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.


Universal Powerline Association Ships 4.5 Million Chips

Universal Powerline Association Ships 4.5 Million Chips while Championing Interoperability, Universal Functionality and Standardization of all Powerline Communications

February 26, 2008 - London - Universal Powerline Association (UPA) technology has shipped in excess of 4.5 Million 200 Mbps Powerline communications chips, giving the UPA the largest industry market share for high speed Powerline silicon. Increased worldwide demand for UPA technology including North America, Europe, and Asia has fuelled the growth of the adoption of UPA technology for applications such as:

High Speed Home Networking, including HD IPTV
In-Building Communications, including MDUs
Broadband over Powerline Access Solutions, including AMI and Broadband applications
Embedded Solutions

Brian Donnelly, UPA Chairman confirmed that: "Over 4 million products based on the UPA's 200Mbps In-Home and to-the-home Powerline connectivity solutions have been sold worldwide by Tier 1, service providers, integrators, electricity utilities, and retailers to date. As the number of Powerline communications products continues to increase worldwide, the UPA will be focusing on enabling consumers to obtain advanced, standards-based, and future-proof technology including our upcoming 400Mbps technology for In-Home, In-Building, and Access markets that is 100% backwards compatible with today's 200Mbps UPA technology."

The UPA plans to continue to strengthen its worldwide focus and implementation of advanced functionality and interoperable standards for Powerline communication and networking solutions. The UPA endorses the IEEE P1901 standard process and has joined the ITU-T to contribute and support work on the development of a standard for next generation home networking receivers through the ITU-T Recommendation ( The ITU-T global project will define PHY and MAC specifications for ICs operating over any wire including Powerline and addresses the EMC and spectral compatibility of home networking transmission with VDSL2 and other types of DSL used to access the home so that even a novice consumer can install a home network. As part of the collaboration, UPA's Digital Home System White Paper has been accepted at the February 2008 ITU-T Geneva meeting as part of the developing work at ITU-T's Home Networking group.

UPA-based products make up the largest share of the market for 200 Mbps Powerline products for networking and service provider applications. 2008 and beyond shall allow the UPA and its members not only an ability to provide consumers a standardized technology, but will support all the functionalities and enhancements required for BPL deployments and in-building installations such as frequency division repeating (FDD), flexibility to work over any topology, carrier spacing and frequency for coexistence with xDSL technologies and native TR-069 support for remote network management.

2008 brings new international multi-market leadership, standards conformity, enhancement, and overall advancement programs within the UPA. The UPA will unveil its 2008 Work Program at its Annual General Meeting and UPA Technology Conference on 4th March at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Fukuoka, Japan. Non-UPA members are invited to join UPA members for a presentation of the UPA’s upcoming 400Mbps technology.


3M develops module to test xDSL services

Network testing and fiber-optics company 3M Telecommunications has introduced a triple-play modem module for testing xDSL services.

It said the compact 3M Dynatel All-in-One Modem Module VDSL2 attaches to the back of the 3M Dynatel Advanced Modular System 965AMS. It said it is field-swappable, and can be shared between individual base units, enabling technicians to measure and display connection statistics, link to the server, ping through the server to an IP destination, and browse the internet.

It can be attached to an xDSL circuit pair for connection to the DSLAM and supports DSL service types, including VDSL2, ADSL2+, ADSL2, and ADSL.

David Senum of communication markets division at 3M said: "A single modular 3M test set handles copper, DS,L and IP testing to validate triple-play services at xDSL access ports and subscriber networks. With this new module, an operator can browse the internet on the 965AMS test set screen to confirm a working internet connection."

3M said the new module works in concert with the 965AMS software inference engine for system analysis of test results and helpful guidance to field technicians performing fault identification and location of different types of faults.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Dynamic Spectrum Management Makes DSL Operations Green

The reduction of power consumption by telecommunications equipment has become a global imperative. For DSL operators, a strong desire for ecologically sound operations combined with rising energy costs at central offices and neighborhood distribution points have resulted in a requirement for increased power efficiency while preserving the continuing DSL evolution towards higher data rates. In response, products from industry leaders implementing the recommendations of the recently completed pan-industry report on Dynamic Spectrum Management (DSM) by the ATIS standards body are making it possible for DSL operators to achieve their goals for improved efficiency and performance.

The ATIS DSM Technical Report (ATIS PP-0600007) defines three levels of DSM for managing noise, power and crosstalk in DSL systems of all types -- ADSL1, ADSL2/2+ and VDSL -- in both single service provider and unbundled, multiple service provider environments. In all cases, DSM techniques seek to minimize transmitted and consumed power subject to a target grade of service. DSM Level 1 manages average power settings on a DSL line. DSM Level 2 adds a "politeness" capability allowing each DSL modem's power to be set on a frequency-agile basis to avoid noises and reduce the generation of frequency-dependent crosstalk to other DSL lines. Finally, DSM Level 3 adds the ability to actively cancel crosstalk between lines. When used with the upcoming ITU-R G.vector standard, DSM Level 3 offers realizable DSL data rates in excess of 100 Mbps.

DSM is being widely embraced within the DSL industry. In recent months British Telecom, France Telecom, Deutsche Telekom, Telecom Italia, AT&T and other carriers have openly discussed the benefits of DSM in their existing ADSL1 and ADSL2/2+ networks. In addition, the DSM products of leading solutions providers such as ASSIA are already being used to manage many millions of DSL lines. The only requirement for exploiting DSM is infrastructure that supports the standardized G.997.1 DSL management interface.

While most equipment manufacturers support DSM, some are instead choosing to maintain closed management interfaces on their DSL products and to employ proprietary techniques to stabilize DSL lines. "Virtual noise" is one such scheme that has received recent attention. The virtual noise scheme deliberately overestimates noise on DSL lines, tricking DSL modems into either reducing their data rates or increasing their transmitted power, perhaps by as much as three times, or both. In some cases, virtual noise can stabilize the performance of an individual line, but always by less than a comparable application of DSM. On a network-wide basis, the effects of virtual noise are significantly increased power consumption and harmful crosstalk among DSL lines. Power is wasted and crosstalk is increased for all DSL subscribers served by the copper plant. In an unbundled environment, excess interference created by one service provider impacts the customers of other service providers sharing the copper plant. In contrast, products such as ASSIA's DSL Expresse(R) that implement DSM seek to stabilize lines using the minimum necessary power, reducing DSL crosstalk to the subscribers of all service providers sharing the copper plant.

