June 14, 2018

State of the Union on DOCSIS 3.1: A New Gateway for Faster, Smarter, Consumer-centric Services

Two years after the first commercial launch of DOCSIS 3.1, Technicolor checks in with an industry in transition, how it’s meeting new challenges in video streaming and quality, and the delivery of more immersive entertainment experiences to the home.

Bandwidth intensive technology and services are on the rise at the same time as consumer expectations are escalating, creating an unprecedented need for speed that shows no sign of slowing down. For operators around the globe, DOCSIS 3.1 is the solution that will enable them to retain their customer base and attract new subscribers in this demanding new world. Two years after the first commercial launch of DOCSIS 3.1, Technicolor checks in with an industry in transition, and how it’s meeting new challenges in video streaming and quality, delivery of more immersive content and entertainment experiences, and seamless access and interactions in the home.

In today’s rapidly evolving Service Provider (SP) business, the battle for the consumer, and control of their home is intensifying. Spurred by multiple technology and market transitions, new services are shaping consumers’ behavior whose expectations continue to rise.

DOCSIS 3.1 will play a pivotal role in facilitating these technological transitions.

Take the example of Smart Homes. Tactile systems will move towards voice and gesture commands to turn on lights and equipment. Wired systems will become wireless. These are all classic examples of how market trends are influencing technological advances.

Outside of the home, service providers have already started adapting technology to match market needs. In terms of content distribution, we have already seen managed content move from managed and tiered to OTT and à la carte access.

Similar transitions will occur in other domains including: connectivity, device management, marketing and business. (See Chart 1).

But whatever the domain, all of these new services will be bandwidth intensive and require a superior broadband experience to attract and keep subscribers.   For cable operators around the globe, DOCSIS 3.1 is the answer.


Chart 1: Multiple Technology and Market Transitions Occurring


Two years after the first commercial launch of DOCSIS 3.1, the number of operators leveraging DOCSIS 3.1 to offer gigabit service is accelerating exponentially. Indeed, consumers’ growing demand for faster internet speed is underpinned by the availability of a vast array of bandwidth-intensive services.

In video: Simultaneous Ultra HD4K video streaming is extremely bandwidth-hungry, and Live OTT content and everything on-demand share its voracious appetite for high-speed internet.

In IoT: The internet of things is a similar domain dependent on high-speed data: Physical premise security, Cyber security, Home management and Home Health all being technological domains that require significant bandwidth to function correctly.

Gaming: And unsurprisingly, gamers need ever-increasing internet speeds to match increased graphics resolution and faster responsiveness in online gaming.

More than ever, all of this becomes a reality that cable operators must take into consideration to cope with new consumer behaviors. It goes without saying that this includes virtual and augmented reality, which is now taking off, with a huge range of associated services and content aggregators, from gaming to travel, education, movies, branded experiences etc. Finally, let us not forget that the increase in competition in the SP space is fierce.  With improvements to other networks coming to market, consumers are tempted to switch to fiber offers, or even advanced cooper with solutions such as G.fast.

So the question is not “if” but “when” all cable operators will start offering DOCSIS 3.1 to their entire customer base. With DOCSIS 3.1 Gateways, no longer is the demarcation point in the home just a simple access device.  With the bandwidth efficiency of DOCSIS 3.1 provides, and the increased ability of the S/W on a DOCSIS 3.1 Gateway, SPs have a true advanced services platform in the home to deliver next generation services.

People don’t buy a Porsche just to drive at fast. They want to make the most of this high-spec machine and everything that comes with it: it’s powerful engine, the high-end materials that make it lighter and faster, its comfort together with the long list of luxury add-ons that come with it. Similarly, high-speed internet will bring with it a whole host of additional and smarter services that are very much a part of the overall offering.

Nearly 20 years after the turn of the century, it is time to match the wealth of opportunities, given to us by this state-of-the-art technology, to consumer needs, so they can lead simpler, more-connected, more effective lives.

At Technicolor, we believe DOCSIS 3.1 home gateways must be ready for artificial Intelligence, voice assistant, immersive video experiences, home network management and increased security for personal data… and so much more.

In the weeks to come, we are going to detail how our DOCSIS 3.1 product range can help you deliver a superior branded experience. Stay tuned.

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