ConvergenceA Universal Term with Specific Applications
What is Convergence? One of the most overused terms in the communications business. Everybody wants it, but nobody is very clear about what it is. Telco, CATV, Satellite, Wireless, Cellphone all talk about convergence, which one is right? Could they all be right? At this point convergence is a ubiquitous term that could easily apply to any of them.
Most basic definition Voice, video and data services, also known as the triple play all combined into one delivered mechanism or technology. Also known as the promise of broadband, but is not exclusive to broadband. We need to identify in some detail what services can and will be provided over what technology.
Technology Convergence The first tenant of Convergence is the delivery mechanism. Today there clearly are convergence plays being made in many technologies FTTH fiber to the home Twisted pair delivery Coax delivery Wireless delivery Misc. other technologies, powerline, PTP Wireless Fiber Which technology is best will depend on the geographic region, population density, and services to be covered. More is always bettermore data bandwidth means more opportunities.
More is not just betterAll Video on Demand Unicast per Subscriber
100 Megabits per Second per Subscriber 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0E-Mail Digital Music Web Napster Browsing VoIP
High Definition Video on Demand Video Blogs Podcasting OnlineGames Video Mail Video on Demand Digital Photos
Fiber Optic Transport Fiber rich environments are the most costly per user and per service. Most future proof, but future proof is not revenue generating. Currently plays a role in all the technologies, but mostly as a backbone technology Is the most reliable infrastructure, and the highest capacity. Ideally suited to network segmentation. Fibers role is changing from one that transports services in their native format to one that transports data.
Fiber Can Do It AllCommercialCBR Voice Services T1/E1 Data Services
Residential6/8 MHz Analog Television Web Surfing CBR Telephone
6/8 MHz Digital Video CBR Video Conferencing On Demand Television
Twisted Pair Delivery Most common delivery method in the world Densest deployed technology At the simplest is voice and dial up data At the best is VDSL2 with max speed of 100 MB/s, but is fixed in provisioning between video, voice and data. Still the lowest data rate per line Heavily distance dependant
Twisted Pair OptionsFamilyADSL ADSL2 ADSL2plus ADSL2-RE SHDSL VDSL VDSL2
ITUG.992.1 G.992.3 G.992.5 G.992.3 G.991.2 G.993.1 G.993.2
NameG.dmt G.dmt.bis ADSL2plus Reach Extended G.SHDSL Very-high-data-rate DSL Very-high-data-rate DSL 2
Ratified1999 2002 2003 2003 2001 2004 2005
Maximum Speed capabilities7 Mbps down, 800 kbps up 8 Mb/s down, 1 Mbps up 24 Mbps down, 1 Mbps up 8 Mbps down 1 Mbps up 5.6 Mbps up/down 55 Mbps down, 15 Mbps up 100 Mbps up/down
Coax Delivery More correctly Hybrid Fiber Coax network Delivers the most flexible solution Highly configurable Switched digital offers the highest data rates and number of services. There is currently 5.1Gb/s available in an 870MHz system. Segmentation is widely configurable. Can be limited by the deployment of backbone Not future proof, but future migratable easily convertible as the fiber future comes further.
Data Rate per 6 MHzDOCSIS DOCSIS 2.0(30 Mbps u/s)
Key Features Mandatory SCDMA/ TDMA Best of DOCSIS QoS Pre-EQ Operations Security
Benefits/ Services Symmetric services Peer-to-peer Business-to-business (20 T1 capacity) Tiered service Double u/s capacity Lower ops costs Better than competitor
DOCSIS 1.1(10 Mbps u/s)
DOCSIS 1.0(5 Mbps u/s)
Specd for retail Standard spec
High speed data Internet access
Wireless Delivery Welcome to the future It can serve the two extreems well Low data rate over massive numbers of subscribers High data rate over one or very few subscribers
Fixed wireless in high end applications Mobile Wireless, 3G, Wi-Fi, even Wi-Max Drawbacks High data rates over many subscribers requires large bandwidth which can cost billions in licensing, if available at all $$$$ Latency-problem to be overcome
Infrastructure Battle Bandwidth vs Density More frequency available results in more per user data Low density, ideally 1:1 results in more per user data Look for future technologies to allow wider bandwidth over existing infrastructure 1GHz or 3GHz over HFC DWDM over FTTH and Deep Fiber
Improved compression could result in better data rates, dont look for Moore's law to help with this one. Fiber solves all the problems, except for expense. This battle is an ongoing evolution in the industry.
