Remote MAC-PHY is a Distributed Access Architecture (DAA) methodology that pushes the CMTS out to the edge, closer to the subscribers, versus having the CMTS in a centralized headend facility.
No. With Remote-PHY, only the PHY or physical layer is distributed. The DOCSIS MAC function performed by the CMTS would still remain in a centralized hub or headend facility.
Remote MAC-PHY allows you to put one or more smaller CMTS in the field. Putting a CMTS at the node is more economical, especially when addressing smaller, remote service areas. With Remote MAC-PHY, you reduce the amount of fiber and avoid a lot of cost and complexity. This also improves reliability, since there is less RF plant to maintain. With Remote PHY, you still need to have a centralized CMTS in the headend, because only the PHY layer is distributed. This is generally going to be a larger piece of hardware capable of serving many subscribers, which is less flexible as far as scaling options. Also, with Remote PHY, every node needs at least one point-to-point fiber back to the headend.

Here is a summary of the advantages to Remote MAC-PHY:

  • Better RF Utilization
  • Greater Speeds
  • Reduced Power and Space in the Headend
  • Fewer fiber resources on the upstream
  • Fewer SNR and codeword errors in the upstream side
  • Ability to install outside
  • Reasonably priced and more flexibility compared to a large CMTS
No. The unit only operates as a Layer 2 device.
Multiple installation methods are supported including corridor installation, wall-mounted, and strand mounted. Field units are hardened and suitable for outdoor deployment.
Yes, although the primary use case for the 1 RU rack-mount unit would be as a small CMTS in the headend. If the rack-mount unit is placed in the field, it needs to be in an environmentally controlled environment.

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