Inaugural DOCSIS 4.0 Interop Event Sets Stage for Interoperability Testing

DOCSIS 4.0 Interop

Doug Jones
Principal Architect

Jul 11, 2023

Key Points

  • The future of the cable industry relies on interoperability to deliver what consumers need.

Consumers are demanding increasingly immersive, interactive media experiences that require faster speeds, lower latency, increased network reliability and enhanced security. The future of the cable industry relies on interoperability to deliver what consumers need. That’s the goal of the industry’s full-court press toward 10G deployment, and it starts with DOCSIS® 4.0 compliance.

DOCSIS 4.0 Equipment Functionality

The DOCSIS 4.0 specifications were completed in early 2020. Since then, a lot of hard work has led to getting DOCSIS 4.0 cable modems and cable modem termination systems (CMTSs) ready for a first look. Last spring, CableLabs hosted a 10G Showcase at our Louisville, Colorado, office with impressive results. Now, the industry is ready to take the next step.

CableLabs and Kyrio will host an in-person DOCSIS 4.0 Interop·Labs event July 17–20 in Louisville. DOCSIS Interop·Labs events are a precursor to modem certification and provide suppliers an opportunity to test their products in a multi-vendor environment with state-of-the-art equipment to meet the letter of the specifications. Operators also will attend to get a look at the equipment and the environments, and to network with their industry peers on the operator and the supplier sides.

What can be expected from this event? Because this is early equipment with basic functionality, our goals include looking at basic functions, including whether a cable modem can become operational in the common configurations in use today. When a modem becomes operational, it will be exercised with back-office systems and data traffic.

The four-day Interop·Labs event will ensure that the fundamentals of interoperability are in place and capable of supporting subsequent interoperability events that will look deeper into modem functionality. The event also will focus on backward compatibility to build confidence that a DOCSIS 4.0 modem can be deployed on existing headend equipment and operations systems to provide the opportunity for faster speed tiers on DOCSIS 3.1 headend equipment. A DOCSIS 4.0 modem on a DOCSIS 3.1 CMTS will be an exciting milestone for the industry.

Since the CableLabs 10G Showcase last spring, CableLabs and Kyrio have upgraded the labs to support faster speeds to enhance the customer experience with cable broadband.

Cable Modem Certification

This Interop event has great synergy with the recent launch of the CableLabs DOCSIS 4.0 Cable Modem Certification program. Initial cable modem certification testing will focus on verifying operation on DOCSIS 3.1 systems, and this Interop·Labs event will provide suppliers an opportunity to see how their solutions work with others. Find more information on the CableLabs certification program here.

Gaining Momentum and Planning More DOCSIS Interop Events

Future DOCSIS Interop·Labs are planned to look deeper into the other three pillars of 10G: enhanced security, lower latency and network reliability. Our DOCSIS 4.0 Interop·Labs and Certification work is just beginning, and you can look forward to additional blog posts to keep you up to date with what is happening at CableLabs and Kyrio. And, with the Interop·Labs event being hosted in July, you can be sure this equipment will be on the show floor at the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in October in Denver.