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Overview of Broadband Technology


The main objective of this chapter is to build up the following i) ii) iii) iv) To understand what is Broadband To understand the need of broadband To familiarize with the various broadband technologies To familiarize with Broadband Network

With the evolution of computer networking and packet switching concept a new era of integrated communication has emerged in the telecom world. Rapid growth of data communication market and popularity of Internet, reflect the needs of enhanced infrastructure to optimize the demand of traffic. Integration of telecom and computer networking technology trend has further amplified the importance of telecommunications in the field of information communication. It becomes a tool for the conveyance of information, and thus can be critical to the development process. Telecommunications has become one of the most important infrastructures that are very essential to the socio-economic well being of any nation. As the Internet market continues to explode, demand for greater bandwidth and faster connection speeds have led to several technological approaches developed to provide broadband access to all consumers. The demand for high-speed bandwidth is growing at a fast pace, driven mostly by growth in data volumes as the Internet and related networks become more central to business operations. The rapid growth of distributed business applications, e-commerce, and bandwidth-intensive applications (such as multimedia, videoconferencing, and video on demand) generate the demand for bandwidth and access network. A concept of broadband services and the means of access technologies to bridge the customer and service provider is emerged out through out the world. "Broadband" refers to high-speed Internet access. Broadband Solutions represent the convergence of multiple independent networks including voice, video and data into a single, unified, broadband network.


Overview of Broadband Technology

Broadband is the nonspecific term for high-speed digital Internet access. To state the obvious, broadband indicates a means of connectivity at a high or broad bandwidth. There are the various ways to define the broadband: Term for evolving digital technologies that provide customers a high-speed data network connection Provides signal switched facility offering integrated access to voice, data, video, and interactive delivery services The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) defines broadband as an advanced telecommunications capability Delivers services & facilities with an upstream and downstream speed of 200 Kbps or more. Range varies from 128 Kbps to 100 Mbps.

In fact there is no specific International Definition for Broadband

In India, Department of Telecommunications has issued a Broadband policy in 2004. Keeping in view the present status, Broadband connectivity is defined at present as: An always-on data connection that is able to support interactive services including Internet access and has the capability of the minimum download speed of 256 kilo bits per second (kbps) to an individual subscriber from the Point Of Presence (POP) of the service provider intending to provide Broadband service where multiple such individual Broadband connections are aggregated and the subscriber is able to access these interactive services including the Internet through this POP. The interactive services will exclude any services for which a separate license is specifically required, for example, real-time voice transmission, except to the extent that it is presently permitted under ISP license with Internet Telephony. It reflects that: One of the latest trends in enhancing communication systems involves broadband technology Broadband refers to greater bandwidth-or transmission capacity of a medium Broadband technology will allow for high-speed transmission of voice, video, and data over networks like the Internet

To Strengthen Broadband Penetration, the Government of India has formulated a Broadband Policy whose main objectives are to: Establish a regulatory framework for the carriage and the content of information in the scenario of convergence. Facilitate development of national infrastructure for an information based society. Make available broadband interactive multimedia services to users in the public network. Provide high speed data and multimedia capability using new technologies to all towns with a population greater than 2 lakhs. Make available Internet services at panchayat (village) level for access to information to provide product consultancy and marketing advice. CTTC MEERUT 3

Overview of Broadband Technology Deploy state of art and proven technologies to facilitate introduction of new services. Strengthen research and development efforts in the telecom technologies.

