– AnyWAN Offers Box Makers Any WAN
– The Coming Integration of LTE and DSL
Lantiq this week announced that its new VRX300 family of vectoring chipsets for use in gateways will support download speeds of up to 150 mbps and, when used over bonded pairs of telephone wires, will provide download speeds up to 200 Mbps. A variety of chipsets is available for making various gateways that can accommodate any combination of available broadband including wireless: all flavors of xDSL and fiber plus LTE. Lantiq calls the multi-broadband capability its AnyWAN technology. Included in AnyWan technology is 802.11n Wi-Fi with beam forming.
Dirk Wieberneit, Lantiq senior VP and general manager of the customer premises equipment business unit said the VRX300 chipsets are in field tests now and that it expects to begin shipping in quantity in June, which means finished products should be shipping to telcos and on to their subscribers in a few months. Frank Engel, Lantiq senior marketing manager for VDSL CPE, also participated in the presentation.
The folks from the Broadband Forum told us last week that a year from now it will be amazing to see how many telcos will be underway in deploying vectoring. We expect that Alcatel-Lucent will make some major announcements within weeks. It is no doubt slowed by the slow pace the telcos take to make sure every “i” is dotted and “t” crossed before it signs off on an announcement. Telcos have regulators and subscribers to keep happy and so don’t want to over-promise or under-achieve. So far, Alcatel-Lucent is the only company we know of that is shipping vectoring DSLAMs for installation. It’s also shipping in quantity vectoring gateways/modems, probably made by Sagemcom.
It’s not clear which maker of gateways will ship the first with the new Lantiq chips but the company says it already has orders from two of them. That invariably means the gateway makers have orders from telcos.
Assuming those speed numbers hold up in the real world, which Lantiq says they do, the next question is why would a telco need to deploy all-fiber networks, at least until the peak speed demand for broadband exceeds 50 Mbps. Sure, DOCSIS and fiber can provide higher speed but a) who will need more than 50 Mbps in the near distant future? And b) why should a telco deploy all-fiber when that costs upwards of five to ten times as much as deploying vectoring over existing networks, even though some additional fiber has to be deployed?
The LTE Impact on Wireline Broadband
Lantiq also talked about a new hybrid technology called dsLte (as in DSL LTE) that it’s developing for use in sparsely settled areas where VDSL2 is not available, much less VDSL2 vectoring. It will use existing basic DSL wireline technology together with wireless LTE. Stationary DSL/LTE modems/gateways in the home will be Wi-Fi capable for connecting portable and fixed devices — tablets and TVs mostly.
LTE is already available in speeds of up to the 100 Mbps range and that is going higher in the next year or two. LTE, like DOCSIS and unlike DSL, is a shared medium, which means that the advertised speed of 100 Mbps at each cell is diluted as each new subscriber gets online. Dave Burstein of DSLPrime says, “However, the sharing of DOCSIS and LTE works much better than common sense would suggest.”
As we have been reporting since CES, we have seen increasing evidence that LTE is going to be a main part of AT&T and Verizon’s strategy for locations where vectoring is not economically feasible.
The hybrid DSL/LTE chipsets that Lantiq is developing seem to be headed for Deutsche Telekom, which has already announced a deployment strategy that would require such a technology. It’ll be interesting to see whether other telcos follow suit.
Questions and Answers about Hybrid DSL/LTE Networks
There is not a lot known publicly about the hybrid DSL/LTE broadband technology and how it will be implemented so we asked Lantiq some additional questions:
The Online Reporter: Basic DSL has only very slow speeds, so why is DSL needed in an LTE fixed broadband scenario?
Lantiq: DSL can provide bandwidth between 1 to 20 Mbps, on long loop length >1 kilometer (0.6 mile). When we combine, or better to say bundle VDSL with LTE, we can reach much higher bandwidths in those areas that are further away from the central office. DSLTE is a concept that allows DSL operators to extend the lifetime of their DSL network without big infrastructure investments by adding an LTE link and offering a combined/bundled pipe.
Q: What would it be used for?
A: To bring high bandwidth to rural areas and also to achieve the highest data rates in urban areas
It enables DSL operators to compete against cable TV operators, which are offering data rates “up to 100 Mbps.”
It also increases the reliability of the Internet connection, as the second link offers some redundancy.
Q: Is the broadband connection constantly switching between LTE and DSL, looking for the fastest speeds?
A: DSL and LTE will …
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