When the Chinese government began its Next Generation Broadcast (NGB) initiative to create state-of-the-art networks that converge telecommunication, Internet and television, China’s cable operators were faced with major overhauls to existing systems. To take advantage of this new opportunity, cable operators looked to Broadcom for help.
By extending proven DOCSIS (Data Over Cable Systems Interface Standard) technology with Ethernet over Coax (EoC), Broadcom has created DOCSIS-based EoC as the ideal platform to address China’s unique challenges in launching converged communications.
Marrying DOCSIS and EoC
DOCSIS and EuroDOCSIS are standards pioneered by Broadcom and others, defining two-way operation over a cable network. Although the technology is a staple in the U.S. and Europe, the infrastructure equipment used to deploy DOCSIS in these regions is not optimized for China’s denser populations. Previously, a number of other proprietary and vendor-specific EoC technologies have been widely used in China. These vendor-specific solutions unfortunately do not offer interoperability between equipment vendors, and provide no standardized method of implementing Quality of Service (QoS) for isochronous services such as voice—a key piece of the NGB initiative.
Most of China’s cable subscribers live in multi-tenant buildings – referred to as Multi Dwelling Units or MDUs—with as many as 200 potential subscribers per building or cluster. These buildings are typically served by one of several “final 100 meter” technologies, such as fiber, twisted pair, Ethernet or coax, installed in the buildings’ risers.
Knowing that operators typically have access to the cable in the risers and prefer to use this cable to deliver service, Broadcom has developed a method that leverages existing EPON (Ethernet passive optical network) or GPON (Gigabit Passive Optical Network) Optical Line Terminal (OLT) equipment with DOCSIS to create DOCSIS-based EoC for a cost-effective, high-performance solution. With broadband speeds boosted to 1Gbps, Broadcom’s DOCSIS-based EoC cable architecture supports China’s NGB initiative with more network capacity for faster broadband and the performance required for new and advanced bandwidth-intensive services like TV video conferencing and chatting.
Standards-Based and Proven Performance
A standards-based solution is essential for cable operators, assuring vendor interoperability and lower costs as suppliers make the most of economies of scale. In turn, the DOCSIS management of cable modems is a valuable asset. DOCSIS management allows for a standardized interface for provisioning, network monitoring and administration. This method also provides the powerful, flexible and easy-to-use QoS tools necessary to ensure voice call connectivity during the periods of congestion anticipated in triple-play networks.
Millions of DOCSIS modems have been shipped worldwide over the last 13 years, proving DOCSIS a robust and mature technology for voice, video and IP video services. DOCSIS-based EoC delivers all of the advantages of DOCSIS QoS, including accelerated triple-network convergence deployment, cost-effective network infrastructure and QoS for Chinese homes. With China’s cable operators expected to significantly increase their capital expenditures over the next several years as they rush to upgrade their networks, Broadcom is leading this new opportunity.
Driven by increasing competitive pressure and market evolution toward triple-play services in China, Chinese cable operators have found—in DOCSIS-based EoC – a standards-based solution that provides the higher bandwidth packet transport required for Internet connectivity, video and voice services in China.