DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem enables mobile backhaul over a DOCSIS network

Feb. 1, 2021
Hitron's ODIN1112 DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem enables cable operators to enter the lucrative mobile market with small cell deployments for LTE and 5G.

DOCSIS customer premise equipment (CPE) manufacturer Hitron Technologies (Centennial, CO) has announced the launch of its ODIN1112, billed as "the world’s first DOCSIS 3.1 modem to support DOCSIS Time Protocol (DTP)." By pairing the Hitron modem with a small cell gateway, cable operators can leverage their existing real estate of DOCSIS networks to offer wireless services.

As noted by Hitron, 5G networks require small cells that are closer to end users than traditional macrocell cellular networks. Since the hybrid-fiber coax (HFC) plant already reaches 93% of U.S. households, it offers the extensive reach needed to provide the wired backhaul for the mobile small cells for LTE and 5G networks.

Reusing the existing HFC plant for wireless backhaul dramatically lowers capex and opex costs, as well as time to market, compared with building a new fiber plant, contends Hitron. With a classic mobile radio install, a cell site has to be leased, power has to be installed, and the fiber backhaul has to be installed. By contrast, when deploying on an HFC plant, both the HFC plant and home are already powered and have access to high-speed DOCSIS networks.

As observed by the company, the challenge with using DOCSIS technology as a backhaul is how to provide the precision synchronization and timing needed for 5G and LTE, without putting an expensive GPS receiver in each small cell. DOCSIS Time Protocol (DTP) solves this challenge, enabling the passing of network timing over DOCSIS 3.1 networks to provide precise frequency and time to devices connected to a DOCSIS modem. DTP was first introduced in CableLabs’ DOCSIS 3.1 MULTI specification and later refined with the CableLabs’ Synchronization Techniques for DOCSIS Technology Specification, but has not been deployed yet.

Hitron says its ODIN1112 is the first DOCSIS 3.1 modem to support DTP. Cable operators can pair the modem with a small cell gateway to roll out lucrative wireless services at a significantly reduced cost. The ODIN1112 delivers speeds up to 2.5 Gbps and is fully temperature hardened and environmentally sealed to work in the harshest outdoor environments.

“Today’s cable operators will be tomorrow’s mobile operators. A collaborative industry effort is focused on finding a way to make the existing HFC plant suitable for LTE/5G small cell deployment, and thus laying the foundation for 5G backhaul. With the launch of ODIN1112, Hitron is bringing us one step closer to this reality,” asserted John Chapman, Cisco Fellow and CTO of Cisco’s Broadband Technologies.

“We are dedicated to helping cable operators capture new opportunities and 5G is certainly one of the biggest opportunities on the horizon,” said Greg Fisher, President at Hitron Technologies Americas. “We have been testing ODIN1112 with CableLabs, Cisco, and a large Tier 1 Cable Service Provider with very positive results thus far. We are very excited about the potential for the cable industry.”

Key product details of the ODIN1112, as summarized by Hitron, include:

• DTP (DOCSIS Time Protocol) for wireless backhaul over DOCSIS
• DOCSIS 1.1/2.0/3.0/3.1 and EuroDOCSIS compliant
• DOCSIS 3.1 2x2 OFDM/OFDMA
• DOCSIS 3.0 32x8 channel bonding
• Switchable 5-42/5-85 MHz
• Supports 1588v2 and SyncE
• High bandwidth, environmental hardened cable modem
• PoE provides power, along with data, over CAT-6 cabling to connected devices
• Extensive operator control via configuration file and SNMP

Learn more at https://hitron-americas.com.

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