BigBand Networks said on Wednesday that multiple European cable operators—including Multikabel in the Netherlands and Austria’s LiWest Kabelmedien GmbH—are evaluating the BigBand modular cable modem termination system (M-CMTS). BigBand has provided its M-CMTS platform to operators in North America, Europe and Asia as part of an early access program (EAP) designed to speed the availability of M-CMTS benefits such as quadrupled downstream delivery capacity and convergence of video, data and voice traffic. “We’re seeing substantial increases in the amount of bandwidth that subscribers are consuming and want to have the infrastructure in place to offer services that perfectly meet each user’s needs,” said Stefan van Dijk, manager of network technology at Multikabel, in a press release. “We looked at a range of options and the BigBand M-CMTS architecture seems to be the best way to implement DOCSIS 3.0 downstream channel bonding. The BigBand M-CMTS provides us with the ability to increase broadband speeds and use bandwidth more flexibly, all with improved economics.” The M-CMTS and DOCSIS 3.0 specifications, developed by CableLabs and EuroCableLabs, provide various tools to enhance network functionality, including significantly increasing capacity for IP-based traffic. This expansion in performance is needed in response to the emergence of online video, peer-to-peer applications, multi-player gaming, VoIP, commercial services and other IP-based advances. Unlike traditional CMTS platforms that integrate capabilities on one chassis, a modular CMTS separates functionality onto two platforms.
One of these platforms, the BigBand Cuda12000 CMTS, performs DOCSIS protocol processing on IP packets destined for subscribers. The second platform, the BigBand BEQ6000, delivers these packets to subscribers using RF quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) signaling. Disaggregation of CMTS functionality is designed to open the door to more economical realization of higher broadband speeds and increasing bandwidth flexibility. BigBand Networks expects that its M-CMTS EAP will help speed up implementation of the DOCSIS 3.0 specification worldwide by allowing cable operators to gain hands-on experience with downstream channel bonding and prepare requisite operations and billing support systems.

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