The Next Generation – The Facts

Lance Spencer, Product and Marketing Director for Tiscali Business Services, has explained to Comms Business Magazine why he feels Tiscali is truly at the forefront of the Next Generation Network evolution

“Watching the Beijing Olympics this summer was a joy for people who like to see endurance tested, boundaries challenged and records broken. Higher, longer and of course much faster.

Such dimensions are those we also strive for in the telecoms industry – higher bandwidth, longer uptime and faster networks for businesses which rely on ever speedier and more powerful and reliable communications systems. And like the Olympics, there are no hard and fast guarantees in our industry that records will be broken. Hot favourites sometimes falter despite speculation and hype. Yes, companies in the industry are trying to test new boundaries through innovation and product development but this requires planning and testing before eventual implementation.

So here are some facts.

In January this year, Tiscali Business Services launched the UK’s first nationwide ADSL2+ service, bringing the benefits of leading high speed DSL technology to channel partners and their customers. The availability of the service presented Tiscali wholesale customers with high bandwidth enterprise services which accommodate the ever increasing demands of real-time, bandwidth hungry applications, such as VoIP, video conferencing and TV on demand. The service has been engineered to meet the requirements of a customer site with a large end-user base. In the past this could only be addressed via Leased Lines or Ethernet technology in the Wide Area Network.

Since the launch of ADSL2+, we have been busy working with our partners to roll out high speed, high bandwidth services to companies right across the UK. The fact is that Tiscali has more business ADSL2+ customers than any other supplier in the wholesale industry.

In July Tiscali subsequently introduced a new package of wholesale telecoms services for our channel partners offering faster, more innovative and less expensive services than BT’s SDSL and leased lines. Annex M and SDSL (M) enable Tiscali partners to provide their customers with greater service options and a host of attractive features, including higher guaranteed bandwidth for businesses, a doubling of VoIP connections per company and the opportunity to run multiple services such as voice, video and other media over a single circuit.

Annex M and SDSL (M) are extensions of Tiscali’s ADSL2+ product infrastructure and use Tiscali’s technologically advanced Next Generation Network. SDSL (M) is an industry first as well as being a perfect replacement for BT’s SDSL or leased line circuits where costs are prohibitively high, particularly for smaller businesses.

Annex M extends the capability of ADSL2+ by doubling the number of upstream bits with a corresponding decrease in the less important downstream. Data rates can be as high as 16Mb downstream and up to 2.5Mb upstream under near perfect conditions. These speeds vary depending on the type of Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) being used, local line quality and distance from the exchange.

A market first, SDSL (M) is an SDSL type service delivered over ADSL infrastructure with an option of three fixed, symmetrical bandwidth, 1:1 products at 512K, 1Mb and 2Mb.

This product provides a 1:1 style symmetrical service up to 2Mb across more than double the geographic business footprint of BT’s legacy service. It has a full range of advanced features, including Enhanced Care, up to 2Mb guaranteed bandwidth and up to 1Mb, MPLS tagged, QoDSL with Service Level Guarantees.

The premium and feature rich Tiscali SDSL (M) 2Mb product is less than half the monthly price of BT’s nearest SDSL product. SDSL (M) includes rapid ADSL based delivery, enhanced care as standard, guaranteed throughput, minimum one month contract, and potential to use low cost ADSL based CPE.

ADSL has been a major success in the business market, however, the only downside has been constraints on applications related to the limitation of upstream bandwidth. With Annex M this issue is fully resolved and businesses, from the smallest SME to large multi-site organisations, can take advantage of low cost, high quality, high throughput bandwidth – the ball game changes completely.

All Annex M services are delivered across Tiscali’s own Local Loop Unbundled (LLU) infrastructure which has tried and tested, sophisticated network engineering and prioritisation capabilities, to ensure that business traffic is prioritised at times of high network load.

The Tiscali LLU network offers 900 exchanges are already unbundled with another 100 being rolled out by the end of 2008, giving a business footprint of over 55% of business users.

We now have some clear data on ADSL2+ and Annex M on how many users can receive the various speeds.

So putting the hype aside, here are the facts in black and white:

48% of ADSL2+ users can expect >8 Mb downstream

10% of ADSL2+ users can expect >16 Mb downstream

60% of Annex M users can expect > 2m Upstream

66% of Annex M users can expect >1.5 Mb Upstream

75% of Annex M users can expect > 1 Mb Upstream

Whilst these figures may not be as exciting as watching the 100 metres world record being broken or the coxless fours winning Gold by a whisker, they are nevertheless statistics which show that Tiscali is and will continue to be a leading player in the world of wholesale telecoms services.

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