Home North AmericaNorth America 2009 Broadband – separating the long distance runners from the sprinters

Broadband – separating the long distance runners from the sprinters

by david.nunes
Hossam Salib Issue: North America 2009
Article no.: 8
Topic: Broadband – separating the long distance runners from the sprinters
Author: Hossam Salib
Title: VP of Marketing
Organisation: Positron Access Solutions/Aktino
PDF size: 196KB

About author

Hossam Salib is the VP of Marketing for Aktino, a Positron Access Solutions division, a developer of carrier MIMO over DMT bonded copper solutions; he has over 20 years of experience in product management, and the marketing and development of complex systems and silicon products. Throughout the years, Mr Salib headed a product management organization at ADC, worked with key carriers including AT&T, Qwest and France Telecom, was the Senior Director of Engineering at PairGain and worked at Rockwell designing electronic modules and ASICs. Hossam Salib received his B.S degree in Electrical Engineering from Polytechnic University of New York.

Article abstract

Demand for broadband has run ahead of both wired and wireless network capacity and left many operators with little, if any, excess capacity. Operators must either invest heavily in fibre cabling or meet consumer demand by upgrading their existing copper-wired networks. The new MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) over DMT (Discrete Multitone) copper-bonded solutions are relatively inexpensive and provides a return on investment within12 to 24 months by using the existing copper infrastructure to provide fibre-like bandwidth and reliability.

Full Article

The proliferation of multimedia applications, ubiquitous handheld devices and the ever-growing mobile workforce has created an insatiable demand for highly reliable access bandwidth. The empirical data also suggests that more bandwidth is required for traffic towards the consumer rather than towards the service provider. Residential and business users spend most of their time accessing e-mails, presentations, videos and music rather than generating and uploading information back on to the network. This rapid increase in bandwidth demand has drained the excess capacity on both wireline and wireless networks. Telecom service providers realise that current networks must be upgraded to meet the demands of their customers. However, today’s service providers face two critical challenges building up their capacity and remaining competitive: • Multiple cable system operators (MSOs) already provide up to 150 Mbps downstream and 20 Mbps upstream on their existing cable network. This allows them to address the bandwidth needs with low incremental capital expense (CAPEX); • The recessive economic market conditions and resulting loss in revenue has forced many service providers to cut their CAPEX; and Competitive pressures drive carriers to deliver services in a timely manner and meet stringent service-level agreements (SLAs). Additionally, reduced CAPEX budgets force carriers to deliver services using their existing network infrastructure rather than building a new network. Addressing the problem Over the past 15 years, carriers have deployed a significant amount of fibre in the access and transport networks. However, copper still connects most businesses and homes worldwide. Fibre is the ultimate solution to meet current and future bandwidth requirements; it will eventually be deployed everywhere. Unfortunately, the significant upfront cost and longer time fibre takes to generate a return on investment keeps telecom service provider from deploying fibre everywhere. In contrast, bonded copper solutions require significantly less capital initially, enabling a payback in 12 to 24 months. This lets providers leverage their existing copper infrastructure and provide fibre-like bandwidth. Telecom service providers prefer the low CAPEX solution using their existing copper infrastructure provides, but also like the high bandwidth and reliability of fibre. Can telecom service providers win the broadband race by offering high bandwidth with high reliability without spending a significant amount of money on fibre deployments? Can carriers run, and win, the long-term race rather than trying to be sprinters and running out of cash before building a solid customer base? The answer lies in being able to use new and innovative technology to bridge the fibre deployment gap. New Innovative Technology – MIMO over DMT The new MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) over DMT (Discrete Multitone) copper bonded solutions require significantly less capital and enables a return on investment of 12 to 24 months. This gives providers an opportunity to leverage their existing copper infrastructure to provide fibre-like bandwidth and reliability, with the scalability and flexibility required to meet the demand for advanced services. As a result, many are using bonded copper until fibre build-outs can be justified financially. MIMO itself has roots as a wireless solution, since interference has always been a consideration. It dovetails perfectly with DMT, which significantly improves the spectral compatibility between symmetric and asymmetric services. As a combined approach, this technology delivers the high rates and long reach carriers seek, with a level of reliability that rivals fibre. As illustrated below, Wireline and Wireless MIMO applications provide significant bandwidth gains and better reach to allow providers to offer these new services ubiquitously. The chart below illustrates the performance of MIMO over DMT copper bonded solutions. • MIMO over DMT symmetric rate performance (in red) is typically double or more than that of legacy technologies (in pink) at any given reach; and • MIMO over DMT asymmetric downstream (in blue and black) is five to ten times more than that of legacy technologies. For example, at 2 Km, legacy technologies can deliver eight to 20 Mbps to a business or a cell site. MIMO over DMT can deliver up to 100 Mbps in the downstream direction on the same number of copper pairs. This technology enables service providers to benefit from the following three main applications: Wireless backhaul The demand for backhaul bandwidth to cell sites has increased because many customers are replacing their landlines with mobile phones. In addition, many are opting to use high bandwidth wireless devices such as smart phones for their e-mails, Internet, music and videos, which rapidly use up the providers’ backhaul bandwidth. This situation, coupled with intense competition and price pressure in the marketplace, has created a great sense of urgency to find fast, cost-effective solutions such as bonded copper. MIMO over DMT bonded copper allows carriers to provide up to 100 Mbps Ethernet backhaul to cell sites versus eight to 20 Mbps with legacy technologies. DSLAM backhaul To expand high-speed broadband services to homes, providers need to deploy DSLAMs (Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer) closer to homes. This allows technologies like ADSL2 (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) and VDSL2 (Very High Bitrate Digital Subscriber Line) to deliver 25 to 50 Mbps to homes. As compared to cell sites, many of these DSLAMs will connect to copper and receive only the limited bandwidth that legacy technologies can provide. MIMO over DMT provides up to ten times more bandwidth over legacy copper technologies. Business Ethernet services Business Ethernet services have traditionally started with bandwidth levels as low as two Mbps. Recent increases in demand for bandwidth by businesses, schools, hospitals and banks have raised the service level requirements from two Mbps to about 10 to 50 Mbps. These services are traditionally symmetric, but a new wave of applications is driving more downstream requirements for services like DIA (Dedicated Internet Access). MIMO over DMT is the only technology that meets both requirements. It is also worth noting that very recent moves toward asymmetric transmission not only help carriers handle the high-bandwidth applications mentioned above, but also enable even higher per-pair bandwidth rates – nearly double the already impressive bandwidth per-pair made possible by symmetric MIMO over DMT technology. While Ethernet services are traditionally symmetric, many emerging applications use significant downstream bandwidth and very little upstream bandwidth. With an asymmetric approach, service providers can configure the upstream and downstream flows in order to tailor bandwidth to the precise needs of their customers and their own backhaul demands. In addition to the flexibility of this approach, the ‘unbalanced’ bandwidth enables carriers to achieve bandwidths as high as 13 Mbps per copper pair up to 2 Km. In a challenging era, as telecommunications use grows rapidly around the world, telecom service providers who are able to meet the increasing demands of high bandwidth by leveraging low cost methods to offer higher speed broadband services, will be at a distinct advantage. The race is on; providers must deploy the most cost-effective solution to obtain high bandwidth, high reliability and flexibility. Fibre deployment prevails where the business case is justified and funds are available, but for the majority of existing networks that utilize copper, MIMO over DMT provides an affordable fibre-like solution using an economical copper-based technology. In times where it is important to be cost-conscious, providers need to consider all of their options before investing heavily in expensive technologies. The provider who selects technologies that work best with their existing networks and meets the demand for bandwidth at the lowest cost will win the race.

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