November 16, 2018
Cox and ATX’s GigaWave-powered OCML take Center Stage at 2018 SCTE Cable-Tec Expo
By Joe McGarvey, Senior Director, Marketing |
Tier-1 MSOs are among the most deliberative business entities on the planet, painstakingly planning out every last detail of a technology transition before laying hands on a single strand of fiber. Such was the case with Cox Communications’ Optical Communications Module Link (OCML) extender platform, the key component of the cable operator’s breakthrough Distribute Access Architecture (DAA) solution that was a major topic of discussion at SCTE in October.
“As we started talking about doing distributed access architecture and Remote PHY, a few things became very relevant, very quickly,” explained Thomas Harton, Senior Director OSP Engineering at Cox, to a standing-room-only audience during a joint presentation with ATX at the recent Cable-Tec Expo in Atlanta. “We were going to need to transport a large number of 10-gig wavelengths out to a given node service area. But we wanted to do that in a passive way, trying to keep our power demands on outside plant down as low as possible. We wanted to look at minimizing the footprint of our facilities, which kind of drove the distributed access decision in the first place.”
Working closely with ATX, Cox developed its OCML platform to meet the above objectives by leveraging ATX’s GigaWave DWDM digital optics gateway. The GigaWave Digital Link Extender (DLX) was designed to provide cable operators with a powerful, futureproof and protocol-agnostic solution that enables them to expand the capacity of fiber access links between headends/hubs and the outside plant in a cost-effective, resilient and operationally efficient manner. The modular platform supports Remote PHY (R-PHY) and Remote MACPHY (R-MACPHY), as well as other DAA technologies such as PON, Small Cell/5G and enterprise business services.
“A key attribute of the Cox-architected OCML platform is its ‘all passive in the field’ nature, with all active elements, such as EDFAs, being located in indoor headend or hub locations,” said ATX CPO for Broadband Access Jay Lee…”
“A key attribute of the Cox-architected OCML platform is its ‘all passive in the field’ nature, with all active elements, such as EDFAs, being located in indoor headend or hub locations,” said ATX CPO for Broadband Access Jay Lee, who, along with ATX CEO Charlie Vogt, co-presented with Cox’s Harton in Atlanta. “The field-hardened passive component of OCML allows Cox to reduce power consumption and operational complexity, as well as increase network reliability by severely reducing maintenance requirements and truck rolls.”
The 20-minute presentation, made available in its entirety here, walked SCTE attendees through Cox’s major objectives for moving to a DAA model, as well as the required attributes of its OCML-powered solution, which included support for an RPD-based N+0 access environment, high resiliency, operational simplicity and significant opex savings.
Harton closed out the session emphasizing the solution’s technology-agnostic nature and its ability to support future technologies, such as coherent optics, as they become available in the access portion of the network. He also enumerated additional services that can be delivered from the converged optical network, including cellular backhaul, business services and remote OLT.
“[The OCML solution provides] lots of flexibility to get lots of bandwidth out to those service areas where we can use all of those applications,” he said, adding that the GigaWave-powered OCML platform is currently being trialed in selected areas with positive results. “Remote PHY will be taking off in a big way for us.”