This paper presents a detailed modeling and analysis regarding the dispersion characteristics of multilayered open coaxial waveguides or cables. The electromagnetic model is based on a layer recursive computation of axial-symmetric fields in connection with a magnetic frill generator excitation that can be calibrated to the current measured at the input of the cable. The layer recursive formulation enables a stable and efficient numerical computation of the related dispersion functions, as well as a detailed analysis regarding the analytic and asymptotic properties of the associated determinants. Modal contributions as well as the contribution from the associated branch-cut (nondiscrete radiating modes) are defined and analyzed. Measurements and modeling of pulse propagation on an 82-km-long HVDC power cable are presented as a concrete example. In this example, it is concluded that the contribution from the dominating axial-symmetric transverse magnetic mode is sufficient, and that the contribution from the branch-cut is negligible for all practical purposes, and in particular if the exterior domain is lossy. The main contribution of this paper is to provide the necessary modeling and analysis tools for a quantitative study of these phenomena.