Arris and Cisco are pursuing a common wavelength management plan in the C-band (1550 nm), hoping that together they can head off potential problems as operators start migrating to multi-wavelength delivery using that band.

Different companies have proposed multiple wavelength management plans. The problem is that some of these are “not unconditionally stable,” in the estimation of Cisco and Arris.

Spirent Tech-X FlexEngineers from both companies – both of which have commercial systems available – are laying out the problem in a paper titled "When wavelengths collide, chaos ensues: Engineering stable and robust full-spectrum, multi-wavelength HFC networks," presented here at Expo.

Some unstable plans might not manifest problems until later in the life of the deployment. “What makes the problem worse is that changes in wavelength plan post-deployment would require a change in the deployed optical passives at the headend and in the field, which can have a dramatic effect on the lifetime product and maintenance cost of systems,” the jointly written paper reads.

So it’s important to agree to a plan before widespread deployment that will provide cable operators with a stable and robust International Telecommunication Union (ITU)-based, full-spectrum DWDM multi-wavelength optical solution, the companies said.

"It is encouraging to see two industry-leading technology companies collaborate in a way that will ultimately benefit service providers," said Steve Condra, director of architectures for Cisco's Cable Access Business Unit.

Both companies are indicating that their respective full-spectrum, multi-wavelength solutions are fully productized.

Separately, Arris is expanding its portfolio of test equipment with the introduction of Spirent's Tech-X Flex home analyzer, a handheld, MoCA-certified tester for cable service providers deploying whole-home solutions.

The agreement is a result of the execution of a Gold Level Distribution Contract between Arris and Spirent under a Strategic Partnership Program (SPP).

"Arris has a unique solution mix that enables the latest in-home networking and IP-based technologies to deliver whole-home entertainment solutions," stated John Cunningham, vice president of service assurance at Spirent. "With testing for MoCA, cable TV, DOCSIS 3.0, IPTV, Wi-Fi and high-speed data services in a single product, Spirent's Tech-X Flex complements their approach to deliver a total solution to service providers."