Quantum Bridge announces improved QB600 line

At the National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference this week, Quantum Bridge Communications Inc. announced the QB600 line of Intelligent Optical Terminals, a passive optical networking system supporting symmetrical data rates of 622M bit/sec.

Quantum Bridge claims the new IOT will meet the needs of carriers as they address the growing data rates seen in the metro optical space. The system, which can be housed on customer premises or in outside plants, is designed to serve as an access feeder to support remote access through wireless devices and free-space optics.

The modular QB600 IOT can be configured with a number of different service interfaces, including DS-3, TDM, ATM, four-port DS-1, four-port Ethernet, OC-3 and Gigabit Ethernet. All interfaces except Gigabit Ethernet and OC-3 will be available at initial release. Gigabit Ethernet and OC-3 will be made available within the next couple of months, depending on demand, the company says.

The company says the QB600 can back-haul services from remote DSL access multiplexers (DSLAM), thereby eliminating the 18,000-foot distance limitation of central office (CO)-served DSL services.

When used in this manner, a symmetrical 622M bit/sec PON can extend the fiber from a CO into the access network. The fiber is fanned out to up to 32 gateway enclosures, each of which is equipped with a remote DSLAM that provides broadband services to residential customers, Quantum Bridge says.

The company says the QB600 can also be used to deliver DS-1 voice and private line, and Ethernet data services from 64K bit/sec to 622M bit/sec directly to fiber-served businesses located near the gateways.

Industry rival Terawave Communications Inc. released a comparable product, the TW150RT, on May 9. Terawave demonstrated this product at SuperComm last month.

Terawave Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phillip McCall says that the company welcomes Quantum Bridge's competition.

"If not for the competition, there wouldn't be any market," he says. "However, this product isn't 'the industry's first.' From a public standpoint, we were the first to announce and the first to show a live demo."

McCall says the impetus for both products was from "a major ILEC that turned out a request for purchase (RFP) for this type of thing."

"We were both at ground zero when the RFP came out," he says. "This industry is about always being one-up. They may have been the first to market with their PON solution, but we were the first to mention the thought of 622M bit/sec symmetrical."

Grier Hansen, senior analyst at Current Analysis Inc. in Sterling, Va., says there is more than enough room in this space for other vendors to jump on the "fiber extension cord" bandwagon.

"There really isn't a downside to either product," he says, "except that neither one is easily leveraged outside of the ILEC market. Customers are still a while off."

Separately, Quantum Bridge announced deployment of a PON in the Baltimore market. Comcast Business Communications will use the Quantum Bridge Optical Access System to enable fiber-based service delivery. CBC plans similar build-outs in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia and Michigan later this year.

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