New TELUS and Shaw Networks

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New TELUS and Shaw Networks

Postby jon » Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:16 am

Telus, Shaw roll out new networks
By Lewis Kelly, edmontonjournal.com
February 9, 2012

EDMONTON — Western telecom providers continued their contest for the wallets of Canadians this week. Telus launches an upgraded wireless network Friday, while on Monday Shaw rolled out its new Exo fibre optic network.

Telus’s new Long Term Evolution wireless system allows next-generation mobile electronics faster online access than the company’s current 4G network. LTE-enabled devices will enjoy download speeds between 12 and 25 megabytes per second — twice the speed of the current system, according to Monty Carter, senior vice-president with Telus.

The new network will operate in 14 urban centres across Canada, including Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. Bell and Rogers, major competitors for Telus in the cellphone market, began offering LTE networks in mid-2011.

To access these new networks, users need a compatible device. Currently, three devices available through Telus can make use of an LTE network: a Samsung tablet PC, the Optimus smartphone from LG and a mobile Internet key for laptops made by NovAtel.

Carter acknowledged not all Telus customers will benefit immediately from the new network, but predicted long-term demand for more data will push most users beyond 4G eventually.

“It’s insatiable,” he said of the consumer appetite for bandwidth. “If I look back four years ago, you had an 80 per cent voice, 20 per cent data mixture. Today, it’s the exact opposite — we’re loading 80 per cent data, 20 per cent voice.”

According to the most recent CRTC statistics, Canadian cellphone firms draw a quarter of their mobile operations revenue from data charges.

Meanwhile, Shaw, which last fall decided not to enter the cellphone business, announced improvements to its cable network earlier this week. The upgrade, dubbed “Exo,” lets customers watch television at 1,080p resolution and boosts maximum Internet speeds from 100 megabytes per second to 250 megabytes per second. Exo also adds an on-demand streaming service for certain television shows.

Shaw’s move came one day before Telus added motion-control and mobile streaming services to its Optik TV service.

Dvai Ghose, a telecom analyst with Canaccord Genuity, praised Telus’s recent moves. “I think they’re doing exceptionally well,” he said. “They are leaps and bounds above Shaw.” Ghose describes a string of Telus successes against its chief telecom rival in Western Canada dating back to the summer of 2010, when Telus re-launched its Telus TV service under the name Optik.

“Telus has the advantage of being able to offer wire-line and wireless,” he said. “Telus can attack Shaw really hard in cable, which is where Shaw makes the vast majority of its money. Telus makes the majority of its money in wireless, and Shaw can’t attack Telus in wireless.”

Shaw generated 61 per cent of its first-quarter 2012 revenue through cable services. It also lost nearly 23,000 basic cable customers. Telus’s wireless operations, according to its most recent quarterly report, generate 54 per cent of its revenue. The report claims 453,000 Optik TV customers, up 70 per cent from the same time last year.

Telus currently runs Optik TV at a loss.

Ghose also dismissed concerns about Telus’s comparatively late entry into the LTE field. “To be a couple of months behind on LTE when it’s very nascent, I think, is largely irrelevant,” he said. “You tell me when you think Apple is going to build a new LTE device and I’ll tell you when I think people are going to be really excited about LTE.”

Popular Apple devices such as the iPhone 4S do not support LTE networks.

A smaller player in Canadian telecom also made a new move this week. Primus Canada, which bills itself as Canada’s largest alternative communications provider, announced the expansion of its telephone and Internet services in Alberta and British Columbia on Thursday.

“Today’s expansion means that more than two million households in B.C. and Alberta can access Primus’s full range of services,” said Rob Warden, senior vice-president of residential services with Primus.

Primus Canada is a subsidiary of Virginia-based Primus Telecommunications Group, which also operates in the U.S., Australia and Brazil. The parent company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy under American law in 2009 and re-joined the stock market last summer.

ref. - http://www.edmontonjournal.com/business ... story.html
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Re: New TELUS and Shaw Networks

Postby TRENT310 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:10 pm

I hate the use of 'fibre network' as used by marketing. I hate it as much as the overuse and misuse of the terms 'LTE' and '4G' ... and this article has managed to accomplish both at the same time. So part of my home network runs on fibre, trunking both 24-port switches together -- does that mean I can call it a fibre network too? The truth of the matter is that the last mile going into homes is often still copper, that's the bottleneck and honestly that's what is delivering the service to the customer home. Even in newer neighbourhoods, where combo cables with fiber and copper conductors are plowed into new construction, the current directions so far are to cap off the fiber and use the copper pairs to deliver the service.

