June 20, 2023
Why ATX is so Bullish on 1.8GHz and the Next-Generation of the GS7000 Optical Node Platform
By Mike Whitley, VP of Access Network Products
Near the end of 2022, ATX licensed the technology of the Cisco GS7000 node platform, one of the industry’s most widely deployed and dependable optical nodes. While the news didn’t generate a lot of headlines, it was a major and meaningful event for ATX, as well as, we believe, MSOs that are seeking to extend the life of the Cisco GS7000 investments well into the future.
Among the many motivations for taking over the platform’s future development and evolution, honoring the commitment we made to customers to assist them in continuing to leverage their HFC investments was at the top of the list. Several years ago, ATX went “all in” on the proposition that it was far more cost-efficient and competitively prudent for most MSOs to upgrade their HFC networks rather than overbuild their coax plants with fiber. We believe there’s still a lot of life left in the HFC network, maybe another 30 years, and that includes some of its foundational platforms, like the GS7000 optical node platform.
Also near the top of our list of reasons for continuing the evolution of the GS7000 node was the opportunity to add a critical piece to our 1.8GHz strategy. ATX’s commitment to the evolution of the HFC network, of course, was also a commitment to providing an upgrade path to 1.8GHz spectrum, which enables MSOs to deliver 10G services. ATX cemented that commitment with a 2020 agreement with Cisco to license the technology of the GainMaker® amplifier family, which resulted in our GigaXtend™ GMC 1.2GHz and 1.8GHz HFC amplifier portfolio.
When ATX begins to roll out the 1.8GHz version of the GS7000 under the GigaXtend brand in early 2024, we will be the only cable industry technology supplier to offer an end-to-end 1.8GHz-capable outside plant portfolio that seamlessly and cost-efficiently bridges past HFC investments to the future.
But our 1.8GHz ambitions go back even further, when we introduced the GigaXtend 2GHz XS family of taps and passives nearly three years ago. DOCSIS 4.0-ready taps and passives that could be plugged into the outside plant of today’s networks and not need to be replaced when MSOs migrated to 1.8GHz, just made sense in a world where cable operators routinely replace passives in their networks annually due to a malfunction or some other maintenance event.
So, when the opportunity arose to extend our 1.8GHz solution set to the node, we jumped on it. Offering customers the ability to near-seamlessly evolve their HFC networks to 1.8GHz, from the node to the tap, is in lockstep with our commitment to the evolution of the network and assisting MSOs in extending their past investments.
When ATX begins to roll out the 1.8GHz version of the GS7000 under the GigaXtend brand in early 2024, we will be the only cable industry technology supplier to offer an end-to-end 1.8GHz-capable outside plant portfolio that seamlessly and cost-efficiently bridges past HFC investments to the future. Expect to see more detailed product information in the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo timeframe. In the meantime, be assured that the ATX GigaXtend GS7 Optical Node will be a seamless and logical successor to the existing Cisco GS7000 platform, providing operators with a cost-efficient path to 10G, as ATX is fully committed to 1.8GHz.
MSOs can also count on:
- The GigaXtend GS7 retaining the reliability and technician-friendly attributes that made the GS7000 one of the most widely deployed and preferred optical nodes on the planet. That promise is backed up by ATX’s tenured R&D team, which consists of former Scientific-Atlanta and Cisco engineers, including several original designers of the GS7000 platform.
- The platform inheriting the same ease-of-installation and intelligence that we’ve built into our 1.8GHz GigaXtend amplifiers, still the only authorized GainMaker replacement on the market.
- Technicians’ ability to install and configure the GigaXtend GS7 node and amplifiers using a single user-friendly IOS or Android app.
- The GigaXtend GS7 being a fully modern and modular optical node platform, providing MSOs with the option to integrate with multiple technology alternatives, including those from third parties, for DAA, R-OLT and other upgrades.
ATX is also aware that 1.8GHz may not be the next step in your HFC evolution journey. We are equally committed to supporting your more immediate expansion needs, including solutions that enable MSOs to extract the most performance and capacity out of their DOCSIS 3.1 architectures. Please reach out to me or an ATX sales representative to better understand how we can help you protect and extend your investment in the GS7000 platform beginning today.
ATX understands that how and how fast MSOs migrate their HFC networks to 1.8GHz, without disrupting customers or falling behind competitive offerings, is the biggest and most complex puzzle you’re currently working on. Now that ATX has all the pieces of that puzzle, we’re at your service when it comes to figuring out how best to put them together.