IHS survey: Most MSOs say a third of their subs will be passed by DOCSIS 3.1 by April 2017

A majority of cable companies surveyed by research firm IHS say that a third of their residential subscribers will be passed by DOCSIS 3.1-enabled headends by April 2017. Surveying operators around the globe that collectively control 87 percent of cable's global capex, meanwhile, IHS found that 42 percent of MSOs plan to deploy a distributed access architecture by 2017.

"Cable operators are clearly committed to both DOCSIS 3.1 and distributed access architectures to increase bandwidth in their access networks, said Jeff Heynen, research director for broadband access and pay TV at IHS. Heynen also authored his group's latest report, the CCAP, DOCSIS 3.1, and Distributed Access Strategies and Vendor Leadership: Global Cable Operator Survey.

"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," he added.

Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) said last week that it will begin trials of DOCSIS 3.1 in unspecified markets in the fourth quarter of this year. The technology, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said, "will provide significant added capacity and lay the groundwork for future speed increases for our broadband customers."

Roberts called DOCSIS 3.1 "a quantum leap forward," adding, "it doesn't require us to go out and rebuild things, but to continually improve things. We've increased speeds 13 times and we envision doing that, we hope, into the future and remaining in a very, very strong position."

In the new study, which can be downloaded for a subscription fee here, operators say their primary choices for distributed access are R-PHY, R-MACPHY and R-CCAP.

Respondents also indicated that by 2017, nearly half of operators will have return path (upstream) frequencies of 86–100MHz, while a quarter will have 101–200MHz of return path spectrum.

For more:
- read this Infonetics press release

Related articles:
IHS: More service providers are carving out IMS, NFV path
Comcast targets DOCSIS 3.1 market trials for EOY; says nothing about speeds
CableLabs releases new specs for distributed CCAP architectures

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