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September 11, 2003
DALLAS -- The latest DSL Forum technical specification has hit the streets, detailing the next generation of broadband services, and the impact will be immediate on worldwide telco customers and service provider revenues, says a new report from TeleChoice, Inc., a telecommunications consultancy specializing in broadband network edge applications, and East by North, Inc., a telecommunications consulting and training organization. The new specification, designed to be implemented quickly in the existing DSL and broadband networks, could result in almost $1b annually in incremental services within the first few years of service.
Dubbed TR-058 and TR-059 by the DSL Forum, an industry body comprised of DSL interests, the new specifications were championed by BellSouth, SBC, Verizon, and Bell Canada, and jointly specify hardware and software changes required to push new services to customers over DSL networks in the US and abroad. The same three US telcos have recently joined forces to define detailed technical specifications for the deployment of passive optical networking (PON) gear in the local access network for fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) applications.
"What's key about this specification is that it applies to all broadband customers in the access network, whether on fiber or copper, and it's no mistake that the same telcos driving the largest FTTP RFP in history were also the leaders of this specification through the DSL Forum," according to the report. "TR-059 will put technology in the network to provide value- added services over copper today and create the business case for FTTP going forward."
Indeed, the two specifications define an enhanced Internet Protocol (IP)- centric platform, which equally supports the current best effort high speed access services, plus a new architecture, built to support Quality of Service (QoS) demanding services such as Voice and Video over IP. Customers using applications that require more guaranteed levels of bandwidth and latency can be charged extra by the telcos for premium access.
"Adding IP QoS to the 60 Million DSL subscribers as of year end 2003 will appeal to early adopters in 2004 who want a higher service level," the report says. "Even at a nominal $10 per month incremental fee, or $120 per year, for enhanced broadband services, that represents new revenue of $972 million worldwide service provider revenue annually, $194m of which would be in the U.S. alone." The report predicts a quick ramp up to these enhanced services, taking no more than two years to penetrate the initial early adopter marketplace.
New generic capabilities will be added to the networks that will enhance applications for customers -- capabilities such as bandwidth on demand (aka "Turbo Button"), streaming applications, and business-specific applications like enhanced videoconferencing.
At the core of the new specification is the broadband remote access server (BRAS, pronounced "Bee-Razz"), which handles a range of IP policy and service specifications for customers and applications. The report details the present capabilities for AFC, Alcatel, Cisco, Copper Mountain, Juniper Networks, Laurel Networks, NET.com, Nortel Networks, and Redback Networks, all contenders for an expected $810m minimum in sales worldwide to handle this initial ramp up for enhanced telco services.
"Service providers can immediately generate additional revenues with the right Broadband Remote Access Server capability, says Pat Hurley, broadband access consultant with TeleChoice, Inc. "IP enabling the existing North American ATM DSLAMs will provide a fast path towards an IP-centric architecture evolution without having to upgrade the existing DSLAMs."
"Under TR-059, the local DSL loops can run as high as their bandwidth will enable," says Peter Macaulay, President of East by North, Inc. "The traffic is shaped at the BRAS to the services rate that the user purchased. If the subscriber buys a 512Kbps link, then they get 512Kbps without the historical latency of a DSLAM-controlled link."
The report, titled "The Impact of TR-059 on the DSL and Broadband Markets," is available from http://www.telechoice.com for $750.
East by North Inc.
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