ATX revamps Cisco nodes to make them DOCSIS 4.0 ready

ATX Networks is helping more operators get ready for DOCSIS 4.0 rollouts, unveiling Wednesday its new GigaXtend node capable of supporting 1.8 GHz of spectrum.

According to ATX, the 1.8 GHz node is designed as a “successor” to Cisco’s GS7000 platform, which was discontinued in late 2022. It will also “provide a seamless upgrade path for existing GS7000s” and assist multiple system operators (MSOs) in “extending the utility of previous HFC investments.”

For context, ATX last year inked a deal with Cisco to take over development of the latter’s GS7000 nodes. CEO Dan Whalen told Fierce in March ATX plans to manufacture its version of the GS7000s – along with 1.8 GHz amplifiers – at its new factory in Michigan.

The launch of the new GigaXtend node is important for operators who want to move to 1.8 GHz DOCSIS 4.0 (i.e., extended spectrum) and distributed access architecture (DAA), said Dell’Oro Group VP Jeff Heynen.

ATX’s product allows operators to do that “with a node housing and form factor outside plant technicians are very familiar with,” Heynen told Fierce.

GS7000 nodes have been pretty widely deployed throughout North America and Latin America by the likes of cable operators Charter, Comcast and Cox.

“Technicians don’t have to be trained on a new platform, which will speed up the process of deploying these nodes and delivering DOCSIS 4.0 services,” Heynen explained. “It also helps to reduce the cost of passing homes with DOCSIS 4.0 because of the reduction in time necessary to deploy the new nodes.”

ATX is also touting interoperability with DAA architectures from other vendors. It said it’s “working closely” with Harmonic and Vecima to ensure the GigaXtend GS7 will “support each company’s respective DAA modules.”

“The multivendor module support for DAA and Remote OLTs is critical because operators have demonstrated that they prefer having multiple vendors providing RPDs [Remote-PHY devices] and other hardware modules,” Heynen said.

“Knowing that they have nodes in the field that can support whichever DAA technology option and whichever vendor they want to use gives them peace of mind that they will have no regrettable spend when it comes to their outside plant,” he added.

ATX plans to introduce the GigaXtend GS7 to market sometime in the first half of 2024, and it will demo the platform at this month’s SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in Denver.