That voice you hear may be from DSL

Digital subscriber line vendors at NetWorld+Interop '99 Atlanta will deliver a flurry of gear and services that promise to broaden the appeal of using DSL technology to deliver data and multiple voice channels over a single copper link.

The idea behind these new wares and services is that many organisations may soon be able to buy integrated, full-featured DSL-based voice and data services for their branch offices.

Two competitive local exchange carriers (CLEC), Primary Network Communications in St Louis, and Picus Communications in Virginia Beach, Virginia, will announce plans to offer such voice-over-DSL services.

Picus will support its service with CopperComplete DSL gear from CopperComm, while Primary will use Lucent's newly announced Stinger DSL access concentrator to support its service. Details about the service speeds and prices were unavailable at press time.

The attraction of voice over DSL to enterprise customers is that a single phone line can be refitted to supply multiple phone channels and a data channel, which are sufficient to support branch offices. Customers also have the option of adding and dropping voice channels more rapidly because the process does not involve sending a technician out to string or disconnect wires.

At Interop, Lucent will demonstrate interoperability between Stinger and DSL equipment from Jetstream Communications. Lucent also says it has plans for Stinger to interoperate with DSL voice gateways made by CopperCom and Tollbridge, but Lucent will not demonstrate with these vendors at the show.

Jetstream's customer equipment converts voice traffic to ATM cells and sends them out on a DSL line. Lucent's Stinger terminates the DSL line and trunks the ATM stream onto the carrier's backbone. There, a Jetstream voice gateway turns the ATM voice cells into circuit-switched voice, which it sends into the traditional phone network to complete the call.

The Lucent gear streamlines the network needed to support DSL services, according to Claudia Bacco, an analyst with telecom researcher, TeleChoice. Until Stinger, DSL multiplexers fed into ATM access switches that trunked traffic into carrier backbones. But Stinger has ATM switching inside, cutting out the need for a free-standing ATM access switch. That means CLECs can set up their networks for less money and can afford to charge lower prices for their services.

Stinger supports all flavours of DSL and can support ATM or frame relay over a DSL circuit.

AccessLan Communications, another DSL vendor, claims it will announce at the show that a CLEC will soon use its gear to support a voice-over-DSL service, but would not give details.

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More about AccessLAN CommunicationsCopperComCopperCommData ChannelGatewayInteropJetstream CommunicationsLucentNetwork CommunicationsPicus CommunicationsPrimary Network CommunicationsTeleChoiceTollbridge

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