30 March 2006
  • MaxOnline customers can expect to experience faster broadband speeds of up to 100Mbps by 2H 2006;
  • Plans underway to further upgrade broadband speeds up to 1Gbps, in the next two to three years

Singapore, 30 March 2006 – StarHub, Singapore’s integrated info communications provider, today announced that the upgrade of its broadband hybrid fiber coaxial (HFC) cable network to a DOCSIS® 3.0-compatible architecture is underway, paving the way to higher broadband speeds for its customers in the second half of 2006.

MaxOnline customers will be able to experience broadband speeds of up to 100Mbps through the upgrade made possible through StarHub’s current technology partner, Motorola, the global communications leader and a pioneer in developing channel-bonding solutions for HFC networks. Singapore will be the first country in Asia-Pacific to have a nation-wide DOCSIS® 3.0-compatible broadband network commercially available. The proposed DOCSIS® 3.0 specification is an open standard that will allow cable operators to optimize their high-speed data distribution more efficiently. Channel bonding technology enables a cable operator to bond multiple physical network channels into a single, virtual, high-bandwidth channel.

“With the evolving demands for more multimedia online content, network storage, and increasing convergence of PC and TV devices, like that of the Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, we expect growing demand for higher speeds to continue, and perhaps to accelerate over the next few years,” said Thomas Ee, Senior Vice President of IP Services, StarHub. “This upgrade with Motorola will ensure that our broadband network continues to stay ahead of the demand, providing our customers with a smooth, seamless transition to greater broadband speeds, should they require it in the future.”

“Motorola’s strong, ongoing relationship with StarHub is especially important at this time, when the growing popularity of bandwidth intensive broadband services are driving the need for technologies such as channel bonding,” said Charles Dougherty, Motorola corporate vice president and general manager, Connected Home Solutions.  “With this deployment, StarHub is establishing itself as a leader in delivering rich, immersive experiences to its customers over a robust, next-generation network architecture.”

Motorola has been a leader in contributing to the current channel-bonding specification, which is part of the proposed DOCSIS® 3.0 standard currently in development by CableLabs®. CableLabs is a non-profit research and development consortium (and the standards body for DOCSIS that is dedicated to pursuing new cable telecommunications technologies and to helping cable operator members integrate those technical advancements into their business objectives.

In addition to the current upgrade, StarHub is already looking at future plans to continue to enhance the broadband cable network to 1Gbps in two to three years’ time, as the channel-bonding platform is able to scale even further. The enhancements are expected to be implemented gradually and cost-effectively over the next few years, requiring minimal equipment upgrades, over StarHub's existing broadband HFC cable network.

Currently, StarHub’s MaxOnline service allows subscribers to enjoy always-on, unlimited broadband access to the Internet at high download speeds of up to 2Mbps, 6.5Mbps and 30Mbps. As at 31 December 2005, StarHub has 277,000 MaxOnline subscribers.