Digiweb in broadband
deal with US firm

15 Nov 2005

Digiweb has signed a deal with California-based wireless broadband provider BigBand Networks to enable its planned rollout of 3Mbps metro broadband services in Dublin, Galway, Cork, Limerick, Waterford and Dundalk. The technology will prove central to the company’s efforts to provide voice over internet protocol (VoIP) as well as IP TV services.

The service — a fusion of cable and wireless access technologies — has the potential to reach a market of 1.3 million people, the company says.

In September, Digiweb’s head of strategic development, John Quinn told siliconrepublic.com the 1,000 orders were ahead of plan. “These are real genuine orders. We thought in the first three to four weeks we’d get there but we got there in the first two weeks.”

Ran Oz, chief technology officer for BigBand Networks, commented: “Digiweb is establishing a reliable and flexible infrastructure, taking advantage of BigBand Networks’ standards-based platforms to achieve wireless delivery of multiple media, with opportunities for ongoing collaboration to expand offerings.”

Wireless DOCSIS is being deployed by Digiweb in order to deliver services at cable modem quality levels. DOCSIS signals from BigBand’s Cuda platform can be up-converted and transmitted over the air at high frequencies, then down-converted at subscriber premises and received by a standard cable modems at lower frequencies. This architecture achieves a point-to-multipoint wireless bridge, replacing requirements to install and maintain last-mile physical networks.

Digiweb is also building a nationwide fiber overlay network based on MPLS (multi-protocol label switching). BigBand Cuda connects to this network at fiber end-points, with VPLS (virtual private local area network switching) used for quality-of-service of the signals to be wirelessly transmitted. In addition to providing high-capacity backbone connectivity, the Digiweb MPLS network can extend fiber access directly to end users passed by it.

By John Kennedy