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Cable Technology Feature Article

May 02, 2011

CMAP is Future Technology for Converged Cable Services: Report

By Narayan Bhat, TMCnet Contributor

As cable operators move closer to all-IP delivery, converged multi-service access platform (CMAP) technology is fast gaining prominence, according to market analyst firm Heavy Reading.

CAMP, according to industry analysts, is super-dense architecture that combines cable modem termination system (CMTS) and edge QAM functions. In other words, it combines data and video functions on a single delivery platform, taking cable operators a step forward towards an all-IP delivery system.

In addition to increasing port densities for much more unicast and multicast service traffic, CMAP is also designed to reduce physical head-end space and power requirements when compared to traditional CMTS and edge QAMs, say analysts.

"CMAP is a logical extension of existing headend technology that merges two capabilities, CMTS and edge QAM, into one," notes Craig Leddy, research analyst with Heavy Reading Cable Industry Insider and author of the report. "Over the past several years, MSOs have been transitioning to all-digital delivery – adding more digital video services, increasing broadband capacity and speed, and studying a potential migration to all-IP service delivery. CMAP fits into all of that."

The technology has been considered to be an ideal choice for cable operators who are struggling to cope up with the rising tide of broadband traffic and IP video.

Analysts believe the CMAP may also help MSOs manage increasing IP video traffic and advanced services, while lowering delivery costs.

 "Cable's CMTS and edge QAM suppliers have already been addressing the capacity issues by developing high-density, lower-cost solutions. Now their innovations can be merged into a single platform," Leddy continues. "CMAP fits into cable's all-digital transition and is a step toward migration to an all-IP environment. If cable goes all-digital, let alone all-IP, it could create new opportunities that have not even been thought about yet."

CMTS and edge QAM suppliers are circling the product market, but pricing pressure will be heavy, notes the analyst firm.

So far, Comcast is the leader in CAMP technology. CMAP trials are planned for late 2011, with initial deployments in 2012.


Narayan Bhat is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Narayan’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf