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Numericable, the largest cable operator in France, has tapped tech from Cisco Systems Corp. and Scientific Atlanta to power a cable modem service that will push speeds up to 100 Mbps using "wideband" channel bonding, a key feature of the DOCSIS 3.0 specifications.

The introduction of channel bonding is tied to Numericable's overall network upgrade to Cisco's "IP Next-Generation Network" (IP NGN) architecture, the companies said.

Numericable plans to offer channel bonded, or wideband cable modem services, to more than 9 million homes by the end of 2007.

In this initial pre-DOCSIS 3.0 implementation (no equipment has been certified or qualified for DOCSIS 3.0 yet), the operator is deploying Cisco's uBR10012 cable modem termination system, and Scientific Atlanta's xDQA24 edge QAMs and EPC2505 Wideband cable modems.

The speed produced from the combo "gives us a significant advantage in what is now the most competitive triple-play market in Europe," said Numericable CEO Philippe Besnier, in a release.

Numericable, which also has properties in Belgium and Luxembourg, was created through the acquisition and consolidation of several operators, including Est Videocommunication, France Telecom Cable, TDF Cable, NC Numericable, UPC and Noos.

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