Best positioned technology To get to the consumer is HFC. It can be scaled, eventually scaled to exclude coax. FTTH. The scale and density is driven by data rate demand. DATA, DATA, DATA Safest infrastructure investment today is a cable modem and CMTS. Can serve a system of thousands today, down to tens in the future. Cable modem will always be able to provide data rates that are sufficient for voice, video, and internet. CMTS will eventually become cheaper as density decreases and volumes increase.
Halfway there ! Look at technology as you can tell the best technology is dependant on what is there already. If you have twisted pair to the customers, but plan a fiber deployment, not going to be successful Almost any converged technology in use that is useful today when thinking about convergence requires a physical connection. Wireless is a great dream, but requires just too much bandwidth at a cost that is exceptional.
OK so we have a network
Convergence really comes down to SERVICES ! Ever heard of the quest for the killer app? Order a pizza anyone?
Video, analog today, digital tomorrow Telephone, analog today, digital tomorrow Music, Games, Government P2P, Podcasting, E-gambling Blogging, Created Content, VR
It is the services that are really converging Even though some technologies are best at data (HFC), broadcast TV (Wireless/Satellite) and Telephone (twisted pair). It is unlikely that technologies will ever fully converge. More likely one will become sufficiently good at providing the other services to take a lead. So far HFC has the leadbecause it has such a flexible footprint and deployment position. The services are converging around the concept of flexible data.
Converged Services The clear lines between Voice - Video - Data are becoming blurred or even disappearing. Video phone ever use Skype? By changing the expectations of services in the eyes of the consumer, the service creators are pre disposing the consumer to certain technologies. Cant deliver the video call over an analog phone line or over a one way broadcast technology.
Interactive TV American Idol Weather Channel even online shopping. SMS Chatrooms - Interesting twist that came early here. Interactive SMS and TV programming. Otherwise chatting requires a computer. Innovative to chat with only a cell phone and a TV.
Digital Migration to DataHFC Bandwidth Allocation
700 600 500 MHz 400 300 200 100 0
Digital Broadcast VHSD
VoIP & HSD
Digital OnDem and
Just the beginning Interactive Shopping TV - Cell phone Could be a killer app here. IVR Television talk to your TV or cable box. How and where driven by state of deployment. Think of a call center that instead of just talking you some instruction set, can show you the instruction set over some dedicated video link. Gaming - PC TV Video Games another form of Interactive TV
Look at existing services that are driving the future into today Video On Demand Online Gaming Video Calling Automated Consumer Shopping (groceries) Interactive Television P2P Applications Applications are the driving force behind convergence.
Video on Demand Probably all going to be video on demand. Streaming video and stored video. Is it a local technology (PVR) or a central technology (VOD Server). Or is it a combination of the two like P2P
Online Gaming The Xbox and Playstation are not any longer just for playing game on TV. Last models converged voice and video into the gaming experience. Today's models are full entertainment consoles with the ability to download movies, act as cable set top boxes, surf the internet and even record TV shows.
Video Calling Video conferencing used to be just for corporate boardrooms, now it is for every living room. What is interesting is that this still needs a killer app. 20 + years after the first video conference, consumers still do not know if they want this technology in their living room or not.
Automated Consumer Shopping Great example of an application driving the technology. Refrigerators have TVs and computers in them know so that they can automatically order groceries. First grocery services were very limited and for the most part not successful, until this technology made it easier, and more useful. Not the only one though, automated top off, ebilling, online banking are all forms of ACS.
Interactive Television American Idol vote on the outcome of the TV show. Buy products featured in a TV show, if you want a t-shirt like Sylvester Stalone was wearing send $24.99 to. TV shopping services Online education services
Applications are converging Forcing technology to advance to allow it Wait for an item of tremendous appeal. Killer App E-mail was not enough to sell interactive TV
The application may be socially developed not just software compiled