LLX is a critical piece of the DOCSIS infrastructure that will enable mobile xhaul over DOCSIS as part of the large-scale mobile deployment. LLX enables low latency mobile applications and services, providing mobile users a seamless experience when enjoying applications on their devices such as mobile games, video chat or video conferencing. By reducing latency on the access network and providing a seamless quality-of-service framework between mobile and DOCSIS, the HFC infrastructure can be the infrastructure of choice for supporting mobile xhaul.
LLX turns today’s DOCSIS network into a 5G-xhaul-capable network. Xhaul connectivity and powering account for roughly 80% of the total cost when deploying a mobile network. Compared to fiber, DOCSIS xhaul cuts the infrastructure cost to a fraction of the fiber installation cost, largely thanks to its large footprint and lower siting and permitting costs. DOCSIS xhaul also drastically reduces time-to-deployment by reusing existing DOCSIS networks rather than building new fiber networks.
Today, mobile and DOCSIS networks operate independently and in serial - a mobile packet experiences latency on a mobile network and then experiences further latency on the DOCSIS network. Even though the two networks were designed by different ecosystems, they work in a similar manner. Within each network, a central brain, or a “scheduler” has the ability to predict the future by scheduling what will happen on its network. LLX enables mobile scheduler to inform the DOCSIS scheduler what to expect in the future. The result is a pipelined system, where DOCSIS network’s operation can start early, while the actual mobile packet is still traversing the mobile network.
The “X” in LLX means backhaul, midhaul and fronthaul. LLX technology is designed to work for a variety of deployment models, ensuring its applicability as the mobile and cable industries move towards virtualization. LLX is also designed to work on PON-based transport networks, allowing the variety of cable operators’ networks to benefit from the technology.
We have been working on the LLX technology since early 2016 and demonstrated that it can deliver 1-2 ms of latency on a physical testbed. The technology has been implemented on commercial DOCSIS and mobile equipment. LLX is ready to be deployed today.