European vendors launch GPON, DOCSIS hybrid platform for fiber network extension via existing last mile coax cabling

Feb. 16, 2017
In Europe, Teleste and Iskratel are bringing to market what they bill as "an easy and powerful option for last mile broadband" via a platform combining GPON and DOCSIS technologies.

Teleste Corporation (Finland), an international technology group specializing in broadband video and data communication systems, has announced a proof of concept (PoC) technology in collaboration with Iskratel, a top European provider of info-communications solutions. The companies aim to bring to market a new solution for the delivery of Internet-based broadband services that combines Iskratel's GPON technology with Teleste's DOCSIS-based mini-CMTS [cable modem termination system], called the DAH (DOCSIS Access Hub). The PoC solution enables operators to utilize the existing last mile coax cabling as an extension of their fiber networks.

Olli Leppänen, vice president of distributed access for Teleste, explains, "Teleste recognizes the potential of DOCSIS used together with GPON in providing operators with a way to connect new customers to their high-speed networks. The last mile fiber is typically expensive and time-consuming to build, especially in brownfield areas. Where coax cabling is available, utilizing the hybrid fiber-coax infrastucture provides operators with a means to optimize the costs and time to market when expanding the multi-gigabit networks."

The new technology is billed as a "plug and play way to triple-play services." A joint statement by the companies adds, "Fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) is a target for access infrastructure providers, but there is no one-size-fits-all solution to broadband deployment. The hybrid solution with GPON and DOCSIS technologies creates a highly viable option for meeting the consumer demand for increasingly faster Internet connections and reliable, versatile services. Both GPON and DOCSIS offer roadmaps to support the future development of the two technologies combined." The companies further note that "consumer expectations of triple-play services tend to be extremely high, with cost, convenience and speed among the top criteria for buying services [and that] a major benefit of combining GPON and DOCSIS technologies is that it allows a fast and economical way to deliver fiber-level broadband connections inside buildings with a level of service that equals using fibre all the way."

In the combined technology platform, operators can now utilize the Iskratel SI3000 Lumia as a GPON OLT and Teleste's DAH as a GPON ONU to deploy plug and play triple-play services. According to the companies, one DAH makes it possible to bring the IP network to every apartment in a building using the building's existing coax cabling, and once a DOCSIS cable modem has been connected to the network, the services start running immediately. This significantly reduces the time and cost of deployment and enables gigabit speeds to subscribers. The solution also fits into locations where drawing new cables is not possible, which is often the case in many European historical buildings and city centers. In addition, both GPON and DOCSIS are based on proven, widely utilized standards-based technologies, creating a reliable and future-proof way to network upgrades for operators. DOCSIS is a widely deployed broadband technology globally, notes the companies. It already delivers fiber-level speeds today and offers a clear roadmap towards symmetrical 10 Gbps services.

Jernej Roblek, director of customer solution management at Iskratel, concludes, "At Iskratel, we have always been committed to providing smooth migration from the existing to the most up-to-date FTTH networks. We are pleased that with Teleste's DOCSIS products, we are able to offer the operators a combined fiber-coax solution that represents a safe step on their sustainable journey to a fiber-based future. However, this is just the first technological step. In the future, the combinations of NGPON and new DOCSIS technologies will continue to play an important role on the path towards pure-fiber networks."

The joint technology platform will be on display at the 2017 FTTH Conference (Feb. 14-16) in Marseille, France.

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