Thursday, February 28, 2008

ECI Intros New FTTB Solutions

Israel-based ECI Telecom announced the introduction of a gigabit passive optical network and gigabit Ethernet (GbE) in addition to its suite of broadband access products. This is suited for fiber-to-the-building network requirements. Two new Optical Network Units (ONUs), G-PoweRAM 48V and the MiniCABTM 8V have been introduced which enable service providers to offer higher bandwidth cost- effectively.

ECI said that the G-PoweRAM 48V is suitable for large Multi-Dwelling Units (MDUs) with more population. This ONU will provide GPON connectivity to buildings and VDSL2 inside the premises. This will help service providers to support 48 subscribers using one unit. This ONU is based on network-processor technology which allows multi-play service for intelligence functionality.

ECI’s new MiniCAB 8V is a compact device suitable for smaller buildings with around 8 subscribers and allows service providers to deploy GbE or GPON uplink, with VDSL2 in the site. Service providers can use the existing copper wiring to provide additional bandwidth cost effectively by deploying G-PowerRAM and the MiniCAB. This is used with ECI’s best-of-breed Hi-FOCuS Multi-Service Access Node Optical Line Terminator (OLT). They are expected to be available in the market by mid 2008.

Eyal Shaked, executive vice president and general manager of ECI Telecom’s Network Solutions Division (NSD) said: “In expanding our fiber access solutions, ECI has created the most comprehensive product portfolio for FTTB networks in the market today.

“Optimal and cost effective deployment of fiber solutions is a key requirement of our customers and one which has guided us throughout the development process,” said Shake. “This is made possible by delivering a solution which has the widest range of form factors, is fully compatible and is strengthened by a unified management system.”

The ONUs enables optimal fiber access deployment at low ownership costs. As customers demand increases service providers can grow fibers besides offering DSL where required. The Hi-FOCuS MSAN is suited for both FTTB and FTTH networks. Besides all the access units can be managed under ECI’s OPS centralized element management system (EMS).

Shamila Janakiraman is a TMCnet Contributing Editor.

Ikanos' VDSL2 And FTTH Gateway Processors Awarded 2007 Product Of The Year

Fremont, CA - Ikanos Communications, Inc., a leading developer and provider of Fiber Fast broadband solutions, announced recently that its Fusiv Vx180 VDSL2 and Vx170 FTTH gateway processors have been awarded "2007 Product of the Year -- Best LAN Product" by EN-Genius Network.

The Vx180 single chip multimode VDSL2 gateway processor and Vx170 FTTH gateway processor are designed to provide the features, performance, security and scalability required to deliver advanced triple play services over broadband pipes. Both solutions offer 2.7 GHz of processing power, integrated Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and security features while supporting best-in-class Quality of Service (QoS) with wire-speed performance. Moreover, the Fusiv Vx180 also integrates Ikanos' industry-leading multimode VDSL2 technology to offer unsurpassed performance and physical layer integration for a triple play residential gateway.

"The Vx180 VDSL2 and Vx170 FTTH gateway processors help customer premises equipment (CPE) manufacturers address the double-edged challenge of providing multi-service capable products that help boost revenue, while keeping equipment costs under control," said Lee H. Goldberg, senior technical editor, EN-Genius Network.

The Vx180 and Vx170 residential gateway processors enable superior support of advanced triple play services through their unique and innovative distributed Accelerated Processor (AP) architecture. Differing from traditional multi-core and multi-thread approaches, Ikanos' powerful AP architecture offers a tremendous amount of processing performance in a small silicon area, while operating at very low power. These Accelerator Processors come equipped with local program and data memory to avoid resource conflicts and carry the entire bridging and routing effort, leaving 500 MHz of processing power available to support other advanced triple play services.

"We are very pleased that the editors at EN-Genius have awarded our high performance Vx180 VDSL2 and Vx170 FTTH gateway processors with their prestigious Product of the Year award," said Piyush Sevalia, Ikanos' vice president of marketing. "EN-Genius' endorsement validates Ikanos' leadership in providing innovative, high performance, integrated residential gateway platforms that enable service providers to launch triple play services more quickly and cost-effectively."

Instituted in 2003, EN-Genius Network's Product of the Year award recognizes data acquisition, audio/video technology, green tech, green-power engineering DSP, wireless connectivity, networking, passives, and low and high power products that best demonstrate strong technical merit, innovative design and exceptional marketability.

