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Optical/IP

Getting a Bead on B-RAS

The financial future of the telecom industry might be riding on broadband services. And while early ones such as DSL are clearly taking off, their revenues alone won't sustain business growth. How do carriers get to the next level?

Enter the B-RAS (broadband remote access server). Arguably the most strategic product for broadband service providers today, the B-RAS devices could help cariers deploy, bill for, and manage tens, or even hundreds, of thousands of broadband data connections.

B-RASs may also be the missing link to those mysterious "triple play" services in which networks handle and charge for products like digital telephony, TV, radio, and video-on-demand.

This concept is explored in "B-RAS Bonanza," this month's Light Reading Insider, Light Reading's paid subscription research service. Included is a competitive analysis of offerings from the leading players, including the following:

Each of these vendors has a firm presence in the B-RAS market. But not all have the same prospects for future success. Through a detailed product analysis, the report profiles the leaders and laggards according to key deliverables such as access integration, Ethernet access, security, and the ability to furnish a variety of advanced services.

In the report, CoSine, Juniper, and net.com come out ahead of the pack, with specific advantages depending on which applications are being deployed.

But even though there are already strong products in the category, there's work to be done. An ideal B-RAS product should be able to manage residential and business DSL; migrate the DSLAM backhaul from ATM to Ethernet; replace the IP router core with an IP/MPLS/GMPLS optical core; and collocate B-RAS and DSLAM devices. While each of these features is available in some of the B-RAS boxes on the market, no single vendor appears to have wrapped up the whole package.

How well the present slew of vendors, and newcomers such as Laurel Networks Inc., meet these challenges will determine who wins what's shaping up to be a sizeable B-RAS bonanza.

— Mary Jander, Senior Editor, Light Reading

The current Light Reading Insider report, “B-RAS Bonanza,” is available here. A single-user license to the report is $400. An annual single-user subscription to the Insider, which includes access to the complete archives, the current report, and each of the monthly reports issued over the next 12 months, is available for $1,250 per year.

Abby 12/5/2012 | 12:01:45 AM
re: Getting a Bead on B-RAS Can someone help me understand the concept of collocating B-RAS and DSLAM devices. Doesn't the Telecom Act of 1996 prohibit service providers from doing this, i.e.

1) Local loop transmission from the central office
to the customer's premises, unbundled from local
switching or other services.

2) Local transport from the trunk side of a
wireline local exchange carrier switch unbundled from switching or other services.

3) Local switching unbundled from transport, local
loop transmission, or other services.

Dredgie 12/5/2012 | 12:01:44 AM
re: Getting a Bead on B-RAS Is there anything left of the Telecom Act of 1996?!

To your points:

1)Not applicable (Nothing changes from the DSLAM to the Customer)
2)Would still be supported by this model
3)Not applicable (the B-RAS is separate from the DSLAM)
Graham Beniston 12/5/2012 | 12:01:13 AM
re: Getting a Bead on B-RAS I think there are (at least)two issues here. Firstly, DSLAMs are sold worldwide and regulations differ widely. Secondly, one could take a wider definition of "co-location". In the UK Local Loop Unbundling regime, I believe you wouldn't be able to Integrate BRAS functionality, say on a blade, in a DSLAM. But you are allowed to have a BRAS in a "nearby" location, such as the next floor of a BT CO building, or in a nearby building. THis would still mean you needed a much smaller B-RAS as it is servicing only one DSLAM location, so all the issues and benefits I raised about co-location would apply.
tspoon 12/4/2012 | 11:59:55 PM
re: Getting a Bead on B-RAS With some service providers (Global, some domestic) looking to deliver new, profitable services, I think we will see announcements in the next few weeks that will show us all, who is beginning to spend money, and on which B-Rass solution and the services they enable. I think we all agree that this proof of concept will begin to show who the innovative SP's are and which suppliers are going to make it. Come on Service Providers, you will make money only if you spend some. Terrorism has not stopped the world, and we are seeing signs of recovery. Get with the program.
wap545 12/4/2012 | 11:59:42 PM
re: Getting a Bead on B-RAS The issues in todays B-RAS market is not are they really needed, but how does one address (example:Single Family Residence) providing access to more than one PC (lets say 3 in a Home) and allow each PC to have a unique Profile allowing access to Internet (different speeds), Multiplayer Gaming, VPN COrporate Office, Community Portal etc.
What I have heard todate is that without a PPPoE Client there is no way to provide the service differentials.

Jim
priam 12/4/2012 | 11:59:41 PM
re: Getting a Bead on B-RAS Off the top of my head it doesn't make a lot of sense to have three profiles on a single address. If you're billing three profiles, give them separate addresses (NAT them if you're worried about address space). Though even there, were I being billed on a common connection, I'd somewhat worry that someone sharing the connection would spoof my address. Seems to me the carrier is only worried about the single profile across the demarc; and whoever's paying the bill will worry about separate profiles into the demarc.

Not my area of expertise though.


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The issues in todays B-RAS market is not are they really needed, but how does one address (example:Single Family Residence) providing access to more than one PC (lets say 3 in a Home) and allow each PC to have a unique Profile allowing access to Internet (different speeds), Multiplayer Gaming, VPN COrporate Office, Community Portal etc.
What I have heard todate is that without a PPPoE Client there is no way to provide the service differentials
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