What is a CMTS?

September 11, 2023
David Sunnyside

If you are a cable internet subscriber, then chances are high that you have heard of the term CMTS. This is because a cmts is a type of Headend Equipment which is used by a cable TV network to provide internet services to its subscribers. The cmts is usually located in a digital headend system where it is used to provide the data and voice services to its customers. This is achieved by using a CMTS which has the capacity to handle a large amount of data at a time.

The CMTS is basically a device that manages cable internet access and sometimes even television access. This is accomplished by dividing the bandwidth of the cable network into multiple channels and assigning each channel to specific functions. The DOCSIS cable modems at the homes communicate with the CMTS to request certain channels for data transfer. This allows for high-speed data transfers without affecting television.

When a request comes from the Set Top Box or STB (television) the request is first sent to the combiner which is found in the digital headend system. This is then mixed with RF output from the CMTS system and send to the subscriber end through Optical Fiber Cable or Coaxial Cable.

The CMTSs that are in the hub site are usually of two types – integrated and modular. Integrated CMTSs keep all the hardware components in one chassis while the modular ones split up into a PHY component called an Edge QAM and a MAC Component called the Core. The latest developments in CMTS architectures have taken the modular CMTS design a step further by distributing another vital component of a CMTS called Remote MAC-PHY. This makes way for a significant shift in the CMTS-node relationship.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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