"The growing worldwide use of DSM techniques benefits DSL operators, customers and the environment, alike, through improved power efficiency, higher data rates and extended reach," said John Cioffi, ASSIA's Chairman. "While there are still some holdouts promoting unstandardized and technically unproven proprietary approaches, the industry's well-founded embrace of the open-systems-based DSM indicates that DSM will soon be a requirement in all major DSL deployments."


New Report Provides Forecasts for Broadband Penetration in France to 2017

Research and Markets ( has announced the addition of France - Broadband Market - Overview, Statistics & Forecasts to their offering.

France has the third largest broadband subscriber base in Europe. Growth in 2007 was bolstered by demand for high bandwidth applications, considerable investment in fibre infrastructure, and a pro-competitive regulator which has provided easy access to the incumbent’s network for new entrants through Local Loop Unbundling. DSL dominates broadband access, partly as a result of the relatively poor cable footprint, while fibre deployment has become a substantial proposition, particularly in the Paris region. This report assesses France’s fixed broadband markets in 2008, focussing on cable and DSL as well as developments with related technologies such as ADSL2+, VDSL2. It provides the latest statistics and analysis in this important market, and reviews the strategies of the principal providers such as France Telecom, UPC France, Telecom Italia, Iliad and neuf Cegetel. The report also considers the regulatory implications for local loop unbundling and provides forecasts for broadband penetration to 2017.

Areas Covered:

-Local Loop Unbundling

-Wholesale access


-Government support

-Regional support

-‘Broadband for Everyone’

-Leased line market

-Broadband statistics

-Internet market


-Cable modems

-Cable consolidation


-France Telecom Cable

-UPC France

-Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)


-France Telecom

-Free (Iliad)

-Telecom Italia

-Neuf Cegetel

-Other DSL developments (xDSL)


-Very High Data Rate Digital Subscriber Line (VDSL)

-Symmetric Digital Subscriber Lines (SDSL)

-Broadband Powerline (BPL)

-Broadband forecasts to 2017

-Notes on scenario forecasts


Boosting upstream data rates

Changing internet usage modes, including uploading and downloading of video content, mean there is more pressure on service providers to support higher upstream data rates.
In a move to help service providers offer these features, whilst reducing capital expenditure, Ikanos has launched the FXS60IF1, which it says is the first single chip integrated front end (IFE) that enables cost effective, low power, multimode VDSL2/ADSL2+ triple play residential gateways.
Peter Ahimovic, senior director of strategic marketing, noted: “Service providers are adding services such as VoIP and IPTV, but these need bandwidth and therefore VDSL2. The FXS601F1 services their xDSL requirements.”
The single chip device integrates a/d and d/a converters, along with the filters and line drivers needed for xDSL operation. Ahimovic added: “VDSL2 is still in working text, but we don’t see any reason why this chip will not meet the requirements.”
When used alongside a residential gateway processor such as Ikanos’ FusivVx180, the device supports VDSL2, ADSL2+, ADSL2 and ADSL, as well as offering high levels of impulse noise protection, Rapid Rate Adaptation, on chip QoS and wire speed network processor performance.


Saturday, February 23, 2008

New partnerships, GSM gateways and DSL testers

(openPR) - Ebermannstadt, Germany. February 21, 2008. Vierling’s Mobile Communication division will present its new, cost-effective Ecotel “lite” GSM gateways as well as its partnerships with PBX manufacturers at CeBIT this year. The Measurement Solutions division will focus on the VIT-A2 DSL tester for ADSL, ADSL2 and ADSL2+ as well as the VIT-V2 for VDSL2. Vierling’s research & development unit will present its portion of the Equikom research project which is working to optimize the supply of energy into the power grid. Vierling has developed a new approach for the CeBIT 2008 show: The company is working with its established distribution and technology partners to present Vierling solutions at their own booths instead of having a separate booth of its own.

Cooperation with PBX manufacturers and new GSM gateways

During recent months, the Mobile Communication division has focused on performing diverse compatibility tests and forging new technology partnerships with leading PBX manufacturers. “We have successfully completed a highly intensive test phase in cooperation with Siemens, Aastra DeTeWe, NEC Infrontia, Auerswald, Agfeo, Funkwerk and a number of other manufacturers”, noted Wolfgang Peter, managing director of Vierling. “This is our way of ensuring that our gateways work smoothly with all of the common PBX systems.” In addition, the first “lite” version of an Ecotel GSM gateway has been shipping for a few months now. It is known as Ecotel ISDN2-120 lite. Vierling is very satisfied with the feedback it has received from specialized dealers with regard to this Ecotel GSM gateway with a reduced set of functions.

DSL testers and energy-related R&D project
Vierling is also optimistic about current opportunities in the area of DSL testers. “As always, the VIT-A2 tester for ADSL, ADSL2 and ADSL2+ remains a top seller. More than 10,000 units of the different models of this device are already in use in Germany”, said Wolfgang Peter. “Now we also have a tester for VDSL2 in the form of the VIT-V2, which should further bolster our position in the area of easy-to-use testers designed for mass deployment.” Vierling is very proud of its innovative work in communications technologies. For example, the Equikom research project is focused on improving the supply of energy into the power grid. Here, Vierling is working under the banner of the “E-Energy” technology project organized by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institut fuer integrierte Schaltungen (IIS), Siemens Industry, the technology company iAd from Grosshabersdorf, Germany and other partners.

Many small appearances instead of a single booth
For CeBIT 2008, Vierling decided to rely on its established partners as opposed to running its own booth. Specialized dealers can obtain information about Vierling products at booths organized by the following Vierling distributors: Allnet (hall 13, C57), Herweck (hall 12, C30) and Komsa (pavilion P34). These distributors will be presenting Ecotel GSM gateways as well as the VIT-A2 DSL tester. An Ecotel GSM gateway will also be presented by Vierling technology partner D-Link (hall 13, booth D71). Vierling’s R&D activities in the area of energy efficiency will be on display at the E-Energy booth (hall 9, booth C75). “As always, we consider CeBIT to be an outstanding platform for meeting with business partners and entering into joint efforts”, added Wolfgang Peter. “We will have many of our employees from product management, sales and marketing onsite in order to meet with new and existing sales and technology partners.”


