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AVM Interview – The Future of FTTC and Ultrafast Broadband Routers

Monday, September 1st, 2014 (6:53 am) - Score 2,930
fritzbox_7390

Q3. It’s been noted that the FRITZ!Box 3390 and other models combine both wifi bands (5GHz and 2.4GHz) into a single SSID instead of two separate ones as some other routers do (though rivals do allow the bands to be renamed to the same SSI). Some people find that this can make it tedious to connect on the specific band you want. Why has AVM adopted this approach?

ANSWER:

The FRITZ!Box configuration has two modes, a ‘Standard’ and ‘Advanced’ view. Many smart devices have Wi-Fi clients, which are unable to display band information, just SSIDs. In the Standard mode, our intentions are to present the typical user with a simple menu interface, reducing the number of variables and technical jargon. An example of this is found in the Wi-Fi configuration menu – one SSID is less complex for many customers, especially without knowing what an ‘SSID’ is. However, the Advanced view can be activated, to access the advanced functions and configurations, including Wi-Fi radio network settings to define unique SSIDS for 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.

Q4. We note that AVM are planning to introduce a new router (model 4080) that will be specifically designed for ultrafast 1000Mbps fibre optic networks (FTTH etc.). Can you tell us what sort of features are unique to this model in order to set it aside from your other high-end routers (e.g. 7490) and thus be better able to support truly fibre optic lines?

ANSWER:

A new dual core processor, gigabit WAN port, and 4×4 MIMO 11ac Wi-Fi will be used in the FRITZ!Box 4080 to even better manage the gigabit speed coming from fibre lines into the home. This turbo-charged router is designed with plenty of overhead for the demands of continuous gigabit bandwidth communications for the growing multiple-platform video streaming and gaming applications. The other key difference to the 7490 is the 4080’s sleek, new design.

fritzbox 4080

Q5. What kind of plans do you have for future software improvements, such as perhaps via FRITZ!OS 7.0 firmware and or upgrades for OS 6.0?

ANSWER:

FRITZ!OS Update preview: There will be a new security overview for more control and transparency with STARTTLS push mail notifications of all logins, new FRITZ!OS updates and an open port check. Also the FRITZ!NAS gets an overhaul for better usability with tablets and smartphones on the network. FRITZ!NAS users will benefit from an integrated HTML Player and more media management features.

The FRITZ!Box is a media hub to distribute media storage throughout the network, and the FRITZ!Fon cordless DECT handset is the perfect remote control to play music, video and photos and choose the UPnP and DLNA device. You can also use the ‘FRITZ!App Media’ to turn your android smart device into a multimedia remote control. It’s one of a series of useful Apps we’ve developed for Apple and Android devices.

Q6. Aside from ever faster and more reliable wifi connectivity, what other headline hardware features are AVM looking at for future routers?

ANSWER:

In the busy engineering lab, our engineers are allowed ample room for experimentation. Studies suggest that online Video makes up to 84% of Internet traffic, so with HD, UHD, and the advent of 4K video and games, there will be continued demand for ever more router performance and throughput. Including SAT-IP in our FRITZ!OS will allow smartphones and tablets to share IP-TV in the household – simultanously and everywhere. AVM has also developed an 11ac dual band Wi-Fi repeater which also distributes classical DVB-C signal into the local network. We are also looking at applications for DECT ULE (Ultra Low Engery) communications. Our goal is to give the residential market a reliable and flexible gateway ready for the Gigabit Generation.

Q7. It’s well known that the supply of IPv4 (IP) Internet addresses to Europe and the United Kingdom is running out. In your opinion, what will this mean for UK based broadband providers; especially those that delay adapting with IPv6 for as long as possible?

ANSWER:

Already, there are ISPs whose IPv4 addresses are no longer sufficient for the existing customers. The customers get only an IPv4 connection via Carrier Grade NAT. This leads to many problems, such as the IPv4 availability to services offered themselves or peer-to-peer services. IPv6 is the only reasonable solution to this and is being rolled out from the DS lite / CGN ISPs – but for this to work, the remote site must be reachable over IPv6. This means that DS lite customers will not be reachable by their IPv4-only friends – and sooner or later this will lead to customer complaints.

AVM has one of the largest native IPv6 customers in Europe, XS4all in the Netherlands, who launched IPv6 in Autumn 2011 and now have over 100,000 IPv6 customers online. AVM reacted very early to achieve all the necessary prerequisites for a successful IPv6 deployment with FRITZ!Box, and indeed we were one of the world’s first broadband routers with full IPv6 support for small networks.

Q8. Finally, there’s a big debate going on in many European countries concerning the best infrastructure solutions for the future. Many incumbent operators, such as BT, prefer the cheaper and quicker deployment of slower speed hybrid-fibre (FTTC/VDSL) solutions. Meanwhile others want significantly more investment to me made into full ultrafast fibre optic (FTTH/P/B) connectivity that would be fairly future proof but take a long time to deploy. What do you think is the best way forward?

ANSWER:

From my humble perspective, FTTH is the long-term goal, but for the next ten years, it will be a mixture of fibre, cable and VDSL. What to deploy today depends a lot on the existing (copper) infrastructure.

Building codes and property laws also can play a big role in the cost for FTTH deployment. For today, I think FTTC (VDSL) is a perfectly reasonable and competitive solution for the UK and many EU markets, especially with the deployment of the above mentioned vectoring technology to provide over 100 Mbit/sec bandwidth access. For white spots, LTE could be used to fill in odd gaps in the isolated countryside with comparatively high-speed access.

End.

Thanks kindly to Matthew Tyler for taking part in our brief chat.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
3 Responses
  1. Avatar dragoneast

    Have been running a 7390 for nearly three years now in the UK. Quite satisfactorily and acts both as a DECT for the analogue voice and as modem and router for DSL tech including FTTC for data and provides easy VOIP and IPv6 functionality, and a limited mobile dongle access facility; though the NAS function can be a bit of a devil. The trouble is as with everything to do with telecoms, we want it all cheap as chips (the fried variety not the electronic), and it isn’t.

  2. Avatar hmmm

    pathetic vdsl rubbish not worth the hassel and suppose to have less problems yeah right !!!!

  3. Thank you for the information you have pass, good at all.

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