Juniper Networks will tackle the small- to mid-sized MSO sector with a new "pizza box" cable modem termination system (CMTS) dubbed the "G1."

The G1 complements Juniper's DOCSIS 1.1-qualified G10 model, a full-chassis, "carrier-class" CMTS. Both models house Juniper's home-grown silicon, the "Broadband Cable Processor." Juniper jumped into the CMTS game headlong back in Nov. 2001 when it acquired start-up Pacific Broadband Communications in a stock deal valued at $200 million.

The G1 marks the latest compact "next-generation" CMTS to enter the ultra-competitive cable access technology sector. Vendors such as Arris, Motorola Broadband, ADC Telecommunications, Terayon Communication Systems and Cisco Systems have also introduced compact models based on the DOCSIS 1.1 specification.

Juniper, instead of coming out with a "me, too" compact CMTS, is offering a product that takes care of particular cable operators concerns, said company Product Marketing Manager Chris Bridge. Specifically, the G1 addresses the needs of smaller operators that a space crunch on the network and/or networks with high noise impairment conditions, an area that typically is covered by proprietary equipment.

Even in those cases, some smaller operators can't afford the upgrade to DOCSIS or, because of noisy plant, can execute the upgrade, but at minimal upstream bandwidth levels. The G1 can operate QPSK at 10 dB or 16 QAM at 21 dB — noise levels much lower than some existing equipment, Bridge added.

Because the G1 supports two downstream, the box can support a theoretical maximum of 4,096 cable modems, Bridge said. When the box's 8 upstream channels are factored in, the box supports a symmetrical 80 Mbps up and down.

Bridge said there is particular eagerness for the G1 in Asia, a region populated by a large number of individual operators that run rather noisy cable networks.

Bridge said the G1 is in beta field trials today with undisclosed MSOs in Asia, Europe and North America, and will be shipping for revenue in mid-October. Under an existing deal, Scientific-Atlanta Inc. serves as Juniper's exclusive reseller of CMTS chassis and line-card in North America and as its non-exclusive international reseller.

Juniper submitted the G1 for DOCSIS 1.1 qualification in certification wave 23, which was completed on Sept. 20. Bridge said Juniper is waiting for final comments from CableLabs. The vendor also expects to submit its new compact CMTS for testing in the next EuroDOCSIS certification wave.

In a separate announcement, Juniper said Taiwan-based Yaw Jenq Technology Corp. inked a deal to deploy the vendor's G-series CMTSs and ERX Edge Routers as part of an effort to build a multiple ISP cable network. Financial terms were not disclosed.