Telus has been moving the DSLAM closer and closer out to the customer to reduce the length of the copper loop, while Shaw has been removing analog TV channels from its cable service and placing 256-QAM data channels in place of the NTSC - 6.25MHz taken up by one video carrier and one or two channels of audio are now replaced by a 256-QAM data service that can handle 7-12 channels of 480i video or 2 channels of 1080p video, or just 38Mbps of data. Data being telephony, internet, or video - everything is 'data' now.

I remember the uproar from clients - including on here - when Shaw decided to take out many Analog TV channels above 22. I had someone complain to me 'Why channel 22? Why couldn't it have been after channel 30?' - Well, if you don't understand the cable bandplan, well, you don't get it.
From low to high frequency, it goes like this for the EIA channel designations:
[ T | 2-6 | 95-99 | 14-22 | 7-13 | 23-94 | 100 - 125 ]
Channels 2-6 range from about 55 to 89MHz
Channels 95-99 range from 91 to 119MHz and used for Cable FM
Channels 14-22 range from 121-173MHz
Channels 7-13 range from 175 to 215MHz
Channels 23 and up start at 217MHz

Cable TV channel numbering is non-contiguous below 23. Channel 13 is actually a higher frequency than 22. Someone did not just pull channel 23 out of a hat, there is a technical reason behind it. By freeing up all these channels that were previously inefficiently used by the analogue TV channels, it opens up a whole bunch of high-bandwidth data services which is basically making that 250Mbps down/15Mbps up internet possible.
Remember, the access control method for traditional cable was to install a band-pass or notch filter inline with your cable service. All the tiers had to be grouped into certain physical locations on the RF spectrum in order to be filtered.

I had a long argument with the Telus salesperson on the phone trying to sell me Optik TV and they were trying to convince me that it was delivered to your home on Fiber optic cable. I said 'Until you show up to my house with a DitchWitch and plow in some OFC [optical fiber, conductive] - it's NOT delivered on fiber' and the response I got was 'Oh no, you don't understand - the technician will bring his own fiber into your house for the install' and I had a facepalm moment right there... that is not what I meant by bring fiber into the house. I told him I currently work in the Telecom business and I have done outside plant, business, and residential installs - I know how the services are delivered. That is not how it works.
I suspect the telephone sales guy had never touched a V1000H or a Cisco 430 set top box. I give up. I suppose if one knew how to design network build-outs or do installations, they would not be sitting at a phone doing sales. I know I wouldn't.
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Re: New TELUS and Shaw Networks

Postby jon » Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:40 am

I'm with Trent on this one. Save-On Foods has done more to bring Fibre into my house than either TELUS or Shaw.

This is in sharp contrast to the U.S. where Verizon and others have offered reasonably priced "all fibre optics" connections to individual residences for at least a couple of years now. Reasonably Priced is a relative term, of course. Last time I heard, entry point in the U.S. was well over $100 a month. If you are running an Internet-dependent home business, that is not a bad price.

I don't want to belittle the telco and cable company efforts to bring Fibre closer to "the end point". In the final days of Edmonton Telephones, i.e. - early 1990s, "The Last Mile" was the understated phrase for the consensus at the time. There would never be Fibre run "The Last Mile" from the "Exchange" to your residence, was the thinking at the time.

That, of course, has proved very much not the case. Fibre is now being run to the Pedestal a few doors from your residence, whether that be on the ground or up a telephone pole. And it makes a huge difference, especially for shared networks like cable companies use, because high usage in your neighbourhood would otherwise mean that not enough data can get into your neighbourhood from the cable company. Once it hits the pedestal, you almost always have a dedicated hunk of coax going to your residence.

Telcos are a little different because they use a dedicated rather than shared network technology. Logically, you have a "dedicated line" between your residence and the local Exchange/Wire Centre. Physically though, multiplexing was used to share a single set of copper wires from the pedestal back to the Exchange. Replacing that copper with Fibre again solves the capacity problems that multiplexing faced during periods of high usage in your neighbourhood.

Bottom Line: current Fibre initiatives by telcos and cable companies can really help if you are fighting with your high usage neighbours for "bandwidth". But you still face a problem if you fighting with high usage within your own residence.
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Re: New TELUS and Shaw Networks

Postby hagopian » Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:48 am

I would love someone to chime in here on TELUS and heir so called 100 MB service.
I dont get close - wireless, just across the apartment.

Your experience the same?
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Re: New TELUS and Shaw Networks

Postby jon » Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:58 am

hagopian wrote:I would love someone to chime in here on TELUS and heir so called 100 MB service.
I dont get close - wireless, just across the apartment.

Your experience the same?

