SBC has agreed to buy - for an undisclosed amount - Alcatel's 7340 fibre-to-the-user system to provide voice, data and video services, including emerging high-speed services such as high-definition TV (HDTV), over an all-optical network to consumers and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). It will, initially, deploy the technology in a project in San Francisco.
Alcatel's FTTU technology provides broadband data access up to 20Mbps (bits per second) per subscriber.
New residential and commercial areas, where communications cables are being laid, are a prime market for FTTU technology, according to Alcatel.
The company's FTTU system uses a single fibre to connect optical line terminal (OLT) equipment in the central office to optical network terminal (ONT) devices at the subscriber location.
Each fibre from the central office carries a passive optical network (PON) that can be shared by up to 32 subscribers using optical splitters, reducing the cost of the fibre supporting each subscriber.
Alcatel and SBC are collaborating on defining an architecture that supports existing DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) services and makes way for FTTU technology, Alcatel said.