Friday, February 22, 2008

VDSL2 chipsets drive

Chipsets are designed to deliver the highest throughput and density with the lowest power consumption per port

Softbank BB Corp has named Ikanos as the exclusive provider of multimode VDSL2 central office (CO) and customer premises equipment (CPE) chipsets to power its new, fibre to the remote (FTTR) deployment in Japan. Softbank BB Corp selected Ikanos' Fx10050-5 CO and Fx10050S-5 CPE chipsets, which are designed to deliver the highest throughput and density with the lowest power consumption per port.

The chipsets will be used in CO and CPE platforms and will offer significantly higher bandwidth than currently deployed ADSLx technologies, thus facilitating future deployment of revenue-enhancing services such as triple play.

The new platforms are also backward compatible with deployed VDSL chipsets, thus facilitating a smoother infrastructure upgrade.

'Ikanos' VDSL2 chipsets are technically superior to other solutions on the market today', says Takenori Kobayashi, Director of the Access Technology Department at Softbank BB Corp.

'We needed a feature-rich, end-to-end solution to support our aggressive fibre to the remote (FTTR) roll-out schedule'.

'Having previously worked with Ikanos on our fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) deployments, we recognised that Ikanos' chipsets deliver the industry's best performance, density and power and can support the evolving high-value broadband services we provide our customers'.

'Japan is a very dynamic broadband market, with incredible demand from consumers for advanced communications and entertainment services', says Jeff Heynen, Directing Analyst, Broadband and IPTV at Infonetics Research.

'Ikanos is well positioned to continue increasing its technology and market leadership in Japan by delivering the industry's most powerful solution for supporting new service offerings now and into the future'.

'We are delighted that Softbank BB Corp'.

'has selected Ikanos for their next broadband access network deployments', says Michael A Ricci, president and CEO of Ikanos.

'Ikanos is an established leader in the VDSL2 market'.

'Our fifth-generation VDSL2 CO and CPE chipsets strengthen this lead by delivering highly differentiated features to support cutting-edge services, such as IPTV and triple play'.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

3M Develops New Module to Test xDSL Services

A new full-featured, triple-play modem module from 3M allows the 3M Dynatel Advanced Modular System 965AMS to test the latest xDSL services. The compact 3M Dynatel All-in-One Modem Module VDSL2 attaches to the back of the 965AMS, is field-swappable, and can be shared between individual base units.
This modem module can be attached directly to an xDSL circuit pair for connection to the DSLAM. It supports many DSL service types, including VDSL2, ADSL2+, ADSL2, and ADSL. With it, technicians can measure and display connection statistics, link to the server, ping through the server to an IP destination or browse the Internet.
The new 3M ITU-compliant VDSL2 Modem Module is compatible with all primary DSL service and WAN internet protocol variants. According to David L. Senum, 3M Communication Markets Division, users can conduct xDSL testing for an entire network using this device alone.
“A single modular 3M test set handles copper, DSL and IP testing to validate triple-play services at xDSL access ports and subscriber networks,” Senum explains. “With this new module, an operator can browse the Internet on the 965AMS test set screen to confirm a working Internet connection.” The new module works in concert with the 965AMS software inference engine for expert system analysis of test results and helpful guidance to field technicians performing fault identification and location of many different types of faults.
Systems managers who face training challenges related to changing workforce demographics will appreciate the knowledge-based, expert-pair test capabilities of the Dynatel Advanced Modular System 965AMS system. Tests are easy to use, require minimal operator training and provide automatic testing of active and inactive pairs with pass/fail limits.
For more information about the 3M Dynatel All-in-One Modem Module VDSL2 and the Dynatel Advanced Modular System 965AMS, contact the 3M Communication Markets Division, A130-2N-14, 6801 River Place Blvd., Austin, Texas 78726-9000, USA, or call 800-426-8688. For more information about 3M communication products, go to
3M Telecommunications
3M provides practical, scalable solutions to telecommunications service providers around the world. From military and government applications to aerial, underground and buried plant, to central office, utilities and more, it’s the widest and most comprehensive suite of products, and it's all from 3M---a major force in the telecommunications industry for more than 100 years. Our proven systems optimize network testing, construction, locating and maintenance for faster, more reliable high-bandwidth transmissions. 3M provides physical media-layer capabilities for FTTP and DSL deployments from central office to customer premises. Worldwide customers rely on 3M fiber optics technologies to leverage existing infrastructure or install completely new networks.

CHT to spend NT$3.3 billion on VDSL2 and EPON equipment in 2008

Chunghwa Telecom (CHT) plans to invest NT$3.3 billion (US$104 million) to expand its optical communications networks during 2008, with an aim to increase the number of subscribers by 400,000 this year, according sources at CHT.
Under the expansion project, CHT plans to purchase 683,000 units of VDSL2 equipment and 55,000 units of EPON (Ethernet passive optical network) equipment, the sources stated.
About 60% of the needed VDSL2 equipment is expected to be purchased from Taiwan makers, and CHT plans to hold an open bid in the second quarter of the year to finalize contracts, the sources noted.
A number of Taiwan network-equipment makers, including D-Link, Zyxel Communications, Asustek Computer and Tecom, are expected to participate in the bidding, according to market sources.
On the other hand, CHT is expected to purchase EPON equipment from suppliers in Japan, said CHT sources.

FTTH/FTTB Business Models Mainly Pushed by Alternative Carriers

Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, 02/20/2008 - According to InfoCom’s latest report FTTX — EXPERIENCES AND STRATEGIES — Filling the pipe of the NGN, it results that in worldwide, fibre deployments are mainly pushed by alternative players.

Altnets push own FTTH connections as with such a strategy they generate higher margins, saving ULL costs to pay to the incumbent. In some countries, fibre deployment from the side of the incumbent put further pressure on altents to push their own connection. In Germany, for instance, more and more city carriers have launched fibre projects in late 2007 to react on Deutsche Telekom’s FTTC/VDSL deployment. Still, the majority of German alternatives, plan rather to invest in VDSL2.

The report presents various business models: “Open platform” business model, “Partnership” model, and “Proprietary” offers, where the chosen business model depends on the background of the infrastructure owner, local regulation and competition context. And different “levels” of players needed to provide telecom or media services to the end-user: Passive Infrastructure Owner (PIO), Active Infrastructure Owner (AIO) and Service & Content Providers.

