Aurora is taking on cable’s ‘capacity challenge’

Thu, 02/25/2010 - 7:25am
Traci Patterson

Aurora Networks aims to solve “cable’s looming capacity challenge” as consumer demand increases for what used to be “nice-to-have” services, which are now “must-haves,” company executives told CED.

Especially with the introduction of services like 3-D TV, which will double the capacity now needed for HDTV, cable operators desperately need more bandwidth, noted John Dahlquist, Aurora’s vice president of marketing.

According to company research and estimates, and as shown in the graphic below, for both aerial (A) and underground (U) construction, the company’s Fiber Deep digital return offering is more cost-effective for cable operators in high-density (HD) and medium-density (MD) situations. “Build fiber, maintain coax,” as the company puts it.

As for low-density (LD) areas, the company’s RF over glass solution is more cost-effective for ops for both aerial and underground construction.

Aurora Networks - Let's look at costs...

Aurora foresees the “Death of an Amplifier” – well, the death of all amplifiers – in the next few years as operators move to Fiber Deep architectures and the like. Such architectures, the company said, will reduce active network elements (less components = less power used), eliminate the sweep and balance needed for traditional HFC plant, make the network more robust thanks to the fiber versus coax, and allow for embedded management and control, which reduces mean time to repair (MTTR).

With this new, green architecture, Aurora estimates that operators can reduce operating expenses by about 65 percent. According to the company, an operator with 1 million households passed would save approximately $9 million each year. And the “operator that wins the opex battle will win the war,” Aurora predicts.

Fiber Deep Statistics

Reduction of total active devices


Reduction of total power supplies


Savings in maintenance and power costs

$8.84 per household passed

And forget node splitting: One network for residential and commercial subscribers = “cable’s last land-based frontier,” Aurora told CED.

The future is PON, but for now, Dahlquist said, it’s all about fiber. And the industry will see more upstream channel bonding in the next one-and-a-half to two years – at least the bonding of two channels.

Service Evolution

For more information on the upstream, see “Upstream cable echoes come in 2 flavors” from CED’s February issue, as well as “D3 upstream: What’s the hurry?” from CED’s September issue.

Aurora Networks now passes more than 50 million homes worldwide and boasts 15 consecutive quarters of profitability. And the vendor will continue to push amplifier-free architectures and support cable’s deployment of DOCSIS 3.0 services.

Speaking of DOCSIS 3.0 services, Comcast is on the verge of rolling out faster data speeds based on DOCSIS 3.0 technology across the country.

More Broadband Direct 2/25/10:
•  CED Blog - EBIF: It’s now
•  Emerging technologies, pressing issues dominate NCTC conference
•  Cablevision swings to black on sub growth
•  Comcast's Project Cavalry hits North Fla.; 100 Mbps on tap
•  Search is on by SCTE for newly created position of CTO
•  Virgin Media to launch 100 Mbps service by year's end
•  DirecTV adds parents' reviews to guide 
•  Aurora is taking on cable's 'capacity challenge'
•  Cable TV one of few bright spots in 2009 ad spending
•  FCC: 500 MHz for mobile broadband
•  Change is in the air for wireless ops
•  Blockbuster posts Q4 loss of $435M as woes deepen
•  Broadband Briefs for 02/25/10




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