Interesting, as I ran into the same problem about 4 months ago. And actually found the "real answer" not just an educated guess.

Both TELUS and Shaw provide wireless gateways that use older technology that has a maximum wireless speed of just over 28Mbps. At least, that is true for the gateways that they have been installing in Edmonton over the last year or so.
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Re: New TELUS and Shaw Networks

Postby TRENT310 » Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:56 am

Shaw is rolling out the SMCD3GN gateways that are 802.11n compliant, and Telus' ActionTec V1000Hs also run with that standard but real throughput is still limited.

The 802.11n standard describes coding schemes up to MCS index 31, but remember a LINK is always an agreement between both pieces of equipment, otherwise there is no connection. Most consumer grade chipsets only handshake up to MCS 15, which is a 64-QAM coding scheme. When the radio is using a 40MHz channel (two standard 20MHz wide channels) then it can offer the 300Mbps link speed. That is not actual throughput though.

Wireless is a convenience technology, not a performance technology. Hook it up.

Sometimes I have to put out figurative fires with clients. The advertised throughput speeds are between your Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) and the service provider network. If the end-to-end link from point A (your computer) to point B (the host you are connecting to) is slow, that's not really anyone's fault, and it does not provide enough details to identify the problem. No one person manages all the internet.
If the bottleneck is between the CPE and your computer because you are using wireless, that is not the service provider's fault.
If the slowdown is at the server at the far end, that's not the service provider's fault either.
If you can't get the advertised speed between your CPE (modem) and the first hop ISP router, that IS the service provider's fault and you can and should complain about that.

Technology changed since the ET days in ways that were never previously imagined. The telco had NO idea they would ever be competing to deliver television service.
If you've ever been in Edmonton Main on 104ave and 104st, the building is physically over-built because they anticipated growth. What wasn't anticipated was that with technical capacity growth of the system would be miniaturization of the physical system. The backup power generation systems on the roof of the building are oversized for the current equipment... probably has leftover capcaity to run the buildings beside the CO as well!

Telephone companies bank on the traditional design of timeslot-based systems. This supplies GUARANTEED bandwidth (by bandwidth I mean data traffic loading capacity, not physical medium bandwidth.), there is no 'slow down' - the link is either there, running at line speed, or completely gone. With traditional T-carrier (T1, T3) style systems, a hiccup will DROP the link entirely, and the link will re-establish once the disturbance is corrected. Today's coding systems generally will tolerate some disturbances, at the expense of actual data throughput. Instead of losing the link, it will slow down and send data again until it goes through. The only problem with guaranteed bandwidth is it's not an effective use of it. If you guarantee everyone bandwidth, whether this is telephony (your phone is always available when you pick it up, and the line is always yours) or internet (the so-called dedicated line) that means that for all the people using up their bandwidth, there are more people NOT using up all their bandwidth. But with the hard timeslot method, there is no dynamic shuffling of bandwidth. With a shared network (and really, the internet is a shared network by definition. A 'dedicated line' to the internet is a bit of an oxymoron, dedicated to where?), the unused bandwidth is just used by another connection. There is no fixed division of bandwidth like with traditional telephony.
The way the cable TV system was laid out is already conducive to that, while telcos have to make changes to make their network more flexible from the past, fixed-channelization approach which was necessary for circuit-switched networks (it would not be acceptable to have your landline call drop because your neighbour picked up their phone, for example) but is not efficient for packet-switched networks.

Back to that T-3 example: With that transport system I KNOW that I can carry EXACTLY 672 full duplex phone calls at 64kbps each. The entire duration of the phone call samples voice 8000 times per second and turns it into 8-bit words, so it uses 64kbps in both ways for a call. That is fixed, whether I am using a dial up modem connection, sending hold music down the line, yelling over the phone, or not saying a word. But in reality, on a phone call, how often are people ACTUALLY talking and listening at the same time? Most of the time ONE person is talking and the other person is listening and not saying anything. Why use bandwidth for that?
Same with data bandwidth... so if you guarantee everyone 1.544Mbps, that means you can fit 28 customers onto a T3, and you can guarantee all of those customers they get that speed all the time. But in reality, how often are ALL 28 customers using ALL of that bandwidth? Would it not be great if the network was idle, to have 40Mbps throughput? Let's say if I'm sending out a large backup file offsite at like 2:30 AM, most of the other connections are going to be pretty idle. I would like to take advantage of that idle bandwidth everyone else is NOT using at that time.