The analysis of the different business models shows that incumbents’ main drivers to invest into fibre are actually a handful. First of all, pressure by competitors: in France and in the US, alternative carriers, fixed and CaTV, offer high-speed connections and TV/video content. Second, government programmes and subsidies, for instance in Japan and South Korea. A third driver is OPEX implications: cost cuts by reducing number of local exchange sites, related workforce and maintenance expenditures. As of economic drivers, many incumbents prefer investments into FTTC/VDSL2 instead of FTTH/B: incumbents, especially European ones, face relevant investments into NGN (next generation network) infrastructure and have a tight limit for further investments like FTTx. In new build areas for instance, FTTH/FTTB might be deployed, although the incumbent follows a FTTC strategy otherwise, as in the case of KPN, Telecom Italia and Telia.

The study provides also a detailed analysis of bandwidth needs for the different services to be delivered through the “pipe”, with factors influencing the service/bundle offer and services launched by advanced European and Asian players. A separate section illustrates in details online gaming applications. Market scenarios are provided by country through market dashboards in excel format. A closing technological section provides an assessment of FTTH/FTTB versus FTTC.

FTTX — EXPERIENCES AND STRATEGIES — Filling the pipe of the NGN is one of the latest InfoCom’s reports. With more than 100 pages of text and data market models, e, condensed pages, the study illustrates the different business models of players around the world, innovative providers and applications, service bundle offers, bandwidth needs of future applications and market drivers and obstacles, with potential assessment and forecasts.
FTTX — EXPERIENCES AND STRATEGIES — Filling the pipe of the NGN is only one of several reports that InfoCom provides. To know more, please contact us.

About InfoCom
InfoCom is a market research and consultancy company with more than 20 years experience providing strategic analyses and planning assistance to stakeholders in the telecommunications, IT and multimedia industries. InfoCom’s independent and fact-based analyses highlight trends and opportunities, supporting decision makers to understand market dynamics in order to improve their competitive advantage.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sunrise Telecom(R) Launches Highly Integrated MTT(R) Products

Sunrise Telecom(R) Launches Highly Integrated MTT(R) Products for Access Infrastructure, In-Home Wiring and Triple Play Services Testing
First test system to deliver xDSL and triple play services testing in a
single, intuitive handheld unit.
SAN JOSE, Calif., Feb. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sunrise Telecom(R)
Incorporated (OTC: SRTI), a leader in test and measurement solutions for
today's telecom, wireless and cable networks, announced its MTT(R) Triple
Play Series test package -- the industry's first comprehensive access
infrastructure, in-home wiring and triple play services test set. This
ground-breaking test system meets the urgent need for both access
infrastructure and services testing in a single, handheld test set,
enabling technicians to drive new standards in the customer quality of
experience (QoE) by ensuring that the physical infrastructure and video,
voice and data services are turned up right the first time.
"This triple play services test set is another proof-point that clearly
demonstrates Sunrise Telecom's commitment to bringing new technologies and
leading-edge test systems to market," said Olga Yashkova, industry analyst,
Communication Test & Measurement, Frost & Sullivan.
While the telecommunication industry is still in the early stages of
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* In-home wiring: Home Phoneline Networking Alliance (HPNA) Device
Emulation critical for assessing the in-home wiring capability to
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stream analysis, Voice and Data over IP test suite. Unlike alternatives, which test only Layer 1 or individual services,
the MTT Triple Play Series integrates comprehensive functionality into a
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The MTT(R) Triple Play Series test package is immediately available
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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Stretching copper

When AT&T moved the goalposts back again on its expected deployment of bonded VDSL2, the industry seemed to collectively shake its head in frustration. Yet another delay in the carrier’s fiber-to-the-node initiative. And yet another return to the inconvenient truths about the bandwidth limitations of copper.

“AT&T will need to do something dramatic in order to find the bandwidth to deliver multi-stream high-definition [TV], especially since the cable and satellite competition have expanded their HD channel line-ups and/or VoD libraries substantially,” said Erik Keith, an analyst at Current Analysis. “MPEG-4 will help, but FTTN DSLAMs will not be the best strategy long-term. FTTP is really the best way to go.”

However, a few developments this week are aimed at not giving up on copper so quickly.

Rim Semiconductor is testing a new specification known as Internet Protocol Subscriber Line, or IPSL, that it expects will dramatically improve broadband performance over existing copper. Rim claims its Cupria processor can send traffic down a 26-gauge copper pair at 40 megabits per second over 5,500 feet. The company tested its wares a few months ago on the network of Monroe Telephone, a small telco in Monroe, Oregon not far from Rim’s headquarters in Portland.

John Dillard, Monroe’s president, told me Rim’s creation was “still in the breadbox stage,” but added that the Rim folks seemed to be very pleased with the results of their tests, promising more tests to follow.

Meanwhile, Alcatel-Lucent said this week that it expects to introduce equipment late next year that uses Dynamic Spectrum Management, or DSM, to aid VDSL2 performance by reducing noise in the network. But even that is described by Alcatel as a way to get a few more years of life out of existing copper before the inevitable transition to fiber.

These are only the latest such efforts to stretch copper’s limits. Last year, researchers at Penn State, working with cable vendor Nexans, designed a transmitter and receiver to send data at 100 Gb/s over Cat 7 copper.

Considering the expense of deploying FTTP and the amount of copper wire strewn across the country, it’s no surprise to see vendors focus on squeezing ever more bandwidth out of copper. As I’ve pointed out before, no matter what analysts say about the clear superiority of FTTP, the favorite triple-play access architecture of U.S. carriers continues to be FTTN–and copper the rest of the way.

Ikanos VDSL2 and FTTH Gateway Processors Awarded 2007 Product of the Year

EN-Genius Selects Fusiv(R) Vx180 VDSL2 and Vx170 FTTH Gateway Processors as Best LAN Products

FREMONT, Calif., Feb. 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ikanos Communications, Inc. , a leading developer and provider of Fiber Fast(TM) broadband solutions, announced today that its Fusiv(R) 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.

A closer look at 40 Mb/s DSL

What’s behind Rim Semiconductor’s recent claims of superfast DSL?

Rim Semiconductor turned some heads in January with a claim that its new chip can send traffic at 40 Mb/s over 5,500 feet of 26-gauge copper wire. The chip, which the company said will be commercially available later this year, promises big jumps in bandwidth for carriers such as AT&T that are trying to cram as much traffic as they can down existing copper lines.

But Rim’s approach is such a departure from currently dominant access technologies that it will have to work hard to establish new industry standards in order to get widespread deployment by major telcos.

