CableLabs charts a year of 10G milestones

Jan. 6, 2021
From the launch of DOCSIS 4.0 technology to the first 10G field trials, CableLabs continues to deliver new innovations in broadband connectivity.

CableLabs this week released a statement marking the significant advancements made by the company in 2020 toward the realization of 10G broadband connectivity, including its Intelligent Wireless Network Steering (IWiNS) protocol, the launch of DOCSIS 4.0 technology and additional innovations.

“Technologies need to quickly progress to meet cable customers’ ever-evolving needs in the years ahead,” comments Phil McKinney, CableLabs president and CEO. “At CableLabs, we’ve spent several years collaborating and coordinating with industry leaders to create and introduce technologies that bring us closer to the promise of a 10G network — and we are excited about the emerging technologies it will enable and the progress we have made so far.”

Since 10G technology was introduced in 2019, CableLabs notes that the company and its members have worked together to create and introduce technologies that serve as building blocks for the foundation of a 10G network. In 2020 alone, CableLabs recounts how it reached numerous milestones on the path to 10G adoption, including the following achievements:

  • DOCSIS 4.0 Technology CableLabs’ DOCSIS 4.0 technology supports up to 10 Gbps downstream capacity and up to 6 Gbps upstream capacity, allowing for widespread multigigabit symmetric services over HFC networks. DOCSIS 4.0 technology also supports stronger network security through enhanced authentication and encryption capabilities and enhanced reliability with proactive network maintenance (PNM) improvements.
  • Intelligent Wireless Network Steering (IWiNS) — A technology built by CableLabs to enable adaptive traffic steering and seamlessly transition among different wireless networks (LTE, Wi-Fi, CBRS, etc.), IWiNS delivers a more reliable and real-time optimized user experience tailored to the application’s specific performance requirements.
  • FMA Spec Release — In September, CableLabs released the Flexible MAC Architecture (FMA) library of specifications, along with the FMA MAC Manager Interface (MMI) and the FMA PacketCable Aggregator Interface (PAI) specs. As a part of the suite of technologies that support the 10G platform, FMA is a key disaggregated access network architecture that supports DOCSIS 4.0 requirements to achieve downstream speeds up to 10 Gbps and upstream speeds up to 6 Gbps.
  • 25G/50G-EPON — In June, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.3ca Task Force, chaired by CableLabs vice president of Wired Technologies, Dr. Curtis Knittle, approved the IEEE 802.3ca standard. The standard allows for symmetric or asymmetric operation with downstream speeds of 25 Gbps or 50 Gbps and upstream speeds of 10 Gbps, 25 Gbps or 50 Gbps, making it more than capable of meeting the 10 Gbps symmetric service tier goals set forth in the 10G platform.
  • Increasing Wi-Fi performance— Over the past year, CableLabs has also driven advances in Wi-Fi to provide increased throughput, reliability and security. With significant support from CableLabs and the cable industry, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) opened 1,200 MHz in the 6GHz band to Wi-Fi and other unlicensed uses — this is the single most significant unlicensed spectrum order in decades. Beyond additional spectrum, CableLabs has driven substantial advances in the Wi-Fi Alliance’s specifications, including Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Vantage (increasing reliability and performance), Wi-Fi EasyMesh (extending coverage) and Wi-Fi Easy Connect (increasing the security of device onboarding).
  • Launch of the fastest broadband service in Norway — By upgrading its network to CableLabs’ DOCSIS 3.1 technology in May, Telia Norway now delivers service speeds as much as 1.25 Gbps download speed and either 500 Mbps or 50 Mbps upload speed, depending on the package they choose.
  • Field-testing the 10G platform for the first time — CableLabs teamed with Mediacom Communications, NCTA and a group of industry and tech partners to field-test the industry’s 10G platform at Mediacom’s "10G Smart Home" in Ames, Iowa.
  • Comcast delivers symmetrical 1.25 Gbps upload and download speeds — In October, Comcast announced the achievement of a 10G technical milestone in a trial delivering 1.25 Gbps upload and download speeds over a live production network using network function virtualization (NFV) combined with the latest DOCSIS technology.

“10G will truly transform the way we live, work, learn and play by delivering internet speeds 100 times faster than what most consumers currently experience,” concludes CableLabs' McKinney. “By providing faster symmetrical speeds, lower latencies, enhanced reliability and better security in a scalable manner, the suite of technologies that enable the 10G platform will allow for seamless connections anytime, anywhere on any device, advancing a myriad of new immersive digital experiences.” 

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