Actelis: 3G and web 2.0 driving demand for Ethernet over copper

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

California-based Ethernet over copper provider Actelis is seeing significant demand for its products in Latin America driven by 3G networks and applications such as video, Joe Manuele, the company's incoming VP of worldwide sales and customer services, told BNamericas.

More and more operators are moving away from legacy-based ATM DSLAMs - network devices that receive signals from DSL lines and backhaul them to a central office - towards the new IP DSLAMs.

Actelis' technology employs advanced digital techniques to provide backhaul from DSLAMs to the central office with Ethernet quality, but using existing legacy copper rather than expensive fiber infrastructure.

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Operators benefit as they can meet growing bandwidth demand from their customers, who are adopting more 3G services, without having to invest in fiber, Manuele said.

According to the executive, Actelis' "Ethernet bonding capabilities over copper" allow carriers to reach speeds of up to 100Mbps for symmetrical data transport. Therefore, bandwidth hungry applications - such as telepresence are possible over copper. The technology also allows the monitoring of data to prioritize voice communications and minimize latency.

According to Manuele, one of the fastest growing markets for DSL internet for Actelis is Mexico.

"Mexico is booming, they are adding 2mn DSL lines a year. You're going to see high speed internet penetration going from 10% to 40% in the next 2-3 years. And most DSLAMs being deployed are IP DSLAMs," Manuele said.

Following the October 2006 convergence agreement that allows cable companies to offer voice telephony, demand for DSLAMs has skyrocketed.

"The same applies in the rest of Latin America. There is a big boom in broadband, driven by triple play and web 2.0 applications," the executive said.

"Everyone is really spooked about the cost of oil and the cost of travel," Manuele said. "All these new services like teleconferencing and telepresence over IP require very high speeds and symmetrical traffic, it has to be bidirectional. So we're launching services with carriers that are offering web 2.0 applications using their copper infrastructure."

Besides DSL traffic, Actelis is also backhauling WiMax traffic. Latin America has been quite unique in the number if WiMax deployments which fixed line operators have implemented as a complement for providing coverage in areas where it does not make economic sense to install copper.

In Latin America, Actelis has ongoing trials in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Costa Rica, where the company hopes to land deals this year.