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Upgrading to Doscsis 3.0

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Upgrading to Doscsis 3.0

I am starting the initiative to upgrade our system to Docsis 3.0. One concern I have is with the modems themselves. We are using the Motorola SB5101U and N right now which are Docsis 2.0 capable. Is there a firmware upgrade we can receive to upgrade these modems to Docsis 3.0? Or is this upgrade going to entail replacing these modems with Docsis 3.0 capable modems?

Your answers are very welcome!

New modem

Is required for depolying speed packages where channel bonded interfaces are required.

The 2.0 modems will still work on a 3.0 CMTS, it just these are only single channel devices. If the customer isn't interested in a higher speed package, then they can still use these.


2.0 Modems on a Particular Port

From what I gather from your responses, when we switch all ports to 3.0, the modems will still run as 2.0 and all modems will still work as they do now? This is where the confusion comes in. Another source told me that all modems that are not 3.0 compatible will cease working if that port they are on is switched to 3.0 technology. I guess this is the question I am needing to ask.


D3 is backwards compatible

D3 is backwards compatible with D2

D3 is pretty much the same as D2 but :
* adds higher downstream density (typically 4X as many downstreams as an equivalent D2 system. All modems will benefit from this.)
* adds channel bonding capability (requires a D3 modem to access this feature)

Thank you for replying.

Thank you for replying.

I second what Tom said. We

I second what Tom said. We use the same SB5101's on our plant and get 35/8Mbps on them. We only use D3.0 modems for 50/10Mbps. One of the great features of a good D3.0 CMTS that the D2.0 modems will utilize is load balancing.

Yep, although D2 modems cant

Yep, although D2 modems cant do bonded DS/US, they will still benefit significantly from a D3 CMTS upgrade.

I wouldn't use D2 modems for

I wouldn't use D2 modems for a 35 meg package.. Just because you can do a thing, doesn't mean you should. In a D3 CMTS, D2 modems get load balanced by a dynamic channel change command, which briefly interrupts service because the modem must actually change the channel it is looking at. The more of a channel those modems use up, the more likely they are to get moved around.

We don't use D2 modems for anything over 8-15mbs, and we don't send any D2 out the door period, only D3 modems are going out now (so as to phase out the D2 modems as they churn out) The D3 modems spread the load much more efficiently, and without service interruption.


I find this very interesting. This confirms what I was thinking. I understand what you are saying. What I was thinking we would be doing in this transition is creating new packages and only allowing anyone with a Docsis 3.0 modem to use them. Right now, our highest package is is an 8 meg package and that wouldn't change if they still have a D2 modem. I was just needing confirmation on this.

Thank You

We do not offer a 35M package

We do not offer a 35M package on D2, though I'd have no fear of doing a 25/5 on it. We are simply able to achieve that in lab. The highest package we do on a D2 modem is 15/4. I will argue that DCC doesn't cause interruption. We've specifically tested this with voip calls and have seen no problems. We're using a Casa C2200 CMTS with Motorola SB510x, and an assortment of Arris cable modems/MTAs

With Voip

If you read through the provisioning guide for the Arris Touchstone software, you will note that an Arris EMTA will wait until the call is terminated before changing channel due to a DCC command. Of course, if you're using a Docsis 3 emta, then you don't need to worry about that anyway.

Upgrading to 3.0

you cannot upgrade modems to 3.0 via firmware as hardware is completely different. we can ship you some 3.0 modems as well as a fully configured 3.0 cmts. call our main number 305 861 1753

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