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TELCO SYSTEMS OFFERS HDSL FOR BACKHAUL

Telco Systems Inc., Norwood, Mass., is scheduled to announce Tuesday it has integrated High-bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line technology from PairGain Technologies Inc., Tustin, Calif., into its access platform-an upgrade the company plans to use to further penetrate the U.S. and international wireless markets.

HDSL is a technology developed by the wireline industry to provide higher-quality transmission at longer distances over existing copper lines. HDSL alleviates the need for repeaters on lines because HDSL-enabled equipment can transmit signals a distance of about 12,000 feet, according to Telco Systems. A traditional T1 line not using HDSL needs a repeater after 650 feet, said David Weissman, senior marketing manager for the company.

“What we’re trying to do is penetrate the wireless market through wireless backhaul,” said Weissman. He touts HDSL as cost-effective solution for backhaul because it reduces the need for repeaters as well as reduces installation labor costs.

Currently, cellular carriers in the United States traditionally use T1 lines for backhauling traffic to mobile switching centers. About 80 percent of those lines have not yet been upgraded to fiber optics, said Weissman, providing an market for the copper-based HDSL technology.

Telco Systems has integrated HDSL into its Access60 product, which can be collocated with the MSC and hub up to 10 HDSL lines; and its Access45, a lower-cost product the company introduced in 1997 that can be installed near the cell site and hub up to 2 HDSL lines.

While there are other HDSL solutions on the market, Telco Systems’ product is the only one that integrates voice and data on one platform as well as provides full redundancy, according to the vendor.

In the United States, Weissman said the company considers its primary target wireless market to be rural personal communications services providers that need to extend cell sites far out from their MSCs. Another application is for connecting a roof-top cell site on a tall building with a base station controller in the basement.

In the long term, Wireless Local Loop also will be a target market, but Weissman said he doesn’t see much WLL growth in the United States currently.

In the international arena, however, Telco Systems is targeting WLL-primarily in the Asia-Pacific. It currently is demonstrating its system in the Philippines and Indonesia.

“We view WLL as one of the fastest growing services internationally,” said Weissman. While WLL is a fast way of deploying basic telephone service, those new systems at some point still have to interconnect to the landline network, he said. And Telco Systems hopes the necessity for those interconnecting lines will provide a market for its access products around the world.

Currently, international business represents 11 percent of the company’s annual revenues. The company aims to increase that to 25 percent by 2000.

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