05 Oct ADTRAN & Sckipio CTOs Discuss G.fast
Sckipio cofounder and Chief Technology Officer got a chance to talk with ADTRAN CTO, Ronan Kelly about the G.fast market. Here are excerpts from their discussion.
Ronan: Rami, of all the vendors that were out there throughout the world, what’s attracting Sckipio to work so closely with ADTRAN on G.fast?
Rami: ADTRAN brings a lot of experience building deeply unique devices that are ready for deployment in harsh conditions, sealed devices. You bring a lot of experience that we wanted to take advantage, you know, in order to build the right product for our service provider customers.
Rami: What is the importance of building a 24-port design for G.fast?
Ronan: For ADTRAN, one of the things we’ve learned since first talking about distribution point type deployment over the years is many service providers have different sized distribution points. Particularly, when we start to look at deploying G.fast in a fiber-to-the-basement type model, if you look here in Europe where we are now at the moment, some of the countries have very large multi-dwelling units. Quite often 8-port or 16-port would come up short on the requirements to be able to cover all of the multi-dwelling units with a single piece of equipment. In a similar fashion as well, what we’ve learned working with Sckipio, we’ve seen extended performance on longer loops with G.fast over and above what we originally anticipated in the industry. That’s now allowing G.fast to be deployed deeper, or point further back into the network, which means we’re going to increase the number of subscribers we serve from that location. So, 24 ports is a good starting point for us. We envisage that we will try and push that even further in the future as well, so maybe 48 and 96 ports as the technology evolves.
Rami: What are the benefits of passive cooling and how does Sckipio help you to implement it?
Ronan: If you look at where G.fast as a technology will get deployed in the market, it’s out of the distribution point, and the distribution point in many networks are up on poles, they’re down on the ground in footway boxes, etc. If you try and deploy that technology with the traditional model of taking a controlled microenvironment and building a cabinet around the active equipment, the cost that’s associated with that is significant and would prevent rollout. There’s also planning and application challenges that are faced with that which further slow down that rollout. When you’ve got sealed, passive equipment, it allows you to deploy in a flexible fashion. You can put your active equipment directly up on a pole, where it’s exposed to the elements. You can put it underground where it may be exposed to flooding from time to time. But, it’s waterproof. By having it passively cool, you don’t have to worry about components failing over time, like fans burning out. You don’t have to worry about the maintenance costs. Things like replacing filters periodically, etc. So, it really helps to accelerate your time to market, but lowers your operational costs once you’re deployed out there. What’s critical coming from the Sckipio side of things is that the focus that you guys have applied to reducing the power draw. Because for every watt that we can reduce on power draw, that means that we can make those enclosures even smaller. We don’t have to worry about putting in a massive big heat sink as part of the enclosure to get the heat out, so really the continued relentless focus on driving the power draw out of the system is a key part of working with Sckipio.
Rami: ADTRAN is also developing business gateways. Can you talk about the use of the G.fast technology for these applications?
Ronan: Absolutely. ADTRAN have been a long-standing leading vendor of the business gateway market in the US market. We’re also expanding into Europe. If you look at the traditional technologies that we’ve deployed, technologies like SHDSL for symmetric type services and ADSL and VDSL for asymmetric services, G.fast now allows us to finally come to market with a symmetric service that has very very high bandwidth capabilities, but also it’s got very low latency, which increasingly is important for business customers. And more importantly, the retrain time on G.fast is so short in comparison to technologies like vectored VDSL, that even micro-hits on the line become unnoticed in that business environment. So, certainly we see G.fast as an exceptional complement to our portfolio of IP business gateway solutions.
Rami: What do you think is the most interesting or surprising about G.fast?
Ronan: For me really, what’s very exciting this year has been the breadth of applications now that service providers are looking at for G.fast. When we first originally started talking about this technology as far back as 2010, the scope of deployments was very much limited to loops of less than 100 meters, and it was all distribution point or basement-type deployments. We now look at some of the things being discussed, for example, we’re seeing service providers talking about deploying G.fast on loops out over 300 meters in length, and being able to significantly outperform what their other technologies can deliver for them. So, I think it’s really opened up a whole new world of applications for G.fast.
Ronan: Coming for the chipset vendor side of things, what are the most exciting and interesting developments that you’re seeing within the industry for G.fast?
Rami: What is really exciting is that we developed the technology and what we found is that when you develop and define it right, you suddenly find out that exactly the same technology can fit in many other applications that we did not even expect. And indeed, one of them is the fact that we can support very long loops, longer than the 100 that were initially planned for, up to 400, 500, even 600 meters. This is all good, which opens the door for a completely new business case, completely new deployment scenarios, like cabinet deployment — which is now getting a lot of interest. Another point that is very relevant for cabinet deployments is the larger vectoring groups. We know that G.fast initially was defined for a very small DPs. it is definitely extendable to support a number of customers which is significantly beyond 16, and that’s really exciting.
Rami: Thanks Ronan for a very interesting discussion, and we hope to continue working with you together in close cooperation
Ronan: Oh absolutely. My pleasure. It’s always a pleasure to meet with you guys at Sckipio. Cheers. Thank you.