Paradyne targets business DSL market

Based on the new G.shdsl (single-pair high-speed digital subscriber line) industry standard, the 9788 SHDSL FrameSaver DSL system from Paradyne Networks Inc. of Largo, Fla., is meant to be faster than the company’s previous DSL-based products.

The 9788 SHDSL FrameSaver is targeted at service providers that want to offer frame relay customers fast DSL connections with the ability to serve up service level agreements (SLAs) and to monitor quality of service (QoS). According to Scott Eudy, vice-president of marketing and business development at Paradyne, the 9788 FrameSaver operates at T-1 upload and download speeds at a much lower cost.

“Increasingly, what enterprise customers want to do is to purchase cheaper local access, and they can get that from a DSL provider.…So for the enterprise carrier, the benefit is they get the same great mission-critical business applications service that they’ve always had, only the local access, rather than costing as much as US$1,000 per month is something more like US$300 a month,” Eudy said.

One thing the 9788 FrameSaver is equipped with is the ability to measure QoS and SLAs, Eudy said. Measuring QoS and SLAs is important to know whether a business is getting what they pay for. For instance, a business might buy a DSL connection from a provider and be guaranteed a certain level of throughput and reliability. Without being able to measure the quality of the service, the business would not know if it was getting the level of service the provider guaranteed. FrameSaver service level management (SLM) products offer the ability to measure the quality of service, Eudy said.

“It’s important to the industry because the G.shdsl standard is rapidly being adopted as the standard way to bring symmetric services onto DSL networks,” Eudy said. He added that the 9788 FrameSaver is capable of connecting to Paradyne DSLAMs (DSL access multiplexers) or to other vendors’ DSLAMs.

DSL, however, has garnered much skepticism about its stability and reliability, and in a business environment it sounds like a big gamble. According to Eudy, the negative perception of DSL comes mainly from the residential side of the DSL service business.

“Most of the DSL that’s been deployed is for residential services to date. What has created the concern about the difficulty is that if you think about it, you’re talking about a wiring infrastructure that’s out there in the world that was made for analogue voice signals. It was not made for high-speed digital communications,” Eudy said.

It was discovered after DSL started rolling out to homes around the world that if a subscriber is more then 12,000 feet from the central office, the connection is going to be spotty, at best. According to Eudy, the problem is not as bad with the G.shdsl standard because the new standard uses a lower frequency range that allows it to travel further on the wire before the reliability starts dropping off.

According to Ron Westfall, principal analyst with Sterling, Va.-based Current Analysis Inc., the SHDSL market has a lot of promise because the standards have been ratified, which past technologies like SDSL did not have. Many of the major players in the market are manufacturing products using the SHDSL standards.

“Paradyne actually is a notable player in the overall DSL market,” Westfall said. The company has a strong base of deployed DSLAMs, and many of those customers might be interested in its SHDSL products, he added. “Granted, they’re not going to have as much impact as the major players like Alcatel and Lucent. However, they can certainly have an influence within their already installed customer base.”

The 9788 SHDSL FrameSaver DSL system will be available in July and pricing will start at US$995. Paradyne can be found on the Web at