BigBand Networks announced today the general availability of its newest universal edge QAM, the BEQ6000.

According to BigBand, it’s the first company to deploy universal edge QAMs in both switched digital video (SDV) and modular cable modem termination system (M-CMTS) environments. Last month, Cox Communications said it was using the BEQ6000 for SDV in its Northern Virginia system with the one of the primary goals being to add more HD channels to its lineup. Cox has 246,000 video subscribers in Northern Virginia.

Dutch operator Multikabel has also deployed the BEQ6000 platform for M-CMTS to provide high-speed data and voice-over-IP services while Japanese operators Cable Networks Akita, Hino Cable Television and Bay Communications are using the BEQ6000 to deliver high-speed data services as well.

Jonathan Bass, BigBand’s senior manager of corporate marketing, said the Multikabel deployment has passed 50,000 VoIP and data customers in the Netherlands.

“The initial feedback from Multikabel was they were concerned over VoIP because it’s very sensitive and the customers have high expectations for quality and consistency,” Bass said. “For them to have the confidence in our edge QAM , to scale it like they have, we felt was a real feather in the platform’s cap.”

John Holobinko, BigBand’s vice president and general manager of cable IP, said the BEQ6000, which is the company’s third-generation edge QAM, will allow cable operators to launch new services rapidly, and with improved operational expenses.

According to BigBand, the BEQ6000 achieves QAM modulation with more than twice the signal quality and up to twice the signal level compared to other leading QAM devices on the market today.

“BigBand’s universal edge QAM deployments for SDV and M-CMTS are breakthroughs,” said Gerry Kaufhold, principal analyst for In-Stat. “Versatile QAM platforms, with the ability to support video, data or voice services, are key to keeping costs down and efficiency up as operators ramp up to deliver more bandwidth and new services.”