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.