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Voice Falloff Leads Revenue Down at Sweden's Com Hem
Friday, 29 November 2013 12:38

Wireless substitution cutting fixed voice subscribers. Cablecos, like telcos, inevitably will lose voice customers, probably soon at rate between 5% and 10% per year. Com Hem, which covers 39% of Sweden, had 359K voice lines a year ago. That fell to 347K the next quarter, 339K the following Q, 333K and now 330K, down 8%. Revenue also fell, from 1,133M krona to 1,104M krona. TV subscribers fell 1% while broadband grew 1%.

400 Megabit Cable Boxes Shipping
Tuesday, 21 May 2013 17:15

Liberty Global delivering 10's of thousands of Horizon boxes. Intel's latest cable modem chip bonds eight channels for 400 megabits shared downstream.

960-1200 Megabit Cable Modems Ready to Go
Friday, 30 August 2013 13:22

Could but won't be offered for $5/month more than today's cable. Rogers Cable in Canada is deploying Hitron/Intel 24 channel modems that reach a (shared) speed of around a gigabit. By this time next year, some cable companies will be offering 600+ megabit down service. (Update 8/31 Com Hem in Sweden is already offering 500/50 using 16 channels bonded. Jeff Baumgartner reports the price is SEK 899 (US$138.03) http://bit.ly/15ggRid.)

How it Works: Gigabit Cable Coming in 2013-2014. Downstream only.
Thursday, 09 May 2013 00:04

Standard cable coax systems have a total capacity of 4.7 gigabits when used just for data. Most of the bandwidth today is used for TV. As the TV side goes all digital, data can claim more of the pipe.

First generation cable modems shared a single 6 MHz or 8 MHz channel for a maximum speed of 35-50 megabits, shared.

DOCSIS 3 initially bonded 4 channels for 150-200 megabits downstream. The systems now coming out of the labs bond 25 channels for a shared gigabit. The typical cable system has 132 6 MHz channels, but carrying 100 HD TV channels and the remaining analog TV takes up many of those. Upstream is typically limited and offered to customers as no more than 5-6 megabits. Higher upstream speeds are practical, but would require more changes to the system and are very rarely implemented.

  Intel began sampling gigabit chips in 2012 and Arris has shown working gear at trade shows.  Kabel Deutschland CTO Glanz  is optimistic he’ll begin serving customers by the end of 2013.

  DOCSIS 3.1 is expected to be 1 gigabit (shared) upstream and 10 gigabits downstream, according to John Chapman, Cisco’s chief cable architect and a member of the committee. Manufacturers are targeting 2015 but were two years late with DOCSIS 3.0. It uses more efficient OFDM coding and I believe will use higher frequencies as well. Most systems will require (modest) upgrades to CMTS, amplifiers and other gear. The cost should be moderate (? < $200 most places) but real.

Politics Limiting China to 5M Cable Modems
Saturday, 17 August 2013 14:04

Despite a Politburo decision two years ago to increase competition, the Chinese telcos are succeeding in keeping the cablecos out of major markets. As broadband lines approach 200M, only 5M are cable. Jeff Heynen of Infonetics, an analyst I respect, writes, "After last year's turnover among Communist Party leadership, as well as in key positions within SARFT, the emphasis on China's NGB (next-generation broadband) network project has been called into question." 

   The new MIIT plan sets national goals of 270M connections in 2015 and all rural areas served by 2020, but little about encouraging cable to provide competition.

Gigabit Cable Modems Coming to Market at SCTE
Tuesday, 16 October 2012 20:17

Hitron’s ready for CableLabs Certification. By this time next year, some cable companies will be offering 600 megabit-1 gigabit (shared) downloads. ARRIS and Hitron both showed 16-24 channel modems at SCTE, promising samples in a few months and volume production sometime next year. Both use the Intel Puma 6 chip and 3x3 MIMO for WiFi performance. Intel offers a reference design they all but promise will pass CableLabs, so numerous vendors should be on the market soon. In early days, the price will likely be high but that shouldn't last very long.

ARRIS also is ready to upgrade their best-selling C4 CMTS with software and a System Control Module. No word from lead competitor Cisco on when they will match, but they certainly are working hard. The main limit, once the gear is field-proven, will be bandwidth. Most U.S. systems don't have a spare dozen channels. Some Europeans, where they carry fewer TV channels, will be able to jump on early. SK in Korea has announced they will be upgrading as soon as possible; they face tough competition from fiber.

Sharing on cable works remarkably well. I'd estimate actual performance will be better than 500 megabits 95+% of the time. More than 99% of the time users are likely to achieve 200 megabits. If anything, those are low estimates. Speeds may occasionally go down as bandwidth demand increases over time. But the new gear should reliably deliver 100 megabits for the rest of this decade.

More on gigabit cable.  Here's the product sheet from Hitron and the press releases from ARRIS and Intel.

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