Moving GAP from Vision to Reality with Vecima Entra EN9000 Node

 

Published By Scott Raaf Vice President Of Product Management at Vecima Networks Inc.

 

The dictionary defines the word “vision” as – the act or power of sensing with the eyes; sight.

In the world of cable architecture, the word vision carries a little different definition. It’s more defined as the way things should be or the way things will be some day – It’s the future.

We don’t have to tell you about “the vision” or if you rather “the future” of cable architecture. As a cable operator, you experience it every day. Even if it is not in your reality yet, you have that vision. The vision of multiple vendors working together creating an open, interoperable access network. It’s your requirement and it’s the industry’s requirement as you move towards 10G – It’s the vision and at its core is Generic Access Platform (GAP) technology.

It’s hard to believe, but the SCTE/ISBE-led standards initiative called GAP started more than four years ago aiming to provide cable operators with standardized node housings that could support a blend of snap-in service modules and edge compute capabilities.

Your Vision is a Reality with the Vecima Entra EN9000 GAP Node

GAP Nodes enable cable operators to step away from a wide array of purpose-built and vendor-proprietary nodes and move toward a multi-vendor, best-of-breed environment that will open up the market and spur innovation among suppliers. In support of this direction, Vecima recently announced the EN9000 GAP Node, the world’s first commercially available Generic Access Platform (GAP) node.  As part of Vecima’s EntraTM Unified Access portfolio of products, the EN9000 is available as a 4-port, Remote MACPHY (R-MACPHY) enabled cable access node with full spectrum for DOCSIS 3.1 and up to 4×4 node segmentation when enabled with Vecima’s EMM324 RMD Cable Access module. 

The EN9000 is designed from the ground-up to support 1.8 GHz RF to enable the next generation of HFC access with DOCSIS 4.0.  The EN9000 provides a multi-gigabit platform to support further DOCSIS evolution as well as PON and wireless technologies with a foundation of interoperability.

Vecima has been a leading contributor to the SCTE GAP standards effort since March 2018, and we view this as a natural extension of our philosophy of developing standards-based interoperable Distributed Access solutions.  While GAP is a standard, there is room for vendor innovation while retaining interoperability between modules.   

6 Parts of the Vecima EN9000 GAP Node Reality

#1 Future-Proof Node – your “Forever Node”

Imagine access network evolution without any need to cut out or swap the node housing once deployed in the field.  All components within the housing are field-replaceable allowing an operator to swap access technology or even the vendor being used without worrying about qualifying or installing yet another custom housing.  Think of the EN9000 GAP Node as your “Forever Node”.

#2 Modularity

The SCTE GAP standards define physical “slots” for components in the base and lid, all replaceable in the field, even with hardline coax attached.  Simple standardized interfaces between components combined with a common housing allows vendors to focus on their unique solutions and deploy those in operator networks faster than ever before.

#3 Flexibility

Outside plant housings already support distributed access over DOCSIS and PON, optical transport, Ethernet switching, and wireless access.  The EN9000 GAP Node delivers solutions now for Remote MACPHY while providing a base platform for the future solutions we haven’t even considered which will deliver rich, connected experiences for users.

#4 Manageability

Traditional analog nodes often have no remote management for operational visibility or required vendor-specific management systems.  GAP defines standard object models based on modern protocols such as NETCONF/YANG and the EN9000 GAP Node provides extensive visibility into deployed modules, operating state, and health of the outside plant powering network.

#5 Interoperability

A multi-vendor ecosystem based on interoperability collaborated to develop the SCTE GAP standards.  The Entra EN9000 GAP Node delivers that outside plant platform supporting open interoperability between module vendors to allow operators to build best-of-breed access networks.

#6 Next Generation of DOCSIS nodes

Last but certainly not least, the EN9000 GAP Node supports the next generation of DOCSIS distributed access with Remote MACPHY.  Get up to 10 Gbps delivered downstream and 1.5 Gbps delivered upstream in a single, high-split DOCSIS 3.1 service group and an unprecedented 40 Gbps downstream and 6 Gbps upstream in a single, four service group DAA Cable Access node.  1.8 GHz node capability supports straightforward upgrades to DOCSIS 4.0 when needed.

At Vecima, we develop core technology and then re-factor for use across our portfolio of node families to provide optimized solutions that meet the needs of all cable operators.  By porting our existing MACPHY technology from the SC-2D node platform to the EN9000, we enable operators to deploy DOCSIS 3.1 today without the need to change field-deployed housings in the future as service needs and technology evolve.  Additionally, participating in the GAP standardization process enabled Vecima to gain some key insights from the operators and standards community that we will be incorporating into our existing EN8100 and SC-2D node platforms. 

I can’t wait to see how the industry is improved as the Vecima EN9000 GAP Node is deployed to the field, and it realizes the reality of its benefits.  I invite you to listen to our video presentation “SCTE Generic Access Platform Perspective From Vecima – presented by Colin Howlett, Vecima CTO.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to me at scott.raaf@vecima.com