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Hatteras Plans Switch-Hitting Ethernet

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
4/22/2002
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Here's an idea: instead of having to pick between delivering broadband connections over copper or fiber optic networks, why not just do both?

That's Hatteras Networks Inc.'s game plan.

The startup, which announced its plans for the first time today, will build a platform that can deliver 10-Mbit/s or 1-Gbit/s Ethernet over either copper wiring or fiber optic networks, respectively.

On the copper side, the product will deliver 10 Mbit/s of bandwidth using a DSL technology called Symmetric High Bit Rate Digital Subscriber Loop or G.SHDSL. This latest version of DSL is defined by the new International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Global Standard G991.2, which was finalized in February 2001. It delivers voice and data services by providing high symmetric data rates with guaranteed bandwidth and low interference with other services.

On the fiber side, the Hatteras platform will offer speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s. Because it's Ethernet, service can be doled out in 1-Mbit/s increments, serving customers who need bandwidth somewhere between the T1 (1.5 Mbit/s) and T3 (45 Mbit/s) levels. To deliver these services, Hatteras is putting Ethernet straight over fiber.

Rolling both elements into a single platform makes a lot of sense, given that only an estimated 10 percent of businesses are connected to fiber. With carriers continuing to cut capital spending, it is unlikely that they will dig deep into their pockets to pay for laying new fiber any time soon.

"They aren't just doing optical Ethernet. They've chosen a new space and new technology," says Michael Howard, principal analyst and founder of Infonetics Research Inc.. "I think that's a good strategy, since carriers are only looking at equipment that fits into their current infrastructure."

Currently, service providers deploying Ethernet services must support two separate networks to accommodate both fiber and copper customers. Companies such as Adtran Inc. (Nasdaq: ADTN), Alcatel SA (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA), and Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU) already offer DSLAMS and T1 multiplexers. Traditional Ethernet switch/routing companies, such as Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Riverstone Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: RSTN), Extreme Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: EXTR), and Foundry Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FDRY), are offering solutions for the fiber side.

Traffic from fiber and copper customers is often aggregated at the same central office, where the carrier has set up two separate network management systems and two teams of professionals to manage the networks and handle traffic coming from the two access types. Hatteras' solution would eliminate these redundancies.

Another advantage of G.SHDSL is that it can be deployed nearly twice as far from the central office as SDSL, which is limited to a maximum distance of 18,000 feet. Although the technology starts at 2.3 Mbit/s, Hatteras says it can achieve even higher data rates by coupling copper cables together.

Companies such as 3Com Corp. (Nasdaq: COMS), ADC Telecommunications Inc. (Nasdaq: ADCT), Arescom Inc., Cisco, and Paradyne Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: PDYN) have already been selling G.SHDSL solutions for a couple of years. According to Infonetics Research Inc., 5,000 customer premises devices were sold in 2000, and over 40,000 were sold in 2001.

"This is not a brand-new, unproven technology," says Howard. "It’s been around in products and proven that it works, and that makes a big difference to incumbent carriers."

Hatteras also has an experienced management team. Collectively, these executives have been a part of 17 startups, 14 of which have had successful exits by either going public or being sold. Tom McPherson, president and CEO of Hatteras, was at Rapid City until it was acquired by Bay Networks and then went to Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT) when Bay was acquired. Matt Squire, the company’s CTO, had been with Bay Networks and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), and most recently left Extreme Networks to come to Hatteras. Kevin Sheehan was VP of marketing with Packet Engines when it was sold to Alcatel.

So far, the company has secured $28 million in funding from top VC firms like Bessemer Venture Partners, ComVentures, and Columbia Capital (see Hatteras Closes Second Round).

Even with what looks like a promising solution, Hatteras still has a tough road ahead. While the access market in general is hot, DSL and copper-based products have seen a more severe dropoff in revenues over the past few quarters than cable modem and fiber-based products, according to the latest report from the Optical Oracle (see Optical Oracle: Access is Gold ). — Marguerite Reardon, Senior Editor, Light Reading
http://www.lightreading.com

Editor's Note: Light Reading is not affiliated with Oracle Corporation.

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stuartb
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stuartb,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:33:10 PM
re: Hatteras Plans Switch-Hitting Ethernet
target customers, competitors, differentiators???

Who runs their marketing dept.?

Also, what's up with the "will build" comment, haven't these guys been in existence since late 99?

-Stu
flanker
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flanker,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:32:58 PM
re: Hatteras Plans Switch-Hitting Ethernet
On the copper side, the product will deliver 10 Mbit/s of bandwidth using a DSL technology called Symmetric High Bit Rate Digital Subscriber Loop or G.SHDSL. This latest version of DSL is defined by the new International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Global Standard G991.2, which was finalized in February 2001.

A deployment nightmare. The RBOCs need this like a hole in the head.
kz1x
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kz1x,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:32:53 PM
re: Hatteras Plans Switch-Hitting Ethernet
there's a lot more information on other web sites ... I saw an article on Net Economy that has details, such as that these new guys have only been around since mid-2000
kz1x
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kz1x,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:32:53 PM
re: Hatteras Plans Switch-Hitting Ethernet
Flanker, why is this a deployment nightmare? I thought that SHDSL is more spectrally friendly and therefore would be easier to deploy, not less?
Light-bulb
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Light-bulb,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:32:51 PM
re: Hatteras Plans Switch-Hitting Ethernet
I woulnd't call it a Nightmare... It requires planning and thought. Carriers need greater penetration into the residential units and small-medium businesses. Technicians and staff will rise to the occasion if the business justifies it.
The article points out that it can be used for loop distance of Twice that of SDSL, then it identifies 18k. I was under the impression that G.SHDSL was limited to 22k, or if running 2.3mb limited to only 12k? My real question is the throughput at the extreme ranges. What carriers need is a more affordable technology to pick up the $50/month connection, so if I have to use expensive repeaters to get to the distance, I have increased my cost. I expect that this would be a pure business play considering it can't be used with a line splitter, thus two lines are really necessary again... Or run VoDSL, which again is adding more complexity.

Anyone have any experience with G.SHDSL? I thought SBC was rolling out a project this year with the Residential Gateway idea.

Cheerio,
flanker
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flanker,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:32:39 PM
re: Hatteras Plans Switch-Hitting Ethernet
Sorry, what I meant to say was

Go Hatteras Go!
pig
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pig,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:25:46 PM
re: Hatteras Plans Switch-Hitting Ethernet
Are they still alive?
Bumper_car
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Bumper_car,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:25:44 PM
re: Hatteras Plans Switch-Hitting Ethernet
A deployment nightmare. The RBOCs need this like a hole in the head.
___________________________________________

What the RBOCs/ILECs need is something that will deliver more than one service over the outside plant that they already own without having to build something new. Besides this could work with the Ethernet Frame Relay that is talked about in another article.
hj2003
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hj2003,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 9:45:24 PM
re: Hatteras Plans Switch-Hitting Ethernet
Anyone know who are Hatteras' competitors? Who are the player in "Fiber Like " field? Thanks alot.
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