CableLabs announced today that the first cable modems were awarded DOCSIS 3.0 certification status in a recently concluded test wave by CableLabs.
Ambit, Arris, Cisco, Motorola and SMC received the certification status for their cable modems in CableLabs’ Wave 58. Motorola received certification for two of its modems.
None of the cable modem vendors made it through a previous cert wave at the end of last year, but cable operators – including Videotron and Comcast in North America – have used three-channel modems with DOCSIS 2.0 silicon to jumpstart the channel bonding, or wideband, speeds that DOSCSIS 3.0 features.
DOCSIS 3.0 can achieve downstream broadband speeds of up to 160 Mbps by bonding 6 MHz – or in the case of Europe and some parts of Asia and Latin America, 8 MHz – channels together. DOCSIS upstream channel bonding, which will be deployed after downstream channel bonding, can provide up to 120 Mbps of shared throughput for cable operators.
While the new DOCSIS-3.0 certified modems will cost more, cable operators can now start phasing them in to their inventories. Cable operators could offer a premium broadband tier as one method of getting the more expensive boxes into customers’ homes.
Large cable operators such as Comcast and Time Warner Cable are expected to rollout the faster DOCSIS 3.0 channel-bonded services in areas where they’re competing head-to-head with Verizon’s FiOS service.
“We have now achieved successful certification testing for a system of very high-speed cable data products,” said Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts, who also serves as chairman of CableLabs’ board of directors. “This is a great accomplishment, ensuring that cable customers will continue to have access to the fastest Internet service available, along with access to more advanced service offerings.”
On the cable modem termination system (CMTS) side, CableLabs awarded “full” qualification status to Casa Systems for two of its CMTSs, which marked the first time that a CMTS vendor received full compliance for DOCSIS 3.0 headend gear. In CableLabs’ tiered system, Motorola received bronze qualification for its CMTS.
In the previous certification wave announced in December, CableLabs awarded bronze certification, which covers downstream channel bonding and IPv6, to Arris and Cisco, while Casa Systems garnered silver in the tiered testing system.
The headends were tested under a tiered program that was created as a way to encourage CMTS makers to submit gear for testing earlier than they otherwise might have.
“Congratulations to the successful vendors and to the CableLabs staff who have worked so hard to help our industry bring the goals and objectives of the DOCSIS 3.0 project to fruition,” said CableLabs president and CEO Dr. Richard Green. “This is a great success for our industry and demonstrates how adopting a flexible program can speed solutions to our industry.”
The DOCSIS 3.0 specification was released in August 2006, when CableLabs outlined the methodology for downstream and upstream channel bonding, along with other features such as IPv6, IP multicasting and AES encryption.
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