Part of Rim’s technology involves changing how upstream and downstream bandwidth is allocated. The company is proposing an alternative to discrete multi-tone (DMT) line-coding, the encoding standard commonly employed in DSL networks including VDSL. Rather than reserve fixed allocations of upstream and downstream bandwidth, as DMT does, Rim’s chip uses time-division duplexing (instead of the frequency-division duplexing used in VDSL2) so that, when needed, downstream traffic can use bandwidth that would otherwise be reserved for upstream traffic, and vice versa. And it uses “rapid bi-directional switching” to transition in milliseconds from upstream and downstream transport.

“DMT’s fixed ratio of downstream and upstream [bandwidth] was absolutely appropriate at the time [it was created], but video has changed it all,” said Brad Ketch, Rim Semiconductor’s chief executive officer. “We feel and have felt that ultimately DMT would come to a point of diminishing returns.”

Redoing DMT is just part of Rim’s approach, said Ketch, a veteran of access vendor Advanced Fibre Communications (now Tellabs). Ketch is careful not to divulge too much about the company (which, despite not having a commercial product, has issued more than 30 press releases in the past two years). According to the firm’s Web site, Rim’s technology “defines” not just the encoding algorithms inside transport processors but also “the signal stream waveform.” Rim attacked rate and reach limitations in several ways, the company says, increasing payloads and decreasing noise and latency. Along the way, it made a few acquisitions to aid the effort, including that of 1020 Technologies and Broadband Distance Systems (a subsidiary of Utek).

The company has also hired Telcordia to, as Ketch put it, “study the impact of this technology in a binder group…to work over our shoulder make sure it makes sense to tier-one telcos.”

Ketch acknowledges that, in order to be useful, Rim’s technology would need to be deployed both in access networks and in customer premises gear, underscoring the need for standardizing the nascent technology.

“As far as the market goes, they’re sailing into the wind,” said Kermit Ross, a consultant with Millenium Marketing. “Given that the phone companies have a mix of [DSL] platforms in their networks as it is and a mix of different suppliers of DSL modems, there’s an awful lot of current flowing against making a thing like this work.”

To develop an industry standard for its technology, dubbed Internet Protocol Subscriber Line (IPSL), Rim has convened a group called the IPSL Special Interest Group, or IPSLSIG. Embarq is one of the few publicly named members of the group, which plans to meet a few times a year (its next meeting, slated for Europe, is being scheduled now, Ketch said).

“We invented IPSL, but we’re committed to making it available to other vendors because we’d like to see the ITU-T bring it in and standardize it,” Ketch said.

“Getting IPSL standardized will be one of the biggest hurdles for Rim Semi as it looks to bring its technology to market,” said Erik Keith, an analyst with Current Analysis.

Rim’s technology also requires IP DSLAMs rather than the legacy model based on ATM, though the majority of DSLAMs deployed today are IP-based..

Rim is currently testing a field-programmable version of its chip in the networks of small telcos such as Oregon’s Monroe Telephone. But with the help of partner eSilicon, Rim expects to introduce a less expensive ASIC version commercially this year.

Ketch imagines Rim’s gear making it possible for carriers to add more high-bandwidth service such as IPTV over existing copper, but he’s less certain about the technology’s potential to bring DSL to areas currently beyond reach. “That’s one application for the technology, but I think there are some question marks about the economics of it,” he said.

Meanwhile, vendors across the industry are working on separate efforts to increase the performance of DSL and copper. Established vendors are fine-tuning technologies such as Dynamic Spectrum Management and VDSL2 pair-bonding (Ketch says IPSL could potentially work in conjunction with both those technologies), while newcomers like Xtendwave and Phylogy promise their own new approaches.

“Since FTTP is prohibitively expensive for most telcos, getting more out of the existing copper access network is their most cost-effective option," Keith said.

Monday, January 28, 2008

GPON chips rush home

Startup Iamba Networks Inc. today will roll out its first chips to bring fiber to the home, joining a growing chorus of companies hoping a long-awaited ramp in gigabit passive optical networks (GPONs) will begin this year.

Competitors including BroadLight, Conexant, Freescale and PMC-Sierra are angling for position with a coming generation of more-integrated chips. The silicon promises to merge into one box optical terminals outside the home and residential gateways inside it.

But it is still unclear exactly how and when the major carriers, each with its own unique requirements, will be ready to switch on GPONs as the next step in broadband service. "The market just isn't

there yet, because it's still developing," said Jag Bolaria, senior analyst with the Linley Group (Mountain View, Calif.). "Verizon is leading the way with BPON [broadband passive optical networks], but they are just in field trials with GPON so far."

Complicating the picture, the systems are typically designed by large telecom companies--including Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Hua Wei, Motorola, Nokia Siemens Networks and Tellabs--but made by a broader group of smaller companies, many of them scattered across Taiwan and China.

As it joins the fray, startup Iamba (Cupertino, Calif.) is claiming to offer higher performance, lower costs and deeper software support than some of the competition. Its iSN-1000 chips use as many as three Altera Nios cores delivering up to 540 Dhrystone Mips to run software the company provides for IPTV, voice-over-Internet Protocol and GPON management, as well as applications developed by systems makers and carriers.

Iamba is sampling a three-member family of 1.2-watt chips, ranging from a gigabit chip for a single home to a high-end part supporting up to 24 virtual connections for an apartment building. It expects to have parts in production in 60 days.

The chips are designed for four-layer boards and sell for $15 apiece in volumes of more than 100,000 units. They target optical network terminals that cost less than $100 for outdoor units. Iamba aims to follow up the launch with chips sampling in April for the optical line unit, which drives back-end carrier systems.

Iamba's technology "is an improvement over chip sets from companies like BroadLight, Freescale and others," said Jeff Heynen, directing analyst for broadband and IPTV at Infonetics Research (Wake Forest, N.C.). "The big question is whether Iamba's technology provides a significant [enough] cost savings to the equipment makers that it makes sense to include its reference designs to potentially increase margins. Now that volume GPON deployments are beginning, price and field experience are going to be the major factors."

The company got its start in 2000 with plans to deliver systems for 622-Mbit/second ATM-based BPON technology, but after a management change in 2005 it shifted to semiconductors and 2.5-Gbit/s GPONs.

"The BPON market was slowing, and it would have cost tens of millions of dollars to launch a new systems company that would have to compete with the likes of Alcatel-Lucent, Hua Wei and others," said Reuven Segev, vice president of marketing at Iamba.

