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Cable Technology Feature Article

December 09, 2008

Sunrise Telecom's CM2000E Cable Modem Network Analyzer

By Richard Grigonis, Executive Editor, IP Communications Group

The international standard called Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) was developed by CableLabs (News - Alert) and various other companies in 1997. DOCSIS defines the communications and operation support interface requirements for sending high-speed data (particularly regarding Internet access) over the existing Hybrid Fiber Coaxial (HFC) infrastructure of a Cable TV (CATV) System.
In the U.S. the NTSC standards allocate 6 MHz bandwidth to each TV channel. Europe, however, follows the PAL TV standards which allocate 8 MHz wide channels. Thus, European cable operators follow their own version of DOCSIS, called EuroDOCSIS. EuroDOCSIS certification testing is executed by Excentis (formerly known as tComLabs), while DOCSIS certification testing is executed by CableLabs. Generally speaking, CPE gear receives a “Certification”, while CMTS equipment receives a “Qualification”.
And now, Sunrise Telecom, a major provider of test and measurement solutions for telecom, cable and wireless networks, has announced the CM2000E, said to be the cable modem network analyzer to be able to perform both 6 and 8 MHz IF signals for comprehensive DOCSIS, digital video and analog channels analysis on a common network. The CM2000E cable modem network analyzer is designed specifically to verify, test and troubleshoot DOCSIS and Euro DOCSIS 2.0 network performance by analyzing analog and digital video, High Speed Data (HSD) cable modems and Voice-over-IP (VoIP) traffic on the network.
The CM2000E now works with an Internet Explorer web browser, previously only available on an adjunct laptop, which reduces overall cost since it does not require an external PC. The device was developed specifically to meet the needs of the Cable TV operators deploying analog and digital video, HSD and VoIP services. The CM2000E also combines customizable verification and troubleshooting capabilities with pre-defined automated test suites and what’s said to be the industry’s first full VGA color touch screen.
The CM2000E ensures that networks operate within acceptable margins, well within the “digital cliff” parameters and other potential failures through a combination of programmable auto-tests, the ability to verify QoS with qualitative measurements on digital signals, and by testing HSD deployments in excess of 30 Mbps. The new unit simplifies qualification, testing, and troubleshooting by allowing technicians to test both the upstream and downstream for MOS, latency, R-factor, jitter and packet loss without special provisioning.
The CM2000E provides comprehensive testing capability with analog, digital, cable modem, VoIP and Ethernet testing capabilities reducing the number of tools the technician needs to certify, test and troubleshoot the network. The CM2000E also covers a broad range of applications allowing users to start with a basic instrument and upgrade as their needs and responsibilities expand.
Additional options provide measurement capabilities for various kinds of users, from installers to maintenance technicians and network operation center engineers. The web browser capability allows the technician to demonstrate network performance to the customer and to communicate with back office tools to check provisioning, CMTS data, workforce management systems, VoIP call quality and other metrics. In addition, the Windows CE operating system should be familiar to many technicians, along with the Internet Explorer browser.

Richard Grigonis is Executive Editor of TMC (News - Alert)’s IP Communications Group. To read more of Richard’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jessica Kostek