Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Firm claims to give new lease on life to DSL--at "up to" 400 Mbs

A Canadian firm claims it has developed proprietary DSL transmission technology that would allow DSL to run over copper pair at speeds "up to" 400 Mbs, easily lapping cable. Moreover, boasts Calgary, Alberta -based Genesis Technical Systems Corp, its Bonded DSL Rings(tm) Technology (BDR), is so economical to deploy that telcos could get back their investment in one year, even in rural areas.

The company elaborates in a press release issued today:

High quality television over copper telephone lines can be a reality for Telcos using Bonded DSL Rings(TM). Bandwidths of up to 400 megabits per second - at a cost much lower than fiber - are achievable using BDR. This will allow Telcos to compete head-to-head with cable companies at a price point that is attractive to consumers and very profitable for Telcos.

The company claims it demonstrated BDR's viability in proof of concept demonstrations at trade shows in 2007. The real proof of concept as this company likely well knows is whether telcos buy its claimed breakthrough that provides extended life to DSL, an interim wireline broadband technology on the road to fiber.

There have been a number of companies claiming breakthroughs such as this in DSL technology. Given the fact that copper is a poor transmission medium for broadband due to the tendency for signals to degrade quickly over short distances, such claims should be met with a healthy degree of skepticism.

In addition, a diagram of the technology's components at the Genesis Web site shows it requires remote field equipment. The telcos have long had remote DSL terminals. The issue isn't lack of technology but rather an unwillingness on the part of the telcos to invest in infrastructure and equipment to deliver broadband.


Anonymous said...

Hi Fred,

Imagine for a minute that you are sitting in the CEO's chair at SomeTelco. As with all other landline-based Telcos you are swiftly losing marketshare to cable-based providers. Your stockholders are looking to you to save their dividends. Fiber deployment, for the vast majority of worldwide Telcos, is far too expensive and could only ever economically apply to a very small portion of your network. Incidentally, that portion holds the highest population density and most cable-based competition. Once you deploy the fiber you will have to discount the service offerings to attract customers away from cable who will not stand still and allow you to do this. The economics are horrible!

What you need is a new revenue-generation platform, not simply a new technology that provides some level of higher bandwidth over what you offer today...even if it is a factor of 20 times what you can offer today. Bandwidth alone is a commodity and spending a bunch of capital on deployments for an increase in a commodity had better have some route to higher margins.

Tools are needed as part of that bandwidth; like Quality of Service (QoS), and an efficient way of providing popular content to multiple customers simultaneously so that your network doesn't fold under the huge strain of the Super Bowl in HD. Oh, and all this had better work over the copper wire that you already have into each house in your area. Deploying more cable-of any kind to all subscribers-is far too expensive to contemplate.

The base technologies should be something that we are already familiar with so if we decide to go this route we aren't just funding a neat science experiment. The numbers need to have some basis in reality. Lets see, VDSL2 chip suppliers advertise that they can provide "up to" 200 Mb/s over a single twisted pair. Most houses have at least 2 pairs so 400 Mb/s is not too far out on a limb there.

There are technologies in the optical space, for example RPR is used to link CO's in the Metro, that provide QoS and Efficient Multicast. Putting RPR over VDSL2 shouldn't be too much of a challenge...

That might work for the last 200m but what about the CO backhaul? Well, all those people on the ring can donate their pairs from the pedestal to the CO to feed the ring bandwidth. G.Bond specifies that up to 32 pairs can be bonded into a single logical link. At a distance where 20 Mb/s of ADSL2+ can be delivered today that could theoretically provide >600 Mb/s to that area. I'm sure I could find a use for some of that!!!

So the technology is not an issue, the tools are there, it uses existing copper, and the bandwidth numbers are realistic. By the way, ring nodes are Add Drop Multiplexers (ADMs). This means that they are repeaters that you can add and drop traffic to/from. That would suggest that rural areas could certainly benefit as the transmission bandwidth vs. distance curves all restart after each node.

As CEO you should be happy, if not ravenously interested, don't you think?

Fred Pilot said...

If the economics and technology of this are are good as you claim they are, then I would expect telcos would snap it up.

Please give us an update on your sales progress in six months to a year.

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