Eyes on the horizon
Chip makers are optimistic this is the year GPON boxes will roll into neighborhoods where carriers are deploying fiber-to-the-home services like Verizon's FiOS.

"We've been in a systems design phase for the last six months" as OEMs port their voice and management software to chips, said Pranay Aiya, a director of marketing of Conexant Systems Inc.. "Deployments have taken longer than expected, and Verizon's transition to GPON has been slower than expected." Still, the company is hopeful volumes will expand beyond 10 million units a year by 2011, Aiya said.

"We expect the industry to ramp this year, because a lot of carriers have had this technology in lab and field trials," said Dan Parsons, vice president of marketing at BroadLight. The company has sold about 250,000 chips for GPON terminals to date and has orders on hand for another 350,000. Some of the early deployments serviced small systems in Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

In the United States, AT&T has said it may use GPON for new homes starting this year. But for most customers, AT&T uses a fiber-to-the curb architecture, with VDSL2 over copper to the home.

"It looks like we will see a ramp starting in the second half," said Steven Haas, a director of product marketing at PMC-Sierra Inc., which has sold only sample quantities of GPON chips to date. "Everybody is talking about Verizon and AT&T and a few other possibilities in Hong Kong, Korea and Singapore."

China Netcom and China Telecom have said they will deploy Gigabit Ethernet PON technology in new apartment buildings, said BroadLight's Parsons. In Europe, France Telecom has said it aims to connect as many as 200,000 subscribers in 2008 with integrated GPON gateways.

A key milestone for GPON has been getting everyone's equipment tested. The Full Service Access Network group of carriers and system vendors has been conducting interoperability events hosted by carriers, which optimize tests for some of the particular characteristics of their networks.

"By the second half, I think there will be good interoperability for each of the carrier networks, and the risks of buying the two ends from different vendors will be diminished," said PMC-Sierra's Haas.

Some chip makers, such as BroadLight and Iamba, aim at sales into systems on both ends of the wire. Others are targeting volume sales to home terminals only.

Freescale Semiconductor, for one, has no plans for chips serving the back-end carrier systems. "Most of the systems vendors are using custom FPGAs for that," said Suhail Agwani, a marketing and business development manager in Freescale's Networking and Multimedia group.

One unknown for those aiming at gateway boxes is which home-networking technologies will take off. Verizon is backing Multimedia over Coax, AT&T is using phone-line networking and many carriers in Europe will adopt HomePlug power line technology. Chip makers include a PCI link to an external home-net chip that carriers can specify for their gateways.

The need to tailor terminals for each carrier's requirements is one reason systems makers like Alcatel tend to contract with a range of small design houses.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

How Big is the VDSL Market?

Ikanos (IKAN) sees the European market as the most promising market for 2008, with several carriers evaluating VDSL platforms powered by Ikanos’ technology. There are several factors which make Europe so attractive for Ikanos.

First, fiber penetration in Europe is not as deep as in Japan and Korea, where fiber is typically pushed very close to the customer’s home or building. In Europe, the loop lengths are substantially longer, ranging from several hundreds to several thousands feet, which calls for ADSL2+ and FTTC/N rather than FTTH/B, assuming that carriers want to minimize capex. Second, European telcos are not pressured by cable operators, as cable companies in Europe are inferior to the large European carriers such as Deutsche Telekom and Telefonica. In the US, cable companies have a very strong position and are planning to fight Verizon’s and AT&T’s triple play offers by massive upgrades, including Docsis 3.0 that can potentially deliver 160Mbps, setting a very high bar. Third, the European market is characterized by strong regulation, which forces carriers to share their infrastructure and provide unbundled access to alternative carriers. This has led numerous carriers to a direct clash with the EU regulatory body regarding network unbundling and the feasibility of network upgrades in light of existing policies. The most familiar of these clashes is DT’s dispute with the European Commission [EC] about its VDSL buildout. DT refuses to provide alternative service providers such as Hansenet and Arcor access to its VDSL network despite harsh criticism and threats from the EC. Fourth, Ikanos has a very strong partnership with Alcatel–Lucent (ALU), the most dominant access vendor in Europe. Ikanos expects most of its future sales in Europe to be derived from the partnership with Alcatel, who is currently shipping its VDSL systems based on Ikanos’ chipset to 3 customers, with additional 4-5 carriers who are in field trials. Ikanos has particularly high hopes for Alcatel’s 48-port VDSL2 line card, which was launched in the first half of 2007.

Ikanos had expected a smooth entrance to the European market after being the undisputed leader in Asia, but things turned out quite differently. VDSL made its debut in Europe in 2006 as Deutsche Telekom (DT), Swisscom and Belgacom started offering tripe play through FTTN architecture. Naturally, the DT deployment was the largest one, but Ikanos found itself supplying chips only for the other two. Both of DT’s suppliers, ECI and Siemens used Infineon’s (IFX) chips, even though both had design wins with Ikanos as well. This was indeed a major triumph for Infineon, after the defeat Ikanos had inflicted upon the German chip maker in 2003-2004 in Asia. Back then, there were two standards for VSDL: DMT (discrete multitone technique), supported by Ikanos and QAM (Quadrature amplitude modulation), supported by Infineon and Metalink (MTLK). While Metalink had some success in Korea, it failed to penetrate the Japanese market, and Infineon was pushed out of both markets by the two tiny companies. In 2004 , a decision by the ITU crowned DMT as the winning standard, further establishing Ikanos’ lead. Infineon embraced the new standard and started developing DMT based chips while Metalink decided to abandon the VDSL market in favor of 802.11n wireless chips. Infineon’s exclusivity at DT was a sweet revenge, with over half a million VDSL2 lines deployed by the end of 2007.

2006 didn’t end too well for Ikanos in Europe as it had 2 FTTN deployments (Swisscom and Belgacom ) and one small FTTB deployment in France (Erenis). However, it had high hopes for additional carriers, especially Telefonica and Telecom Italia (TI) to join the VDSL party during 2007. Unfortunately, both TI and Telefonica expressed their intention to deploy VDSL throughout 2007, but neither actually reached mass deployments.

