Nokia claim 10Gbps symmetical speeds over HFC

Nokia Bell Labs has claimed a “significant breakthrough” in the effort to meet surging data demand by demonstrating 10Gbps symmetrical data speeds over traditional cable access networks.

The firm states that its lab test delivered 10Gbps download and upload speeds over traditional Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) cable systems. Using a prototype technology called XG-CABLE, the test demonstrates how existing cable systems can be used, aiding operators to deliver enhanced symmetrical ultra-broadband access services to residential and business subscribers seeking greater upload speeds.

"The XG-CABLE proof of concept is a great example of our ongoing effort and commitment to provide the cable industry with the latest innovations and technology needed to effectively address the growing demand for gigabit services,” said Federico Guillén, president of fixed networks at Nokia.

“The proof of concept demonstrates that providing 10Gbps symmetrical services over HFC networks is a real possibility for operators; it is an important achievement that will define the future capabilities and ultra-broadband services cable providers are able to deliver."

Achieving 'symmetrical' services – where the network can simultaneously support 10Gbps data speeds for both uploading and downloading content – is a major breakthrough for the cable industry, said Nokia.

Nokia Bell Labs started to explore the feasibility of delivering symmetrical service over HFC cable plants in 2014, but now claims it has successfully demonstrated the concept is valid and achievable as the XG-CABLE test used point-to-point cable topologies to deliver 10Gbps symmetric data speeds over coaxial cable using 1.2GHz of spectrum.

By leveraging the XG-CABLE technology, operators can effectively use existing HFC cables over the last 200 meters to provide upstream speeds never before achievable due to the limited spectrum available.  This will enable operators to more effectively bring ultra-broadband services to consumer locations that were not physically or economically viable unless fiber was brought all the way to the residence. XG-CABLE will also provide operators with greater agility in how they use and manage their spectrum.

Commenting on the announcement, Robert Howald, vice president, network architecture at Comcast Cable, said: "While it is still early in the development of full duplex, Nokia's XG Cable proof of concept shows that multi-Gigabit symmetrical speeds over HFC, as targeted in the CableLabs FDX initiative, are achievable.” 

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