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Ethernet Extender - Patton Enhances SmartNode VoIP IAD Portfolio with EFM WAN Interface
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November 21, 2013

Patton Enhances SmartNode VoIP IAD Portfolio with EFM WAN Interface

By Peter Bernstein
Senior Editor


While there are various initiatives around the world to accelerate the deployment of fiber optical networks all the way into residences and business, the facts are the bulk of existing outside plant and in particular the “last mile” remains copper.  However, just because that plant is fiber does not mean that those connections cannot be enhanced to provide broadband capabilities including Ethernet services for what Gaithersburg, MD-based Patton Electronics likes to call “Ethernet-in-the-First Mile (EFM)” capabilities.

In fact, with the growing popularity, and sense of customer urgency, to have state-of-the-art broadband access to IP services, Patton (News - Alert) will be taking orders for three new SmartNode VoIP Integrated Access Devices (IADs) which offer a built-in Ethernet-in-the-First-Mile (EFM) interface for reliable, low-cost WAN access. The new products are scheduled to ship before the end of the year.

The reason for the three new EFM VoIP IADs is to provide the benefits of broadband connectivity to service provides and small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) alike so they do not have to wait for fiber connections.  The products round out Patton’s portfolio of EFM solutions, including EFM-router, EFM-bridge and EFM-concentrator products. They position Patton as a single-vendor, one-stop shop for implementing carrier, campus and industrial networks over existing copper cable.

High speeds and reduced costs

One of the major benefits of Patton’s approach to extending copper life is that their solutions eliminate the need for an outboard EFM modem.  In fact, the integrated interface lowers equipment costs, simplifies network architecture and expedites service deployment when deploying IP-based voice, video and data services.

"EFM technology makes old-fashioned copper wire more attractive than ever for delivering high-speed network services," said Ramon Felder (News - Alert), President and CEO of Patton’s Western Europe Operations. 

"Carriers around the world are abandoning ATM because EFM offers simpler network architecture with lower protocol overhead. That means faster service for customers and lower operating costs for providers. Patton has responded to this trend by offering EFM interfaces in all our relevant product portfolios.”

For those interested in the technology being employed, Patton’s EFM technology bonds up to 4 twisted pairs (8 wires) into a single channel that delivers transmission speeds up to 22.8 Mbps. The company states that, “Because of the lower overhead inherent in the EFM protocol, users typically realize 10 to 20 percent more usable bandwidth over ATM when implemented on the copper access network.”

Since one size cannot fit all needs, as noted Patton’s integrated EFM-over-copper interface is available on three SmartNode models:

  • SmartNode 4670 BRI/FXS/FXO VoIP IAD supports 8 to 16 calls
  • SmartNode 4990 PRI/T1/E1 VoIP IAD supports 15 to 120 calls
  • SmartNode 5490 Enterprise Session Border IAD supports up to 196 SIP-to-SIP calls

Plus as with all Patton products the VoIP devices come with Patton’s unique free gold-standard customer support, which includes free software upgrades as well as free support.

As noted above, both service providers and their customers for competitive reasons have a sense of urgency regarding having broadband access to the WAN.  They cannot, and do not want to wait, for fiber connections. This is particularly true for the SMB market which globally tends to be under-served when it comes to broadband access.  The good news is carriers do not have to wait to deploy the Ethernet access capabilities the market is demanding.  Help that can economically allow carriers to provision such services is at hand. 

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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