CAI Harderwijk first with symmetric 100Mbps service over Docsis 3 network

Monday 8 November 2010 | 15:24 CET | Market Commentary

CAI Harderwijk, with 16,400 subscribers one of the smaller cable operators in the Netherlands, is currently testing a symmetric broadband services at 100Mbps over its Docsis 3.0 network. The test is run with Solcon, the ISP which started in early 2010 operating on its network when CAI Harderwijk became the first to open up its network. UPC did not join the migration to Docsis 3 and no longer offers services in Harderwijk. CAIW is active there, but uses its own Docsis platform. Several dozen customers have been selected for the trial, which will run for around four weeks.


Solcon is running the test with equipment (CMTS and modem) from Arris. CAI Harderwijk owns the equipment, which it obtained from Apeldoorn-based Divitel. Director Edo Kweldam told Telecompaper that an open network is very important. By managing both the passive and active layers, the barrier to entry is low for service providers, as they do not have to invest in their own equipment. Solcon is the first provider, but a second will join in January, Kweldam said.


The Arris equipment makes channel bonding possible both on the downstream and the upstream, allowing Solcon to offer a 100/100Mbps service. There is less spectrum available for the upstream, which requires better management of overbooking. CAI Harderwijk has already deployed the Arris equipment across its entire network, allowing all 18,400 homes passed to take the Solcon services. CAI Harderwijk is also working on plans to deploy fibre throughout the network.


The ability to offer symmetric speeds is important for Solcon. Even though the overbooking factor needs to be adjusted, a symmetric Docsis 3 service is likely a global first. Virgin Media UK recently announced an upgrade to 100Mbps from 50Mbps, but its upstream remains limited to 10Mbps.


It's not clear what a successful test will mean for CAI Harderwijk's FTTH plans. A delay would seem likely, but if a successful test leads to more demand, then the operator could have a reason to offer even higher bandwidth. Channel bonding and other network interventions offer possibilities initially for the downstream. However, given the high level of current overbooking, it's questionable whether the service can remain symmetrical, supporting the argument for a direct move to FTTH.

Free Headlines in your E-mail

Every day we send out a free e-mail with the most important headlines of the last 24 hours.

Subscribe now

::: add a comment