As cable operators look ahead to a time when their networks can support advanced services beyond high-speed data, including IP telephony and more advanced wireless networking, one of the main issues they'll face is protecting their investment in the modems they select today in advance of that transition.
Terayon Communication Systems (http://www.terayon.com) is introducing at least one solution to the problem today, with the launch of a line of cable modem extensions—external add-on devices that attach directly to the company's TJ 700-series DOCSIS cable modems. Those extensions enable the modems to support IP telephony, wireless networking and other broadband services that an operator might provide in the future.
The first extension Terayon is introducing is the Vx model, which enables a TJ 700-series modem to function as an embedded multimedia terminal adapter (eMTA). With the extension, the standard DOCSIS modem will be able to support up to two lines of VoIP cable telephony in addition to traditional high-speed Internet access.
By using an add-on, modular approach to customer premises gear, operators can potentially adopt a "pay-as-you-go" approach to new customer services. Instead of requiring an operator to roll out expensive home gateways that support multiple services all in one device, the customer can get a basic DOCSIS modem for high-speed Internet access, and add extensions to that modem to support new services as they become available.