With over 7 million broadband subscribers (in Italy), Telecom Italia (TI) is talking about its network revamp plans for more than 2 years, without any real actions. One of the causes for the delay was the changes of ownership and reorganization process TI was going through. Nevertheless, it seems like under the newly appointed CEO, the long awaited network upgrade will finally start in 2008. Last month, another obstacle was removed after the company and Italy’s telecommunications regulator reached an agreement regarding granting alternative operators access to TI’s network. On the access side, the carrier plans to upgrade its broadband infrastructure using both FTTC and FTTB for download speeds of 50Mbps and 100Mbps respectively. The target is reaching 5% and 65% of the general population by 2009 and 2017 respectively. This is certainly not the most aggressive plan out there, but it still represents an important opportunity. For instance, a TI executive recently presented plans that include the deployment of half a million VDSL lines in 2008 alone, even though it wouldn’t surprise anybody if actual numbers this year are lower.

Telefonica ended 2007 with almost half a million IPTV subs, most of them are served by ADSL/2. The company already announced Alcatel-Lucent as its ADSL/VDSL supplier in late 2006. However, due to harsh disagreements with the European regulator, the carrier decided to delay the network buildout until regulatory issues are resolved. It is still unclear how the situation will unfold in 2008, as both sides seem to stick with their original positions. The EC certainly isn’t happy with the competitive landscape in the Spanish broadband market . Telefonica chose to postpone the network upgrade, in contrast to DT, who decided to carry on deploying VDSL2 across Germany despite the disagreement with the EC. For now , it seems like Telefonica’s customers are the big losers in this battle.

KPN is another carrier Ikanos’ management has been mentioning for over a year. It started trialing FTTC+VDSL2 in late 2006, but still haven’t deployed substantial amounts of VDSL lines. In recent conferences, the Dutch incumbent announced FTTH as the ultimate goal but it plans to deploy FTTH only in new buildings, using FTTC+VDSL2 in the majority of cases. Tim Poulus provides great insight about KPN’s strategy in his Communications Breakdown blog. In its Q3 conference call, KPN made its commitment for mass VDSL2 deployments in 2008 very clear. Although relatively small, KPN, with over 2.5M broadband users, is still significant for Ikanos for 2008.

Telenor, Norway’s incumbent, is also planning mass deployment of VDSL using FTTN architecture during 2008. The deployment is part of an overall network upgrade that includes FTTH as well as Wimax. Last year, Alcatel-Lucent announced it was chosen by Telenor as the preferred supplier for the FTTN and the FTTH deployments. Since in the press release Alcatel mentions the 48-port VDSL2 line card, it is safe to assume this deployment will be powered by Ikanos’ technology as well. In the end of Q3 Telenor had 750 thousand DSL subscribers, so the overall potential is relatively small. Nevertheless, the VDSL deployment is expected to be extended to other Telenor affiliates, almost doubling the potential market for Ikanos.

France Telecom is another strategic customer for 2008, even though it does not intend to deploy VDSL. FT, with over 7 million broadband subs in France alone has been offering its IPTV services over ADSL for over 2 years, deploying Sagem’s ADSL2 residential gateways. Sagem, which has the majority of FT’s gateway business , is using Ikanos’ technology (acquired from Analog Devices (ADI)). Last year, the incumbent announced its intentions to deploy FTTH, similarly to its competitors Iliad and Neuf. The loop lengths in France are longer relatively to Germany, which makes FTTN/C less attractive. Ikanos has been working with Sagem on residential gateways that can support both ADSL and FTTH, and expects substantial orders from FT for its gateway product, even though it won’t involve VDSL.

On the FTTB side, Ikanos added two European customers in 2007, Netcologne in Germany and an unnamed European alternative carrier. These operators are much smaller than the large incumbents Ikanos hopes to get as customers, but on top of the financial value, the company hopes the success of the smaller operators with FTTB will lead larger operators to deploy FTTB as well.

In summary, although there was a lot of trials and pr activity in 2007, VDSL deployments in Europe were quite modest. KPN and Telenor are very likely to join Belgacom and Swisscom on Ikanos’ customer list, but Ikanos still needs a deployment with one of the larger incumbents in order to see real growth in Europe.

For anyone who wants to keep track of the latest developments in triple-play deployments worldwide, I warmly recommend TelecomView’s website, which is one of the best sources of information out there.

Disclosure: Author is long IKAN /

Monday, January 21, 2008

UpZide Expands Business Relationship With Tensilica, Developing Multi-Core VDSL2

LULEA, Sweden & SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(Business Wire)--UpZide Labs AB and Tensilica(R), Inc., today announced an expanded
business relationship under which UpZide will take their reference
Vectorized VDSL2 (second generation Very high-speed Digital Subscriber
Line) design to market in a chipset using over 50 Xtensa(R) LX2
configurable processors. Vectorized VDSL2 technology is seen as key to
delivering VoIP (voice over Internet protocol), VoD (video on demand)
and HDTV (high-definition television) simultaneously over standard
telephone lines.

"Our unique scalable architecture is built on multiple Xtensa
processors," said UpZide's CEO, Dr. Mikael Isaksson. "The programmable
nature of this platform allows for efficient future upgrades,
compliance to standard enlargements, customizations and customer niche
optimizations for both control plane (firmware) and data plane
(transceiver). It also allows us to use an advanced system simulation
environment to ensure end-to-end system validation quality."

UpZide's solution builds on the existing and continued roll out of
FTTN (fiber-to-the-network) VDSL2 deployment by significantly
increasing both data rates and reach over the existing copper network
and providing operators with an economically and timely alternative to
FTTH (fiber-to-the-home). UpZide believes its Vectored VDSL is the
next step in large scale broadband roll-outs. Vectoring overcomes the
performance limitations of VDSL2 with a capital expenditure that is
several multiples less than required for FTTH in brown-field
deployments, making it the solution of choice for operators as they
increase their offering of value-added services.

"UpZide's team has strong expertise gained from designing several
VDSL platforms in various semiconductor technologies, including FPGAs,
ASICs and DSPs, since 1995," stated Steve Roddy, Tensilica's vice
president of marketing. "As we've worked together over the past two
years, UpZide has found that our Xtensa configurable processors are
ideal for this project because they can be optimised precisely for
this application. This makes them much faster and energy efficient
than standard control processors, enabling UpZide to design a
processor based solution with the power-area efficiency previously
only attainable with hard-coded RTL design methodologies."

