After many years of waiting, it looks as if broadband ISP Virgin Media Business (VMO2) will finally introduce a new DOCSIS 3.1 powered router for customers, which looks as if it will be based off the Hitron Chita cable gateway and could herald the long-overdue arrival of a new 1Gbps package.
At present the fastest business broadband package on VMB – excluding high-capacity Ethernet options for larger firms – is still their 500Mbps (50Mbps upload) ‘Voom Fibre‘ plan, which for the most part has continued to be sold alongside a much older Hitron CGNV4 router – this only supports the older EuroDOCSIS 3.0 network standard.
The fact that VMB has yet to replace their existing Hitron router and launch a new gigabit speed plan has long been somewhat of a bone of contention with business customers, particularly since the provider’s consumer division – Virgin Media – has had such packages since 2019. Virgin’s consumer division actually now has two DOCSIS 3.1 routers – the Hub 4.0 (Arris TG3492LG-VMB) and Hub 5.0 (Sagemcom F3896LG-VMB).
We don’t know why VMB have been dragging their feet so much over this, but the good news is that the first signs of change have now been spotted. A number of pages on VMB’s website have recently started to show pictures of a new router (Credits to Clive), which is the DOCSIS 3.1 capable Hitron Chita. Officially, the operator declined to answer our questions on this and instead offered just a vague comment.
A VMB Spokesperson told ISPreview.co.uk:
“We have some really exciting projects underway and our customers have a lot to look forward to in 2022.”
Unofficially, we fully expect a 1Gbps style broadband package to launch soon. But we don’t yet know if those new orders for their existing packages will receive the Chita too, or whether an upgrade service will exist for older customers.
The router itself seems like a reasonably capable device, although there’s nothing particularly special in its spec sheet (i.e. no Wi-Fi 6 support or 2Gb LAN ports, but you do get WPA3 encryption). The lack of a WAN port is also something that may irritate those who expect such things when purchasing a business product.
In terms of WiFi speed, the Chita looks as if it can reach a peak of 600Mbps via the 2.4GHz band and 1733Mbps over 5GHz. The router itself measures 65mm (W) x 240mm (H) x 210mm (D), while it promotes power consumption of 8 Watts (power save mode), 22W (typical) and 36W (maximum).
Hitron Chita – Key Specs
DOCSIS 3.1 2×2 multi-carrier OFDM
DOCSIS 3.0 32×8 channel bonding
Switchable 5-85/5-204MHz upstream
Switchable 108-1218/ 258-1218MHz downstream
Wi-Fi 4×4 5GHz 802.11ac Wave 2 MU-MIMO and 3×3 2.4GHz 802.11n dual band concurrent internal antennas
16 SSIDs (8 SSIDs per radio)
Individual configuration for each SSID (security, bridging, routing, firewall and Wi-Fi parameters)
4 x 1G Ethernet (RJ45) ports
1 x USB 3.0 port
2 x HD voice ports (RJ11) with PC1.5 (NCS/SIP) or PC2.0(IMS) support
1 x Coax port (RF F Type 75 Ω female connector)
1 x WPS Button for Wi-Fi
Extensive operator control via configuration file and SNMP
TR-069 and HNAP for easy setup and remote management
Optional HitronCloud home network management support
The new router also supports both DSLite as well as 6RD for different IPv6 deployment and transition strategies, you know.. for if ever VMB actually get around to doing IPv6, which at this point would seem like a small miracle.