Marconi Beefs Up Access Portfolio

Marconi enhances its North American access portfolio with new features, lower cost of deployment, and added broadband capabilities

June 24, 2003

3 Min Read

DALLAS -- Marconi Corporation plc (London: MONI) today announced a series of new enhancements to its broad range of solutions in its North American Access product portfolio. The enhancements support a series of advanced access deployments with tier-one service providers across the United States. Marconi continues to support numerous trials and deployments of broadband access equipment that have been termed in the industry as Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP).

Marconi believes that it is the only vendor currently shipping commercial volumes of both the Fiber-to-the-Curb (FTTC) and Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) versions of FTTP equipment to Regional Bell Operating Companies. This enables the service providers to deploy fiber optics deep in the last mile portion of the network and at cost parity to traditional copper-based network build-out options.

By providing data and broadcast video over these Deep Fiber FTTP networks, operators are well equipped to compete effectively today with the "triple play" service offering of voice, video and data. Furthermore, due to the virtually unlimited bandwidth carrying capacity of these fiber networks, they will be able to support emerging services such as high-definition television (HDTV) and true Video on Demand. The company estimates it has shipped over four million lines of Deep Fiber capacity, passing nearly one million homes across North America.

Marconi has recently begun shipping a four-port ADSL plug-in card for its DISC*S® MX Broadband FTTC solution in the first DSL deployment over FTTC in North America. The DSL enhancement enables the delivery of full-rate DSL to all subscribers served from the FTTC network and eliminates the rate and reach limitations found in most DSL delivery solutions, thereby realizing the true advantage of a Deep Fiber FTTP architecture.

Marconi is also enhancing its FTTH portfolio with a temperature-hardened version of the Optical Network Termination (ONT) device called the OEC12. This enables carriers to terminate the outside plant fiber facility on the outside to the premise, eliminating the challenges of servicing the unit inside the home. Marconi has deployed its FTTH solution, called the FTH-1000 system, in a network owned by the City of Palo Alto, California, and is currently shipping its product to an application serving a community near Washington DC.

Marconi has also doubled, with plans to quadruple, the telephony capacity of the DISC*S common telephony processing shelf, which significantly reduces the cost of FTTC deployment for service providers. Already at, or near, cost parity to traditional network build options, this FTTC enhancement provides even better capital cost recovery and thus lowers the installed first cost for FTTC networks. This capability was developed for operators like Grande Communications, a Texas-based broadband service provider, which is using Marconis solution to bring optical fiber connectivity to within 750 feet of most of their customers, allowing the convenience of buying faster Internet, telephone and cable television services from a single provider.

The North American Access business is organized under the leadership of David Smith, EVP Network Components, who said, "Marconis existing product portfolio and customer base have positioned the Access business well to survive the recent downturn and period of lower capex spending by the service providers. Given the emphasis being placed on Fiber-to-the-Premises deployment by the major service providers in the country, Marconis North American Access group is extremely well positioned to capitalize on its leadership position going forward."

Marconis Deep Fiber SolutionsSM have been in full deployment for seven years and through that time the products have been continually improved through changes in the features provided and the capacity of the system. "These latest enhancements, and those planned for release over the next 12 months, will not only encourage existing customers of Marconis FTTP portfolio to continue deploying Deep Fiber infrastructures for green-field and selected overbuild applications, but also those who are seeking to solve the bundled service delivery challenge, while still meeting the required returns on capital employed", said Mark Cannata, VP Marketing, Marconis North American Access group.

Marconi Corp. plc

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