The concept of socio economy has an important role in the field of communication of data, audio, video, speech or any other kind of application. It is an era of CAPEX and OPEX. Service providers and customers both are interested in economy with fastest tool of communication with more throughput. Traditional circuit switching network are not supporting the effective fast communication for new applications. This has emerged out with the evolution of packet switching network. Communication of data for various applications is feasible to carry with different throughput. The service provider converged voice and data network promises to be implemented as nodes in a neighborhood or remote switches in regional locations. The Internet, e-mail, web sites, software downloads, file transfers: they are all now part of the fabric of doing business. But until now, it has not been possible for businesses to fully take advantage of the benefits that technology can truly deliver. The reason for this is a simple one - a lack of bandwidth. Even for small businesses, narrowband dial-up access is no longer sufficient. It simply takes too long to do basic tasks, like downloading a large file, and is increasingly being recognized as insufficient and inconvenient. Kim Maxwell in his book-"Residential Broadband: An Insider's Guide to the Battle for the Last Mile" has grouped potential residential broadband applications into three general categories: "professional activities " (activities related to users' employment), "entertainment activities " (from game playing to movie watching), and "consumer activities " (all other non-employment and non-entertainment activities). as follows: Professional Activities: Telecommuting (access to corporate networks and systems to support working at home on a regular basis) Video conferencing (one-to-one or multi-person video telephone calls) Home-based business (including web serving, e-commerce with customers, and other financial functions) Home office (access to corporate networks and e-mail to supplement work at a primary office location) Web surfing (as today, but at higher speeds with more video content) Video-on-demand (movies and rerun or delayed television shows) Video games (interactive multi-player games) Shopping (as today, but at higher speeds with more video content) Telemedicine (including remote doctor visits and remote medical analyses by medical specialists) 4

Entertainment Activities:

Consumer Activities:


Overview of Broadband Technology Distance learning (including live and pre-recorded educational presentations) Public services (including voting and electronic town hall meetings) Information gathering (using the Web for non-entertainment purposes) Photography (editing, distributing, and displaying of digital photographs) Video conferencing among friends and family

These applications have different bandwidth requirements, and some of them are still out of reach today. For example, all of the "professional" activities will likely be supported with less than 1.0 Mbps of bandwidth. Similarly, web surfing and home shopping will be supported with less than 1.0 Mbps of bandwidth. Movies and video, however, demand more bandwidth. Feature length movies can probably be delivered with 1.5 Mbps of bandwidth, but broadcast quality video will probably require more perhaps as much as 6.0 Mbps. Moreover, if high definition television ("HDTV") is widely accepted as a new broadcast standard, that quality of video would require almost 20.0 Mbps of bandwidth much higher than the current broadband technologies will support. Thus, although the technology is moving toward flexible, high-quality video-on-demand, the necessary speed is probably still more than a few years away from becoming a reality. The Internet is poised to spin off thousands of specialized broadband services. The access network needs to provide the platform for delivery of these services. Following are the various applications or services, which are very popular in society and needs broadband connectivity: Virtual Networks The private virtual networks (LAN/WAN) can be used in an ample variety of multimedia services, like bank accounts and central offices. Education by distance Education will not have any limits to reach from source to destination. Along with the traditional school a concept of remote leaning center is emerged out and popular for various courses. There is no limit of distance, area or location in such distance learning. The student situated in the remote station can intervene directly to his class with a double system via videoconference, whilst this happens, simultaneously, the file ex change Telework Organization firm workers that incorporate communication systems via satellite, can work remotely connecting directly to their head offices Internet by a high speed connection that permits users to work efficiently and comfortable. Telemedicine Doctors situated in different clinics can stay in contact and consult themselves directly to other regional medical centers, using videoconference and the exchange of high quality images, giving out test results and any type of information. Also rural zone can have the opinion of specialists situated in remote hospitals quickly and efficiently. Electronic commerce Electronic commerce is a system that permits users to pay goods and services by Internet. Thanks to this service, any person connected to the network can ad quire


Overview of Broadband Technology such services with independence from the place that he is situated and during the 24 hours, simply using a portable computer.


