As cable operators test DOCSIS 3.0-enabled technology this year with an eye toward ’09 deployments, Motorola is advocating an "evolutionary approach," said Kevin Keefe, Motorola vp, access networks solutions. Vendor competition to provide DOCSIS 3.0-enabled modems and CMTS equipment is already heating up. So Motorola held a roundtable at SCTE’s Cable-Tec Expo where execs made their best case for the vendor’s approach of easing cable ops into the 3.0 world without forcing them to fully switch out their DOCSIS 2.0 equipment right away. "We’ve got to be the first to market," said Tom Dunleavy, Motorola senior dir, broadband solutions group, adding that Moto has already shipped 20K DOCSIS-3.0 modems and wants eventually to power entire home networks based on the spec. Meanwhile, Motorola showcased customer J:COM, whose Japanese cable systems were the first to commercially deploy DOCSIS 3.0-based services. J:COM’s Mitsuo Yoshida said 25% of new broadband subs are choosing its fastest 160Mbps service over slower packages. It’s unclear whether US ops would approach those take rates, considering that J:COM has priced its top tier at $60 per month vs only slightly less ($55 per month) for its lower tier. That’s quite a contrast to the US where ops plan to charge a significant premium for "wideband" speeds. Keefe said US pricing "will drive a lot of behavior" when it comes to DOCSIS 3.0/wideband services.

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