Ascend unveils single-box solution for DSL services

The prospect of high-speed ADSL data services to New Zealand homes became a little more real this week with the announcement by Ascend Communications of a single device to allow service providers to bring Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) connections into their backbone networks - although the ball is still entirely with Telecom, which has been testing ADSL (Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line) over its own copper network for some time. The Ascend device uses line cards that can also be installed in Ascend's Max TNT remote access concentrator - the big dial-in box currently being used by The Internet Group (Ihug) and Xtra - and is intended to remove the high cost and complexity that service providers face when setting up DSL services.

The prospect of high-speed ADSL data services to New Zealand homes became a little more real this week with the announcement by Ascend Communications of a single device to allow service providers to bring Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) connections into their backbone networks - although the ball is still entirely with Telecom, which has been testing ADSL (Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line) over its own copper network for some time.

The Ascend device uses line cards that can also be installed in Ascend's Max TNT remote access concentrator - the big dial-in box currently being used by The Internet Group (Ihug) and Xtra - but are designed specifically for DSL implementations, officials said. The DSLTNT is intended to remove the high cost and complexity that service providers face when setting up DSL services. The base chassis, available now, is priced at $US8,900.

The DSLTNT combines the functions of a Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexor (DSLAM), an Ethernet switch, and a router in a single 16-slot chassis. It can accommodate interface cards for Symmetric DSL (SDSL), ISDN DSL (IDSL), and two forms of Rate-Adaptive DSL (RADSL), providing throughput as fast as 7Mbps downstream from server to client. For connectivity to the provider's central office or WAN, the DSLTNT includes standard interfaces including Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, T1, and DS-3.

In a standard seven-foot rack at a carrier's central office, the DSLTNT can provide as many as 1,344 IDSL ports, 1,440 SDSL ports, and 540 RADSL-CAP (Carrierless Amplitude and Phase modulation) ports. Interfaces for RADSL-DMT (Discrete Multi-Tone), which divides up transmission frequencies for more reliable service, will be available by year's end, the officials said.

Ascend also introduced an SDSL router for customer premises that allows users to deploy a single 768Kbps connection now and later activate a second pair of wires for 1.54Mbps connectivity. The DSLPipe-2S will ship this month, priced at $1,650.

Ascend Communications Inc., in Alameda, California, can be reached at +1-510-769-6001 or http://www.ascend.com/.

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