Communication of data with different throughput is feasible by following technologies: Narrow Band 2.4 kbps 128kbps Broadband 256kbps 8000kbps

LAN 1000kbps 100Mbps / Giga Ethernet Various Access Technologies are used for the delivery of broadband services. Broadband communications technology can be divided broadly in to following categories: Wireline Technology Wireless Technologies

Service providers according to available technology and access provide the broadband services to customers. The access technologies that are adopted by the services providers are mainly Optical Fiber Technologies, DSL on copper loop, Cable TV Network, Satellite Media, cellular and fixed wireless, Terrestrial Wireless etc. Technology options for broadband services may be classified according to the mode of access. Wire line Technologies include Digital Subscriber Lines (DSL) on copper loop Optical Fiber Technologies Cable TV Network PLC (Power Line Communication Wireless Technologies include Satellite Media Terrestrial Wireless 3G Mobile Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity) WiMax LMDS and MMDS FSO (Free Space Optics)

The broadband services reached to customer from the three providers. Basically these are Service Provider, Network Provider and Access Provider. The role of Network Provider is to provide the services offered to customer through the access extended by


Overview of Broadband Technology Access Provider. There are various types of networks which are capable of transmitting and managing the broadband traffic to desired nodes or locations. Wireline access technology through DSL, Fiber, Cable etc are generally adopts: IP based Network ATM Network Wireless access technology through Wi-Fi, Wi-Max. 3G mobile etc provides wireless access to ingress point of any core network any migrates to Internet world.


Broadband technologies go through two stages of development in Asian countries. In the early stage, sharp technological divisions exist among players due to regulatory constraints. There are various mode of access used by service providers in this field. Following was the beginning scenario in various countries like Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, India and Singapore: Basic Telecom service providers adopted the use of ISDN/DSL CATV operators use cable modems Competitive players use wireless technologies. In the later stage of development, technological divisions are shaped by geography and infrastructure. The broadband started establishing and due to a progressive regulatory framework it has matured in the market. In the countries like Korea and Philippines service providers employ several technologies for the broadband in their networks. DSL and cable modems are used where the PSTN and CATV are in place. Where rainfall is light, an LMDS is used to serve densely populated areas with little infrastructure and unwired business districts. Satellite is used to service rural areas where population densities are low Once newer technologies are available in the market, ISDN becomes relatively less important. Established telephone companies are calculating the economics of converting the Last Mile of existing networks to all-digital systems. Hong Kong and Singapore citizens already have broadband access, such as movies on demand, through their local telecom network. Cable-TV operators, too, are venturing into highspeed Internet access through modified networks and end-user "cable modems." Advances in wireless communications means that people starts surfing the net with cell phones at speeds comparable to or greater than current home access.

There are tremendous changes in the telecommunication technologies. With the evolution of Internet telecom world has merged rapidly in computer network. Broadband Internet connections allow users to download web pages and data many times faster than conventional 'narrowband' Internet access. Broadband services are 'always-on' - the computer is connected to the Internet continuously. Users pay a flat rate independent of how long they spend on the Internet or the amount of data downloaded. Broadband users typically spend four times as long online as narrowband customers and broadband take-up has been faster than many comparable


Overview of Broadband Technology technologies, competitiveness. Broadband is needed in the present scenario due to new technologies and emerging out various types of Data communication applications. It is around the Professional activities, Entertainment activities, and Consumer Activities. These applications have different bandwidth requirements and most of them need more bandwidth. Various technologies are available to service providers by which they can extend the Broadband services to customers. These technologies are mainly classified under two categories i.e. Wire line and Wireless technologies. Existing infrastructure used to access telecom services is exploits for broadband as an economical aspects and faster development. DSL on copper loops, Optical fiber, cable TV are the popular technologies for Broadband. World has also entered in the field of wireless to provide the broadband through GSM, CDMA, LMDS, MMDS, WiMax and Wi-Fi. The public sector will be one of the key drivers of broadband demand. Pooling requirements from hospitals, schools etc. could permit more cost effective procurement and stimulate broadband rollout.

1. What do you understand with the term broadband? 2. What are the factors which are responsible for the evolution of broadband 3. What are the main technologies for providing the broadband 4. What is the technology adopted in your country

1. The National Academies Press Broadband: Bringing Home the Bits 2. Dutta-Roy, Amitava, "Cable: It's Not Just for TV," IEEE Spectrum, May 1999 3. FCC Resource Guide: Broadband Internet Access 4.