Cable industry tees up 10G initiative at CES

The cable industry has kicked off this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas by outlining its vision for delivering 10-gigabit data speeds.

NCTA – The Internet & Television Association, CableLabs and Cable Europe have joined hands on "10G," which has been trademarked by the NCTA. The cable industry has used the CES show in the past to trumpet new technologies and services, and today's 10G news gives cable something to talk about other than the ongoing 5G chatter.

Cable operators in the U.S., whose networks currently pass 85% of U.S. homes, including Comcast, Charter Communications, Cox Communications, Mediacom, Midco and others—plus international operators including Rogers, Shaw Communications, Vodafone, Taiwan Broadband Communications, Telecom Argentina and Liberty Global, among others—are developing the new 10G technology.

The 10G access network movement is already underway in lab trials, and field trials are slated to begin next year. Intel announced today it would support 10-gigabit ready technology from the network infrastructure to developing the silicon for the home gateways.

"We are seeing tremendous results with these technologies in lab settings today, and are working with operators to start trialing them in customer homes as early as spring 2020," said WK Tan, vice president and general manager of Intel's Connected Home Division, in a blog post today.

Tan said Intel was working with MaxLinear on a new line of 10-gigabit ready gateway platforms for residential homes. Intel's list of U.S. cable operator customers includes Comcast, Charter and Cox.

Cable is building on the success of its 1-gigabit deployments by leveraging its existing installments of HFC combined with next-generation technologies for symmetrical 10-gigabit speeds.

Cable is developing Full Duplex DOCSIS technology as the basis of its 10G platform. Full Duplex was one of the main topics of discussion at the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo last year in Atlanta.

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While pockets of 5G rollouts will start to pop up this year, NCTA President and CEO Michael Powell said at the expo that 5G was "25% technology and 75% marketing" during a keynote panel discussion. Powell also said then that the cable industry didn't get enough credit for its 1-gigabit deployments. Currently, cable operators have 1-gigabit speeds deployed across 80% of the U.S.

“With groundbreaking, scalable capacity and speeds, the 10G platform is the wired network of the future that will power the digital experiences and imaginations of consumers for years to come,” Powell said in a prepared statement today. “As an industry, we are dedicated to delivering an exceptional national infrastructure that will power digital advancement and propel our innovation economy into the future.”

In addition to the faster speeds, the cable industry is also touting the low latency and improved security that will be enabled by 10G.

“With the 10G platform, CableLabs will help ensure the broadband infrastructure will be in place globally with the capacity and performance needed in the future to fuel new innovations and emerging technologies that will transform and enhance the way we live," said CableLabs President and CEO Phil McKinney in today's press release.