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Virgin Media UK Trial Teleste’s Distributed Access Architecture

Thursday, April 15th, 2021 (2:19 pm) - Score 7,128
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A new agreement signed by Liberty Global will see broadband ISP Virgin Media UK expanding the use of Teleste‘s Distributed Access Architecture (DAA) technology in their network, which should help to get the best performance out of their platform and support the rollout of gigabit speeds to homes.

Regular readers will recall that Virgin Media began testing out this sort of DAA technology back in 2019 as part of a rather unique wireless connectivity trial in the Berkshire village of Greenham, near Newbury (here). At the time they said that the use of DAA “decentralises and virtualises certain aspects of network functionality to create a more software-defined network and bring digital fibre signals closer to premises.

Essentially, functions that usually reside in the headend (or hub) are distributed closer to homes, which in turn reduces the amount of hardware the headend needs to house, thus creating efficiencies in speed, reliability, latency and security in support of multi-gigabit speeds (CableLabs).

All of this is related to the rollout of Remote Phy (R-PHY) on their older DOCSIS based Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) network, which began in the UK last year (here). R-PHY is a type of DAA and thus today’s announcement is somewhat of an update on that, as well as confirming their supplier choice.

Colin Buechner, Chief Network Officer for Liberty Global, said:

“In today’s rapidly changing competitive landscape, it is vital that Liberty Global continues to deploy new and innovative solutions to ensure network continuity and ever increasing bandwidth capacity for our customers. We are pleased to be working with Teleste in our deployment of Distributed Access Architecture, they have enabled us to continue to be at the forefront of network development.”

Hanno Narjus, Senior VP Teleste Networks, said:

“Teleste is proud to support Liberty Global with their first European deployment of Distributed Access Architecture. After working closely with Virgin Media and its partners over the last year, it is satisfying to see this new technology successfully deployed and providing new opportunities and bandwidth within the existing HFC Network.”

The announcement states that DAA is currently being successfully used in Coventry and Warrington (deployed over the last 12 months), while it’s also now being extended into Baguley (Manchester) as planned. “It is powered by CIN (Converged Interconnect Network) technology which digitises the Access network, and will replace traditional analogue transmission in this space. This CIN will also support growing B2B services, mobile backhaul and 5G, and is a key enabler in LG’s Fixed Mobile Convergence journey,” said Liberty Global.

Last year we were told that the operator planned to roll-out R-PHY to around 1,000 locations across the United Kingdom during 2021.

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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
12 Responses
  1. Optimist says:

    Would someone explain this in plain English please?

    1. Animals says:

      No.

    2. Mark Scott says:

      currently Virgin puts a lot of active network equipment into their head end units that generate and relay the TV and Internet signals that go down the cable. With this technology, the network becomes programable and some of the technology will be taken out of the head end units and placed into the street cabinets to get it closer to the end user.

      Software defined network changes the network from a static entity that costs many thousands of pounds or more to upgrade to a dynamic network that can be configured, programmed and changed from a terminal on the desk or the road, thereby reducing costs.

    3. CarlT says:

      Remote PHY very basically improves signal quality meaning more bandwidth can be wrung out of the same network and reliability is improved.

      Previously there were analogue laser runs, these remove that and make it all digital right up to the coax.

      Also means more flexibility in terms of the kit that goes into the cabinets. FTTP can be run from the same nodal cabinets that were all hybrid fibre coaxial.

    4. Robin says:

      I wonder if being able to run fibre from a transceiver in the node cabinet would make it more cost effective to offer a hypothetical FTTPoD product then OpenReach. I assume these are more densely populated than OpenReach’s fibre aggregation nodes. Certainly, there’s a lot more Virgin Media street infrastructure where I live than OpenReach. Pavement cabinets and little short cabinets all over the place, plus plenty of the bigger cabinets that might be nodes too.

    5. Ted Rowe says:

      @ Animals.
      Wanker.

  2. David says:

    Why not Wakefield City and surrounding areas?
    Problems with this city is very slow and would do Virgin Media a good reputation if it were to upgrade here 1st.

    1. Roddy Mcfee says:

      Nobody cares about Wakefield

    2. CarlT says:

      I imagine much of its population would disagree.

      I may have FTTP but much of the city doesn’t and signs of progress would be good. It’s surrounded by CityFibre and Openreach build.

    3. Ray Woodward says:

      You are north of Watford.

      Nobody in this society could give a toss!

  3. Roger_Gooner says:

    @Carlt: “FTTP can be run from the same nodal cabinets that were all hybrid fibre coaxial.”
    Interesting. Any idea how performance would compare with RFoG from remote virtual hubs?

    1. CarlT says:

      Wouldn’t be RFoG so quite different.

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