A planned upgrade to Telus’s ADSL commercial and business services is helping to redefine how the industry measures broadband, the carrier’s CTO said Wednesday.
Telus is installing Nokia‘s D500 DSLAM (Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer) at points across its territory, increasing its coverage footprint from about 88 per cent to more than 90 per cent. The Nokia equipment will allow the carrier to increase current ADSL speeds of 15 mbps for home users to up to 30 mbps on ADSL2+ technology.
“We’ve developed a special cabinet known as the rapid deployment access cabinet to allow customers like Telus to place the DSLAM closer to the customer: on the curb or in multi-dwelling units or in shipping malls such that it puts them in a position to deliver faster speeds of bandwidths,” explained Peter Kibiuk, head of sales for fixed operation solutions for Nokia Canada in Burnaby, B.C. “It’s really extending their network where there has been no DSLAMs.”
The ADSL2+ service should be available to subscribers by the end of the year, said Telus CTO Ibrahim Gedeon. Future upgrade plans would include ADSL2+ bonded, which would allow for speeds of up to 35 Mbps. The Nokia platform would also allow existing modems to use a VDSL2 card, which could reach 40 Mbps.
But more important than the speed is what you can do with it, said Gedeon. Telus is trying to replace the cart-before-the-horse approach that has typically characterized bandwidth issues.
“The investments we’ve done in our systems over the last few years is to stop capturing your profile via bandwidth but capture it as (media and Web preferences) rather than doing it the other way around,” said Gedeon. “Speed, from our point of view is: if you’d like 40 Mbps, we have a technology to move you to that one. We’re more proactive in terms of being able to fulfill your needs.”
Increasing the available bandwidth will help Telus prepare for applications like IP-TV, said Gartner Canada analyst Elroy Jopling. “You don’t need a lot of bandwidth for standard television, but as soon as you start getting into high-definition, it takes a lot more. If you’re looking at providing a television solution, you do need to start looking at ADSL2, ADSL2-plus or VDSL.”
There is a measure of wisdom in Gedeon’s argument that services are more important than raw bandwidth, said Jopling, but it’s unlikely that users will start ignoring numbers like 40 Mbps.
“It’s the same as memory in computers: you never have enough. If somebody gives you more than you need, then within the next year somebody will figure out how to make use of it.”
According to Kibiuk, Nokia’s agreement with Telus marks the first time the equipment provider has reached a major infrastructure deal with a Tier 1 carrier.