• United States
Executive Editor

Celite takes delight in provisioning

Jan 27, 20033 mins

Celite makes its debut at ComNet this week with gear that lets carriers pre-provision broadband Internet access for entire neighborhoods, leaving no other provisioning work except to have customers buy and plug in Celite’s home broadband modems.

The private, 18-month-old Austin, Texas-based company claims it can cut the per-customer deployment cost for DSL from $275 to as low as $69 in areas where 40% of customers sign up for the service — savings providers could pass on to customers.

Designed to deliver DSL-like services over regular phone lines, Celite’s modem employs multicast Ethernet over a proprietary Very high-speed DSL technology called VDSL+ to reach customer sites. Because the bandwidth can be shared among hundreds of subscribers, the actual bandwidth each subscriber receives varies. But on average, it should rival the 386K bit/sec DSL residential service carriers offer now, as well as shared-bandwidth cable-modem services, says Celite President and CEO Roger Dorf.

Celite sells service providers boxes called the CS200, CS400 and CS600 that bolt onto the outside of existing phone company remote terminals that serve 200 to 600 customers. These CS devices tap into each customer phone line and sit there passively until a customer plugs in a Celite modem.

Then the CS200s and CS400s pick up the higher-frequency VDSL+ transmissions and trunk them back to a carrier switching office over bundled Asymmetric DSL (ADSL) lines.

The company plans to supply and sell the modems initially, but expects other vendors to make them after carriers start installing the CS200s and CS400s and demand rises, says Dorf.

By installing CS gear in neighborhoods where they have already successfully sold DSL, the regional Bell operating companies that own the bulk of local phone lines could streamline their broadband service delivery. Rather than provisioning one DSL order at a time as it comes in, they can pre-provision large areas at a time. New customers in those areas won’t have to wait for their broadband service to be provisioned, Dorf says.

The CS gear also eliminates the need for devices called splitters in switching offices that separate voice traffic on a DSL line from the DSL signal. And because the equipment uses ADSL trunks, it reduces the need for ports on DSL access multiplexers, another potential cost savings. The devices are powered from phone company switching offices using up to eight regular phone lines.

Celite’s technology is effective over 6,000-foot spans of copper phone lines, far enough to reach 95% of homes in the U.S., Dorf says. The company says there are between 220,000 and 250,000 of the remote terminals the devices connect to in U.S. local phone networks.

The CS200 is available now for trials, and the CS400 and CS600 are available in June and the fourth quarter, respectively. The company would not release pricing.