Nokia to buy Gainspeed to expand offerings for cable operators

Nokia says it has agreed to acquire Gainspeed, a privately held US-based startup that offers a line of virtualized Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP) products that include support for Distributed Access Architecture (DAA). Cable operators are deploying both CCAP and DAA technology to modernize their networks for digital services distribution and capacity increases.

Nokia says it has agreed to acquire Gainspeed, a privately held US-based startup that offers a line of virtualized Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP) products that include support for Distributed Access Architecture (DAA). Cable operators are deploying both CCAP and DAA technology to modernize their networks for digital services distribution and capacity increases.

Nokia did not disclose terms of the deal, which the company expects to close in the third quarter of this year.

Cable operators have begun deployments of CCAP technology to streamline their networks and pave the way to an IP-centric infrastructure while expanding capacity (see "Paving the path to IP with CCAP"). A DAA approach sees operators distribute RF functions out of the headend to nodes closer to subscribers. This strategy also increases potential capacity to each customer.

By virtualizing CCAP, Gainspeed enables a DAA deployment by using software to distribute virtualized headend functions to Ethernet fiber nodes at the network's edge with control resident in a cable operator's data center.

The acquisition would significantly expand Nokia's offerings to cable operators, which currently include 10G EPON systems with DOCSIS Provisioning of EPON (DPoE) capabilities (see "Alcatel-Lucent FX-12 addresses 10G EPON interest"). Gainspeed's virtual CCAP technology also would enhance Nokia's software-defined networking and network functions virtualization (SDN/NFV) story.

The Gainspeed approach appears to have gained traction among potential customers.

"Gainspeed has been a leader in the broad industry shift toward Distributed Access Architectures to handle increased bandwidth demands and support of the network transformation to all IP. We are well down the path testing and preparing for deployment of Gainspeed's Virtual CCAP solution and have been using Nokia access products for years. We are excited to see these technology leaders coming together, and view their solutions as a key strategic component in our network evolution and delivery of gigabit services," said Cash Hagen, CTO at WOW! Internet, Cable & Phone, via a Gainspeed press release announcing the impending transaction.

"We are very excited to have Gainspeed, the technology leader in its field, joining us," said Federico Guillen, president of Nokia's Fixed Networks business group, where the new assets will reside. "Cable is one of the fastest growing areas in our fixed networks business, and we are committed to delivering a complete solution set to cable operators. Gainspeed's Virtual CCAP perfectly complements our leading fiber access solutions for cable MSOs."

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