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Assia smooths the path to vectored VDSL

Fri, 04/26/2013 - 2:16pm
Brian Santo

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Assia has upgraded its management and optimization software to enable VDSL companies to introduce vectored VDSL gradually, as market demand merits.

Assia’s tool set has the inherent ability to answer several fundamental questions, explained George Ginis, Assia vice president of product management.

While upgrading to vectored DSL may be significantly less expensive than upgrading to fiber, it is still an expensive prospect, averaging perhaps $300 per line. But not every customer with an upgraded line is going to immediately upgrade service, which begs the question: which lines to upgrade? An associated issue is that even with an upgrade at the central office, loop lengths vary (DSL speeds remain highly dependent on loop length), as does the quality of each individual line

Based on data from current customers, Assia’s software can predict data rates available after an upgrade to vectored DSL, and can also model potential uptake by customers. “So we can recommend which DSLAM nodes or which cabinets need upgrading to vectoring,” Ginis said.

Another problem is that in any mix of unvectored lines and vectored lines – even one unvectored line in a cabinet otherwise filled with them, Ginis said, interference from the former would severely compromise the performance of the latter. The expectation was that DSL providers would have to upgrade every line all at once to vectored DSL, which promises to accelerate VDSL lines to rates in excess of 100 Mbps.

Version 3.3 of its Assia DSL Expresse can detect problems, and automatically cut back the power on non-vectored lines to reduce crosstalk, Ginis said, without affecting service on the non-vectored line.

Perversely enough, solving that problem unmasks another, Ginis said. When crosstalk exists, it’s usually the worst type of interference, but when you drastically reduce crosstalk, all the other sources of interference suddenly become more prominent. Worse, these problems tend to be intermittent, and they might even be coming from inside a customer’s home (household appliances, for example, are a notorious source of noise).

Assia’s software suite can analyze the characteristics of the noise and can often identify them. It’s software can in some instances change the operating parameters of the line to compensate. Alternatively, it can help pinpoint noise sources for technicians in the field.

Ginis said noise of this sort might be present on an average of 15 percent of all lines at any given time; he said use of Assia’s software can cut that in half, to about 7 percent.

“Increasingly, service providers are recognizing the economic and commercial benefits of leveraging investments in existing copper networks by deploying vectored VDSL,” said Dr. John Cioffi, CEO and chairman of ASSIA. “As demand for high-bandwidth services, such as online video, continues to explode, Assiais committed to helping service providers and consumers benefit from vectored VDSL’s very high speeds. When combined with Expresse Solutions, ASSIA’s latest version of DSL Expresse can help accelerate vectoring deployments and deliver 100 Mbps broadband.”

DSL Expresse 3.3 includes additional enhancements to the ClearView expert system. In recent deployments, call-center agents and field technicians using the recommendations produced by ClearView significantly reduced the time needed to identify and resolve issues. In combination with Expresse Solutions for Customer Care Automation, DSL Expresse has demonstrated productivity gains among customer care professionals of at least 50 percent.

DSL Expresse 3.3 also features big-data analytics and custom business-reporting capabilities that can be leveraged through the Expresse Solutions offerings to help service providers deliver a superior customer experience. In addition to providing detailed performance assessments and recommendations for network optimization, these powerful capabilities identify new service opportunities and their potential for high customer take rates.

Assia Expresse Solutions with DSL Expresse 3.3 is available immediately.

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