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Cox, Motorola lay claim to new return path speed record

Tue, 03/01/2011 - 7:50am
Mike Robuck

Motorola announced this morning that it had set a new world record for return path data transmission by using new technology and Cox Communications' Las Vegas system.

Using a Motorola DOCSIS 3.0 RX48 return path receiver module operating within a Motorola BSR 64000 cable modem termination system (CMTS) edge router, the record of 356 Mbps for a 5-85 MHz return path was set by transmitting across 12 return path channels, of which six channels employed 256 QAM modulation. Motorola said typical HFC networks today have two or three upstream channels delivering an aggregate of 40-70 Mbps.

At a cable industry event this week, Motorola and Cox demonstrated a new record of 400 Mbps on a 5-85 MHz return path.

"The RX48 and these tests demonstrate that Cox's HFC networks are much more future-proof than many have believed," said Jay Rolls, senior vice president of technology at Cox Communications. "We also increasingly need to be able to segment our business and residential customers, visibility into which is provided by the 5-85 MHz return spectrum utilizing 256 QAM. Our networks have the capability to support much higher data speeds than today without the need to replace any of the amplifiers, taps or cables."

In addition to establishing the world record at 5-85 MHz, a maximum transmission rate of 141 Mbps was also achieved over a 5-42 MHz return path using six return path channels. Three of these channels were able to operate using 256 QAM modulation, as opposed to 64 QAM maximum in use today, which is also believed to be a record.  

Motorola said that for the first time, cable operators could use the 5-42 return path to provide 100 Mbps dedicated to business customers, while at the same time providing residential customers with the return path bandwidth necessary to meet their growing needs.

All of the tests were conducted across Cox's Las Vegas hybrid fiber-coax (HFC) network using multiple DOCSIS 3.0 and DOCSIS 2.0 modems. The tests fed a three-amplifier cascade, followed by an HFC optical link consisting of a standard Motorola DFB return path laser transmitting more than 7 dB of fiber to the optical receiver. The output of this receiver was linked to the RX48 card in the BSR 64000. Measurements were made in accordance with standard cable industry practices.

"We are very pleased to show the results of Motorola Mobility's investment in DOCSIS 3.0 innovation," said Joe Cozzolino, senior vice president and general manager of network infrastructure at Motorola Mobility. "The RX48 has clearly demonstrated that we are moving once again to a position of CMTS leadership. We are grateful to Cox for jointly working with us to demonstrate the continued great future of HFC networks and proving our belief in this breakthrough technology."

According to a recent report, Motorola trailed Cisco and Arris, respectively, in worldwide CMTS sales last year.

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