According to a recent study by optical transport vendor Aurora Networks, digital return path technologies will surpass analog by 2014 as cable operators’ preferred choice to meet the increase in upstream demands.
Due to the demand for faster data rates, as well as better quality and performance, digital return is already being embraced today by cable operators, but Aurora Networks, which released its fourth-generation Universal Digital Return Platform last summer, said it is also future-proof.
Cable operators that are already deploying it have been able to take advantage of the features of DOCSIS 3.0 technology with no further upstream network investment. Implementation of upstream channel bonding can be achieved quickly and easily to address subscriber demand for higher upstream speeds.
This is not necessarily true in cable networks that have extensively deployed analog return solutions, according to Aurora Networks. Even with analog solutions that do meet today’s upstream requirements, there will be challenges to meet future needs, such as expansion from 42 MHz to 85 MHz with 1024-QAM loading while achieving the required distances.
“Digital return was developed to be the highest-performance, most cost-effective upstream solution for operators, addressing the shortcomings of analog return transmission and providing a future-proof solution,” said John Dahlquist, vice president of marketing at Aurora Networks. “Digital return brings performance and operational savings, as well as a scalable, fiber-efficient solution. It’s gratifying to see that digital return technology, the only upstream solution ever embraced by Aurora, is fast becoming the predominant upstream technology.”