When I got into the communications reporting game more than two decade ago, the most exciting thing happening was signaling system 7 (SS7). But things in the communications arena heated up quickly, and a lot of that heat was generated by never before seen competition between the cable TV companies and the telephone companies.
The first real battle in the cableco-telco wars centered on high-speed Internet access. The cablecos and telcos have been working ever since to up their games on this front. In fact, we’ve heard much in the ensuing years about the build out of new fiber networks by both service provider types, as well as about telco efforts to squeeze more and more bandwidth out of their existing copper facilities. However, the cablecos are working to get more out of their networks as well.
Nokia (News - Alert) is one of several vendors who are the suppliers of ammunition to both sides. This is reflected in the news that Nokia Bell Labs has been working on technology that promises to enable 10Gbps symmetrical bandwidth on cableco hybrid fiber/coax network infrastructure. That technology, called XG-CABLE, is now in prototype form. It is positioned to help cablecos more effectively meet bandwidth demand created by the rise of HD video, live video streaming, real-time gaming, and virtual or augmented reality.
"The XG-CABLE proof of concept is a great example of our ongoing effort and commitment to provide the cable industry with the latest innovations and technology needed to effectively address the growing demand for gigabit services,” said Federico Guillén, president of fixed networks at Nokia. “The proof of concept demonstrates that providing 10Gbps symmetrical services over HFC networks is a real possibility for operators; it is an important achievement that will define the future capabilities and ultra-broadband services cable providers are able to deliver."
XG-CABLE uses 1.2GHz of spectrum on the last 200 meters of coaxial cable. And XG-CABLE can be integrated into the CableLabs (News - Alert) Full Duplex DOCSIS 3.1 concept, Nokia said.
“The need for speed,” covers a lot of things regarding the dynamic changes roiling the communications industry. It includes the need to be fast-to-market and fast-in-the-market on the business and services front, and as if not more importantly it is about the rapid deployment of ultra-broadband connections with infrastructure that can scale to meet the traffic consumption needs of a world that is going to have both tens of billions more devices along with increasingly bandwidth-hungry applications and services.
There is an old saying, “build it and they will come!” In the competition between cablecos and telcos it might be more a case of don’t build it and they will not come. 10Gpbs might seem like way too much capacity, but history says by the time it is product realized the demand for it will be realized as well.
Edited by Peter Bernstein