Nokia has debuted a virtualized distributed access architecture (DAA) for cable operators that the company says takes the debate out of choosing between a Remote PHY or Remote MAC/PHY approach.
As cable operators consider leveraging DAA to increase throughput and speed up the delivery of new services they’ve had to decide between R-PHY and R-MAC/PHY. R-PHY moves only the DOCSIS signal generation (PHY) to the access node, while R-MAC/PHY moves both the PHY and the DOCISS processing (MAC) to the access node.
Nokia’s new platform features a cable access node that can run as a R-PHY or R-MAC/PHY device.
The company began work in this area following its 2016 acquisition of California-based startup Gainspeed, which specializes in DAA solutions for the cable industry via its virtual Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP) product line.
Nokia plans to demo the new platform at SCTE’s Cable-Tec Expo in Denver next week.
The solution has a virtualized cable modem termination system (CMTS), which includes the DOCIS MAC as a virtual network function. This enables operators to run the vCMTS anywhere in the network.
Cable operators can switch a Gainspeed cable access node from R-PHY to R-MAC/PHY, or vice a versa, “on the fly,” Nokia says. An access controller simultaneously supports both R-PHY and R-MAC/PHY.
“While running the vCMTS on the node as part of a Remote-MACPHY deployment will garner the most significant savings in cost, space and power, there is no such thing as one size fits all,” Federico Guillén, president of Nokia’s Fixed Networks Business Group, comments in a statement. “Nokia’s enhanced cable solution gives operators the flexibility to choose from a full range of options across both fiber and cable to meet their unique network needs.”
Nokia also announced it’s partnering with WOW! for the first commercial deployment of its vDAA solution to increase the capacity of WOW!’s existing HFC (Hybrid Fiber-Coaxial) network. Nokia says that once fully deployed, the MSO will be able to eliminate the CMTS/CCAP as a physical box and replace its analog optical transmission with 10 Gbps Ethernet.
“Nokia is revolutionizing the cable industry with an innovative new cable solution that gives operators the flexibility to implement a distributed access architecture without being handcuffed to a specific approach,” WOW! COO Cash Hagen says in a statement. “Virtualizing the DAA not only simplifies the network and drives cost savings, it also allows us to accelerate the delivery of new services that ultimately provide a better customer experience.”