SOURCE: Ikanos Communications, Inc.

Verizon details plans to bring fiber to larger MDUs

Verizon Communications is planning a major push of its fiber-to-the-home service into multidwelling units (MDUs) this year. Despite passing 2.1 million MDUs at the end of last year’s third quarter, Verizon’s FTTH network was only capable of serving 400,000 of them. The company’s technology director, Vincent O’Byrne, spoke with Telephony’s Ed Gubbins at the OFC show in San Diego this week about Verizon’s plans for MDUs this year.

On the delay in penetrating MDUs: One of the main items was obviously cost. It can be more expensive to serve MDUs. Also the availability of common ONTs [optical network terminals], which were introduced last year. And of course there’s the access to coax. Partly associated with that is the ability to offer similar kinds of services we have for single family units (SFUs), where we have broadcast TV. One of the breakthroughs that will help us a lot is GPON, which will allow us to, as we migrate to IPTV, support that in the MDU. In addition to that, in 2008 there’s been a large push to, in cases where we’re deploying SFU ONTs in MDUs, to reduce the overall cost by introducing bendable fiber, which will allow the deployment to occur quicker and save time in installation. There are also other items we’re utilizing from the [outside plant] such as VATs—Verizon Advanced Terminals--where you pre-engineer the facility for fiber deployment. So it becomes a lot easier and quicker to get the fiber to the living unit, to the SFU device in there.

On why MDUs are more expensive to reach: A large part of the cost is pulling the fiber. If you have to pull anything up the risers, it can be expensive. That’s where the whole idea of the common ONT was designed, to allow us some economies of scale. That hasn’t taken off as much as we’d hoped, to date. Just from a planning perspective, it typically comes later than an SFU; you want to get the SFU out there as quickly as possible. That allows us to use the wiring in the MDU that’s already there.

On disappointment in the common ONT: It’s just getting it out there into the field. We have a lot of items in the pipeline, so getting it support with IT, there’s special code for provisioning. Where it stacks up, it typically will become available 3 to 6 months after the SFU. The majority of our deployments to MDUs have used SFU devices. This common ONT--which we started on BPON and we will be having on GPON this year, probably mid-year--will add to the different types of ONTs. We can better match which ONT is best for a given MDU. The economics change depending on how you define the MDU: 2-, 4-, 6- or 12-family. Common ONTs are built on a module of 12 living units per box.

On Clearcurve flexible fiber: There is an expected date [for deployment]. I don’t think we’ve made it public. It’s going to be probably in the first half of the year. There are several advantages. One is being able to deploy it quicker. That will become a lot easier to determine once we deploy it en masse. Each MDU has to be engineered separately. It’s only after you have a lot of stats that you can figure out how much it costs. Even if our techs have to go back and do something else on the plant, the fact that they’re touching it will cause less issues. That’s why we’re also looking at it for the OSP in splitter hubs and things like that. Fat fingers have a tendency to cause issues. Just touching the splitter and the fiber, it becomes very sensitive to people touching the fiber. So this will allow us to reduce the size of a lot of equipment.

On the link between the basement and the apartment unit: For BPON, it’s all VDSL1; for GPON, it’s all VDSL2. We’d set the locations of the MDUs so that the furthest person [from the common ONT], or at least the modems, is around 500 feet [away]. [Speeds are] around 35 Mb/s downstream, 10 Mb/s upstream on VDSL1 and BPON. On GPON it’s expected to be like 75 Mb/s downstream. We also use broadcast [RF video] and IP VOD. It all goes on the copper wires. At the apartment, you’d have a VDSL modem. The output of that modem would be Ethernet into the broadband home router. With GPON, that modem is integrated into the router.

On SFU ONT innovation: We have an ONT called the “Just Inside” ONT because it’s installed just inside the house. It’s about 10” by 19”. We’re looking for something smaller and more user-friendly. Our design target is 8” by 8”. At present, the Just Inside is a good concept, but it’s not fully integrated. Its size is the sum of its parts. If it’s more efficient, the batteries can get smaller. We’re also looking for different battery chemistries so we’re not just stuck with lead acid batteries. Maybe lithium ion or even alkaline in case of emergencies.