Cable Tech

Moto Says Hello to DSL Gateway Market

Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) says its new DSL home gateway will be the anchor of advanced home networks, and the unit will be sold directly to carriers.

The new HH1620 gateway, to be unveiled at Globalcomm next month, combines an ADSL2+ modem, a four-port router, a wireless gateway, and a VOIP ATA (analog telephone adapter) in one compact device. The device will use TR-069 to let carriers troubleshoot the device on the home LAN and to provision new services. (See RBOCs Want Inside Your House.)

“We’re considering the gateway to be the anchor in the home, so we are serving VOIP, high-speed data service, as well as the video applications,” says Motorola home gateways product manager Bill Zhou.

Consumers will still need a set-top box to display TV content and to record shows. For now, the HH1620 will merely tag and forward video-related packets as they pass through the home.

For video quality of service (QOS), the HH1620 tags each video stream that comes in from the network interface device (NID) and prioritizes them for immediate delivery to the set-top box, Zhou says. This prevents jitter or screen freeze at the TV.

“Video service is a premium data service -- it's all IP packets back and forth. The magic there is how you handle the quality of service."

This is the first device from Motorola designed to sit between the NID on the outside of a customer's home and the set-top boxes inside. And the company says it will be flexible about how it addresses home networking.

Motorola says it has not yet locked its DSL gateway in to either of the two most popular home networking standards -- Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) or Home Phone Networking Association (HPNA). Company spokesman Paul Alfieri says his company will probably market several different versions of the gateway to accommodate different carrier preferences.

Motorola says it will launch another home gateway product, planned for release later this year, that will have more video management and routing capabilities. For now, Motorola set-top boxes are still responsible for routing video to other rooms in the home, and for handing off video to USB connected devices.

Zhou says the HH1620 supports the 24 Mbit/s delivered by an ADSL2+ network into the home. That should give those homes enough headroom for two high-definition TV channels. “So far in the marketplace we typically see [telco] customers asking for one channel or two channels of HD, which can be supported by ADSL2+ today,” he says.

Motorola has been supplying the cable industry with VOIP-ready gateways for some eight years, Zhou notes. In fact, the vendor says it has shipped more than 36 million cable modems to date. But Netgear Inc. (Nasdaq: NTGR), 2Wire Inc. , D-Link Systems Inc. , Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)'s Linksys division, and a dozen other players are all more established than Motorola in the DSL modem/gateway market, so the company's got some catching up to do. “We pulled the trigger about this time last year and decided we wanted to be a solid player in the DSL space,” Zhou says.

Zhou adds the market for DSL modems might end up being bigger for Moto than the cable modem business has been.

He says the increasing interest among carriers in selling VOIP is the primary reason Motorola entered the DSL gateway market to begin with. (See AT&T Waits on Lightspeed VOIP.) “VOIP, especially SIP-based VOIP, is becoming a very compelling business case for most of the carriers, especially in the European market."

— Mark Sullivan, Reporter, Light Reading

mgardner750 12/5/2012 | 3:53:23 AM
re: Moto Says Hello to DSL Gateway Market The article says this device sits between the ONT and STB.

I don't understand why you need a new device to do that or why you need ADSL2+ modem if you have an optical connection to the house.
lightreceding 12/5/2012 | 3:53:22 AM
re: Moto Says Hello to DSL Gateway Market Because the settop box does not offer a four-port router, a wireless gateway, and a VOIP ATA. It only terminates video. This is a play for a networked home including voice and data. The optical connection might not be all the way to the house. Typically IPTV comes in over an ADSL2+ modem as an interim solution.
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