Gyselings, Tim (Bell Labs Alcatel-Lucent, Antwerp, Belgium)
Cable networks have in the past evolved from unidirectional, broadcast networks towards true triple play networks offering video (broadcast and on-demand, analogue and digital), data and telephone services. Networks have continuously being upgraded to enhance the service offering and to increase the capacity and efficiency. The most recent technology that cable operators are introducing in the network is DOCSIS 3.0, making the HFC network a true competitor for xDSL networks. Question is what is the next step in the evolution for a cable operator, on the short term and on the longer term. In order to answer this question a European FP7 project ReDeSign has been launched in 2008, existing out of European Cable Operators, equipment vendors and research organizations. In this paper the main results obtained so far by the project are highlighted, with focus on the longer term evolution of the HFC-network, called Next Generation – HFC (NGHFC). Based on a cost analysis a direction is given for the evolution of the cable network on the longer run.