news Nokia has announced that it has achieved 10 Gbps symmetrical data speeds using a traditional hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC) cable system.
Calling the advance a “significant breakthrough” and a “world first”, Nokia said it managed the feat by using a prototype technology callled XG-CABLE that is based on unique access technology and applications developed by its own Bell Labs.
Effectively, the test demonstrates how existing cable networks can be used to provide symmetrical (where the network simultaneously supports equal data speeds during both uploads and downloads) ultra-broadband services.
“Achieving ‘symmetrical’ services … is a major breakthrough for the cable industry,” said Nokia in a statement.
In recent years, the need for high-speed upload services has grown significantly, due to demand for HD video uploads, real-time gaming, live streaming video and virtual or augmented reality.
Hence, Nokia said, it set Bell Labs to exploring the feasibility of delivering a symmetrical service over HFC cable systems in 2014. The lab’s work has now demonstrated that the concept – called Full Duplex DOSCIS 3.1 – is “valid and achievable”, says Nokia.
The XG-CABLE test used point-to-point cable topologies to deliver 10 Gbps symmetric data speeds over coaxial cable using 1.2 Ghz of spectrum.
If the concept proves workable in real world scenarios, it could mean that operators will be able to use existing HFC cables over the final 200 metres to provide customers with upload speeds that were previously unachievable due to the limited available spectrum.
It also offers the potential to bring ultra-broadband services to locations that were not physically or economically viable without the use of fibre to the premises (FTTP).
XG-CABLE will also provide operators with greater agility in how they use and manage their spectrum, Nokia said.
“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 10 Gbps 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,” he added.
Dr Robert Howald, Vice President of Network Architecture at Comcast Cable, commented: “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.”
“As we continue our DOCSIS 3.1 deployments this year, this development further illustrates the power and flexibility of the DOCSIS 3.1 as a tool to deliver next-generation broadband performance,” he said.