetrical gigabit speeds via DOCSIS 3.1

CableLabs presented at its 2016 Winter Conference in Orlando, Fla. last week a new technology designed to make upstream speeds symmetrical with downstream speeds in DOCSIS 3.1 networks, without adding fiber.

Under current DOCSIS 3.1 configurations, downstream speeds max out at around 10 Gbps, while upstream speeds are capped at 1 Gbps. 

Dan Rice, senior VP of R&D for CableLabs, and his colleague, Belal Hamzeh, VP of wireless R&D, shared their plan for a "Full Duplex network" in a company blog post.

"Existing technologies mostly use either Frequency Division Duplexing (FDD) or Time Division Duplexing (TDD)," the engineers said. "In FDD, upstream and downstream (or uplink and downlink in the terms of the wireless world) traffic operate separately in dedicated parts of the spectrum. In current DOCSIS network deployments, the lower part of the spectrum is dedicated for upstream traffic and the upper part of the spectrum is dedicated for downstream traffic. 

"In TDD, the upstream and downstream traffic share the same spectrum, but take turns in using the spectrum, similar to how Wi-Fi, or DSL, operate," they added. "In Full Duplex communication, the upstream and downstream traffic use the same spectrum at the same time, doubling the efficiency of spectrum use. A DOCSIS 3.1 Full Duplex network provides the peak speeds and flexibility of TDD solutions, but one-ups both TDD and FDD with double the capacity."

For more:
- read this CableLabs blog post
- read this Broadband TV News story
- read this Multichannel News story

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