Copyright Business Wire 2008

Friday, January 18, 2008

Clare Introduces Next Addition to Growing Family of DC-Termination ICs for ADSL/VDSL

Clare Introduces Next Addition to Growing Family of DC-Termination ICs for
ADSL/VDSL Applications

The CPC1466 is used in ADSL/VDSL Customer Premise Equipment (CPE)
to terminate the DC current of DSL twisted-pair copper lines without
telephone voice services
BEVERLY, Mass.--(Business Wire)--Clare, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of
IXYS Corporation
(NASDAQ:IXYS), today announced that it is in full production with the
CPC1466 DC-termination IC for ADSL and VDSL CPE applications such as
broadband modems and leased-line equipment. The CPC1466 has the DC
termination functionality necessary to complete the path for wetting
current specified by ITU-T G.992.3. The IC also includes an integrated
current limit feature and detect output that indicates wetting current
is being applied.

The CPC1466 provides a polarity-insensitive DC termination for
wetting current and a recognizable signature for MLT and SARTS
systems. The part has excellent linearity, 70dB typical, to minimize
harmonic distortion associated with its AC impedance and has
well-controlled turn-on and turn-off characteristics to minimize
impulse noise and generation of in-band signal energy into the DSL
channel. Since it interfaces with the tip/ring pair, it is has a
maximum rating of 300V to handle power cross and lightning transients.
These ICs are manufactured on Clare's proven 320V Silicon-On-Insulator
(SOI) process and packaged in a 16 pin SOIC or MLP.

Wetting current, also known as loop sealing current, is a
low-level DC current (usually less than 20 mA) applied to a loop for
the specific purpose of maintaining cable splice integrity by
preventing the build-up of oxidation. The wetting current mainly
addresses all-digital services, unlike services with underlying POTS
(Plain Old Telephone Service) that inherently provide loop current
while off-hook. In addition, service providers have the option of
providing ADSL2+ broadband services to customers without POTS and meet
the requirement for wetting current. With many service providers
implementing ADSL2+ and VDSL, service growth in the symmetrical
high-speed market is up 50% since 2003.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

2Wire Unveils the Industry's First Fully Integrated Solution for Digital Home Connectivity

Interoperability, Intuitive User Interfaces, Place Shifting, Centralized Storage, and Unified Management Are Keys to Successful Integration of the Digital Home
LAS VEGAS, NV--(Marketwire - January 2, 2008) - CES -- 2Wire, a provider of broadband service platforms, today unveiled the industry's first fully integrated multi-service connectivity solution, with the addition of the new 2Wire intelligent home server, and the 2Wire Shifter™ remote video and multimedia access feature.
The fully integrated solution creates the opportunity for service providers to be the sole source of the subscriber's entire digital experience, by offering bundled service plans that cover the full breadth of subscriber data and entertainment needs.
For broadband subscribers, the integrated platform finally solves the digital media dilemma. Having embraced digital media, subscribers are ultimately disappointed to discover that file types are mismatched, platforms are proprietary, and media access is limited to specific devices and locations. The result is scattered content and a fragmented digital experience.
2Wire solutions resolve these issues by providing seamless integration of interoperable devices, applications, and services. Key features of the 2Wire platform include automated storage, backup, and universal access to all media types, from purchased video, to photos, music, and user-generated video. Content and services are accessible via a single intuitive Web portal, whether at home or away.
"Since our inception, 2Wire has been opening the door to the digital home for our telco customers, with platforms that provide subscribers uncomplicated, whole-home networking solutions," said Pasquale Romano, president and CEO of 2Wire. "We are now able to provide subscribers with the most unified digital experience available, while giving telcos new products, services, and software that create the unprecedented opportunity to assume ownership of the entire digital home experience."
Both the 2Wire intelligent home server and the 2Wire Shifter leverage the 2Wire HomePortal® intelligent gateway and MediaPortal™ platforms to provide DSL subscribers with a unique, fully convergent digital media experience. HomePortal intelligent gateways feature a high performance ADSL or VDSL modem, high-speed router, professional-grade firewall, integrated voice over IP, and flexible home networking options. The 2Wire MediaPortal platform allows providers to combine broadcast satellite or off-air TV programming with broadband services, to deliver a comprehensive entertainment solution.
The new components of the 2Wire multi-service connectivity solution include:
-- 2Wire intelligent home server - This category-defining new solution
combines the functionality of a network-attached storage device with the
flexibility of a media server. Discover™, an application bundled with
the intelligent home server, actively seeks out content from other
networked devices and, keeping metadata intact, aggregates it into
categorized libraries which can then be accessed directly -- through any
networked device, such as a PC, video game console, or other set top box --
or remotely, through any Internet-connected, media-capable device such as a
computer or even handheld devices and mobile phones. The intelligent home
server features a Web-based user interface, customizable by the service
provider, for simple subscriber access and configuration on the provider's
portal site, utilizing the subscriber's existing username and password.

-- 2Wire Shifter - 2Wire Shifter is the pivotal place-shifting component
of the 2Wire multi-service media platform. This feature is enabled by an
adapter the size of a deck of cards. Interoperable with a variety of
networked devices, including set top boxes and the 2Wire intelligent home
server, it enables Web-based remote access of any multimedia content,
including live streaming television, to any content-capable device, such as
a laptop computer or even a mobile phone.

Each component of the 2Wire multi-service connectivity solution is interoperable and standards-compliant. The entire system is fully manageable by the 2Wire CMS CPE management system as well as a variety of 2Wire server applications. Such applications include business rules and analytics, home automation controls, data backup management, and media management, a server application that mediates third-party content providers and manages subscriber content purchases and downloads, DRM, and billing. As a customized, bundled solution, this suite of intelligent, interoperable products and services features Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) and Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) functionality, and a single service-provider-branded, Web-based portal.
All components of the 2Wire multi-service connectivity solution will be made exclusively available to the world's leading telecom broadband service providers. Components are also compatible with many third-party devices, and customized platforms may be provided for integration in a variety of configurations.
2Wire will be demonstrating the new platform to broadband service provider customers in private meetings during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.
About 2Wire
2Wire provides global telecom carriers with broadband products, software, and service platforms that enable an integrated triple play of networked data, voice, and media services. Award-winning products and services include residential gateways, broadband multimedia set-top boxes, remote management systems, and call center customer support. 2Wire customers are leading broadband providers throughout the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Europe, Australia, and Asia, including AT&T, Bell Canada, BT, Embarq, SingTel, Telmex, Telstra and others. For more information, visit
2Wire, HomePortal, MediaPortal, and Shifter are trademarks or registered trademarks of 2Wire, Inc. in the United States and in other jurisdictions throughout the world. All other company names may be trade names or trademarks of their respective owners.