With more and more service providers looking to bring DSL termination gear closer to end users, Lucent Technologies has entered the market for DSL remote terminals.
Lucent's two new Stinger remote terminals, officially introduced earlier this month at the Paris edition of the NetWorld+Interop trade show, are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions and can be deployed outdoors in cabinets instead of in telephone company central offices.
The idea is to move DSL termination equipment out from central offices toward end users whose distance from the nearest central office otherwise precludes their use of DSL.
The Stinger remote terminals may be deployed alone or in conjunction with a digital-loop carrier (DLC) system. DLCs are common in many parts of the US where an incumbent telephone company has wanted to extend ordinary telephone lines to residential users located far from the central office. But by interrupting the copper loop from the central office, DLCs typically block DSL service. Collocating DSL remote terminals with DLCs is one way to pass the DSL traffic through.
The Stinger remote terminals are available in two models. The Stinger RT Model 1 is mountable in 19-inch racks and has five line interface module (LIM) slots for a capacity up to 240 ports. The RT Model 2 is mountable in 23-inch racks and has seven LIM slots for up to a 336-port capacity.
Both remote terminal models fit in 12-inch deep racks, including cabling. All modules, supply filters and fans can be replaced from the front, so maintenance technicians don't have to fuss with rear access.
RT Model 1 is priced at $US461 per port for ADSL and SDSL, and Model 2 at $483 per port for ADSL and SDSL. Both will be available in the first quarter.
Like Lucent's earlier Stinger DSL access multiplexers for telco central offices, the Stinger remote terminals employ an ATM-switching fabric to support ATM trunking through to the carrier's core network. The most heavily publicised use of DSL remote terminals so far is SBC Communication's year-old Project Pronto, which uses Alcatel gear deployed in neighbourhood terminals to take in DSL traffic and transport it back to ATM switches over OC-3 links.
CoServ, a utility company that has branched into voice and data service, is using the Stingers to provide DSL to business and residential customers in US suburbs that push beyond central office distance limitations for DSL.
"Taking the DSL equipment out of the central office and placing it right in the neighbourhoods we're serving solves that problem and allows us to increase our subscriber base," says Kelly O'Neil, COO of CoServ.