Closing The Digital Loop

DLC technology forces telecom carriers to reevaluate their network-planning models

August 13, 2004

2 Min Read
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Growing market demand for high-bandwidth services is forcing telecom providers to reevaluate their existing network-planning models -- and create new ones. According to analysts and Wintergreen Research, network planners and engineers responsible for this emerging technology face a complex problem: how to effectively implement a network that optimizes diverse signals from voice, video, and data services. DLCs promise to provide a significant technical solution, by giving service providers a presence in the network nodes. While many DLC systems are going into the telecom central office, market shifts are putting more and more of them into neighborhood nodes.

Alcatel and Advanced Fibre Communications (AFC) hold dominant positions in the U.S. Digital Loop Carrier (DLC) market, according to a just-released report from market research and consulting firm CIR. Alcatel's 42 percent share and AFC's 38 percent dwarf the 5-percent market shares held by runners up Ciena and Adtran.

Alcatel is the biggest player among Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs), while AFC has the largest share among Independent Operating Companies (IOCs) serving more than 500,000 customers. The IOC market is dominated by seven large carriers (Sprint LTD, Alltel, CenturyTel, Citizens, Cincinnati Bell, TDS, and Valor) who among them provision some 18 million lines. This is more than twice as many lines as are served by all of the remaining IOCs.

According to the CIR report, both RBOCs and IOCs are still making only limited use of the advanced features of DLC technology. But it's the smaller IOCs -- those serving fewer than 100,000 lines -- who are being most aggressive in deploying new technologies such as fiber-to-the-subscriber. AFC also dominates this market, but smaller vendors such as Calix, Catena, and Optical Solutions are also enjoying sales as the nation's approximately 1,300 IOCs move to deploy the "triple play" of broadband voice, data, and video service packages.

IT, Telecom Infrastructure Spending Creeping Up Worldwide - Networking Pipeline
Chinese telecom equipment provider ZTE has been awarded a contract by Indonesian carrier Telkom to build the NGN-DLC (Digital Loop Carrier) network in the Jakarta metropolitan area.Rural Circuits - CommWeb
Historically, local service providers have installed DLC technology as voice-centric outside plant equipment that concentrates local loop lines onto a shared backbone, which then backhauls them to the central office.

ILECs: Wireless Provides Growth, Bundled Services Rollouts Continue - Networking Pipeline

With wireline revenues largely flat, the three leading ILECs -- Verizon, SBC, and BellSouth --continue to push new wireless and broadband services.

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