A seamless upgrade

TDS did not have to look too far for equipment to expand the reach of its 25 Mbps VDSL2 service up in running in the additional markets. The telco found the solution in its existing Calix C7 equipment, one of its main ADSL2+ vendors.

To deliver the new 25 Mbps/5 Mbps service to residential and business subscribers, TDS will upgrade its existing base of Calix C7 Multiservice Access Platforms (MSAPs) in 20 states.

"This (the Calix C7 MSAP upgrade) is a culmination of a long relationship we had with TDS" - Geoff Burke, Calix

With some of the same C7 platforms in place since TDS started working with Calix in 2004, the telco will be able to offer the VDSL2 service in the additional states by simply making a software upgrade and card change on their existing C7 platforms that were initially delivering POTS and ATM-based ADSL2+ services.

In this case, TDS was not only upgrading its network from ADSL2+ over a wide piece of its network to VDSL2 speeds in addition to making the transition from ATM to Ethernet-based networking.

Being able to upgrade the C7 incrementally without the need to do a wholesale change out of their existing hardware is part of a broader vision held by both TDS and Calix.   

"This is a culmination of a long relationship we had with TDS and had taken advantage of the many reasons they invested in the C7 in the first place, so they could have a long-term view of the network and utilize that investment to continually upgrade, enhance and transform their networks," said Geoff Burke, director of field marketing for Calix.

Another part of that future evolution is Ethernet. Not only does the new upgrade allow it to deliver VDSL2 services, but it paves a path for other future services because it leverages Ethernet technology.

Even though it migrating from the legacy ATM environment was a big undertaking for the ILEC, the move will continue to pay off as a common platform for existing and new services.

"Ethernet transport is the basis for all of our future product releases," Paker said. "It provides a much cleaner path to add more capacity later on. The transition is reasonably significant on our side to move from and ATM infrastructure to Ethernet, but it's clear that that's the future."

TDS isn't exactly a stranger to IP networking, however. Outside of the last mile, in September the service provider completed the first phase of its nationwide 10 Gbps transport network that will carry its local service traffic.

A seamless upgrade