Sunrise Telecom touts all-in-one triple-play tester

FEBRUARY 13, 2008 By Meghan Fuller Hanna -- Sunrise Telecom claims it's MTT Triple-Play Series test package is the industry's first comprehensive access infrastructure, in-home wiring, and triple-play services test set.

FEBRUARY 13, 2008 By Meghan Fuller Hanna -- Sunrise Telecom (search for Sunrise Telecom) today announced its MTT Triple-Play Series, aimed at installation and maintenance technicians charged with ensuring the performance and quality of IP-based services delivered to the home over an FTTx architecture.

"One of the key challenges carriers are running into is it's just taking too long to go to each individual home to turn up the service," reports Bahaa
Moukadam, vice president of marketing for Sunrise Telecom's Telecom Products Group. "They have a lot of repeat visits to fix things--or even to get it going the first time. In some cases, they have to make multiple trips," he says, noting that technicians spend, on average, six hours turning up service per subscriber.

"One of the things we have done to address that issue is to bring a tool to market--a single tool that is totally comprehensive," Moukadam continues. "It allows [technicians] to test the physical plant . . . all the way from the CO [central office] or from the curb to the house, whether it's fiber or DSL. It allows them to test the physical wiring and networking inside the home, and then it allows them to test the triple-play services, all with the same tool."

By eliminating the need for multiple test tools for infrastructure and services testing, Sunrise Telecom's MTT Triple-Play Series reduces the number of truck rolls required for proper installation and maintenance and helps service providers realize a higher, faster return on their triple-play investments, claims the company.

Sunrise Telecom says its MTT Triple-Play Series features:
• Copper, fiber, and xDSL testing: A full suite of outside plant copper assessment tests cover the voice to VDSL2 frequency range; a fiber OTDR, visual fault locator (VFL), and power meter enable technicians to ensure the reliability of the fiber; and xDSL CPE emulation allows technicians to verify achievable data rate, SNR Margin, and error counter metrics against pass/fail thresholds.
• In-home wiring testing: Home Phoneline Networking Alliance (HPNA) device emulation is critical for assessing the in-home wiring capability to support IPTV signals. The new device runs HPNA diagnostic tests.
• Services testing: The MTT Triple-Play Series conducts IPTV set-top box emulation with MPEG video stream analysis, IP phone emulation, and IP Ping and traceroute connectivity to verify data service delivery.

In terms of the physical plant testing, Moukadam admits that fiber is, in many ways, "a lot easier. Carriers are using fiber because it's almost binary; it either works or it doesn't," he says. "To test fiber, all you have to do is put a power meter at the end points to see if there is enough power coming across to the home."

Copper testing, by contrast, is not so straightforward, he says. "Some copper may be adequate for ADSL but it's not good enough for VDSL, for example. There's a lot of different criteria for copper testing."

The MTT Series helps technicians pre-qualify the copper plant for triple-play services by answering critical questions, including the following:
• How long is the copper loop, and is it within the distance limit for the planned service?
• Are there any wire faults?
• Does the copper have the right level of noise immunity from ambient interference?

While copper testing presents challenges, Moukadam says it's the in-home wiring that often represents "one of the carriers' biggest headaches," with 80% of problems stemming from this part of the home network. "One of the key things technicians are trying to answer when they go inside the home is 'Does the home wiring that already exists support video?'" he explains. "Most people make changes, or they may use additional drops, or they may route the cable from the family room to the bedroom. They may use a different type of cable with impedance mismatches works okay for traditional coax TV, but when you start getting into IPTV and IP packet-based services, it doesn't work anymore."

For its part, Sunrise Telecom believes its handheld test set will prove popular with triple-play service providers, helping them reduce their capital and operational expenditures while increasing average revenue per user (ARPU). In fact, the company says it has taken several orders already, shipping the device to customers in Europe and the Middle East. Moukadam says Sunrise Telecom is also currently engaged in "some big trials now in North America."

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