That's how the old/existing systems work. That's why telcos are moving towards a more dynamic bandwidth management system.
Telcos try to swing the characteristics of the old architecture to sound like an advantage 'oh you get a dedicated line for your services that you don't share with anyone else' but really, is that the best use of resources? To me, that just means it's very consistent - consistently slow. Sure, on a shared bandwidth architecture system you might have some contention on Sunday evening in a residential area when everyone is online... but that's just a busy period. The rest of the time I get the high bandwidth connection.
Are there advantages to the fixed bandwidth approach? Of course. If I was running a broadcasting undertaking and I need a studio-transmitter link, I would want guaranteed bandwidth. I know I will need EXACTLY 20Mbps ALL the time for a HDTV signal, and since my broadcasting operates 24x7, I will need that link to be stable 24x7. I know a few operations that are using Streambox units to accomplish that on an IP network.
But for computer internet traffic, that's not the case. Usage is burst mode. If I download a file, I want it here RIGHT NOW but I am not constantly streaming traffic like the example above. Am I using 100Mbps all the time? No. But when I download a file, I do want that speed. This actually reduces the load on the network from a time perspective and reduces the chances that too many users are going to be downloading *something* at a given point in time because if a download completes faster, there will be more idle time and availability for someone else to do so at advertised speeds.

I think everyone gets the idea I'm trying to convey here and if I go on I will be rambling at that point. It really depends on what ideology you subscribe to... both architectures have their advantages, but you have to decide which one suits your needs. Of course with residential customers often it's a price-based decision and they couldn't care less about what's better as long as it works and is low cost. That's a whole different thing and is not really a technical issue.
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Re: New TELUS and Shaw Networks

Postby PMC » Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:19 pm

Downloading something faster is better for the network.

You bring up a good point of how the network itself suffers, when the companies sell dn/upload rates and the average joe always buys low.
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Re: New TELUS and Shaw Networks

Postby i2thesky » Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:44 am

I work for a small wireless outfit in Alberta. Currently we are seeing significant growth in the business sector. Many corperation have head offices in the industrial sections of Edmonton, Calgary and Red Deer and are looking for alternatives to Telus DSL and 3G because they simply need more upload. In many of the older industrial areas, all they can get for upload is about 500 kbps. Shaw and Telus are falling over each other to get that oh so lucrative residential market but they don't seem to be concerned with the business sector and I get the impression that Telus seems to think they have these industrial section in their back pocket. We've lost a few business a few years ago when telus moved in our turf, now we are getting them back.

Things have changed in business and internet from a few years ago. Now, most businesses, especially admin offices will do weekly E back up to an offsite storage somewhere, most are running remote webcams and a growing number are using video conferencing to a remote office. Now business is getting multimedia like residential, and telus better start rolling fiber to those peds or that will give smaller companies a chance to get in there and take business away.
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Re: New TELUS and Shaw Networks

Postby jon » Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:18 am

i2thesky wrote:they simply need more upload.

Conversely, that is why "over the net" backup has failed to sell very well in the residential market: those slow upload speeds.

I got in on some deal with Shaw where "the standard" was Broadband 50 and I could pay $10 more for Broadband 100. Even though I sure didn't need 100Mbps download. 15-20Mbps is plenty for me.

BUT, it was the upload speed I was buying. I use BackBlaze for automatic backup and have about 1TB of data. Broadband 50 gives you 3Mbps and Broadband 100 is 5Mbps upload. Those of you on good old fashion "High Speed" only get half a Mbps upload! Don't try backing up over the net with that!

TELUS is much the same story.
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Re: New TELUS and Shaw Networks

Postby i2thesky » Sat Feb 18, 2012 7:07 pm

Yep, there's a huge difference between "up to" and dedicated. That's why you pay quadruple the amount for business dedicated speed. Plus, internet is a tax write off and most companies don't care just as long as it works, dammit.
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Re: New TELUS and Shaw Networks

Postby jon » Sat Feb 18, 2012 7:24 pm

i2thesky wrote:Yep, there's a huge difference between "up to" and dedicated. That's why you pay quadruple the amount for business dedicated speed. Plus, internet is a tax write off and most companies don't care just as long as it works, dammit.

Not sure what you mean. Shaw has always published Upload speeds for their different tiers of Internet service. And I've always found them to be both consistent and accurate. Published Upload speed for Broadband 100 is 5Mbps and that's what I get. The "100" in the name is the Download speed, which is all most people care about.

On the other hand, I've never got more than half of the 100Mbps download speed that Broadband 100 claims to deliver. But I don't expect to until I have Gigabit hardware. I actually did install a Gigabit Network Interface Card (NIC) in my computer a year ago, but got a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) a few days later, thanks to the drivers, which obviously weren't up to speed yet for 64-bit Windows 7. Needless to say, I returned the NIC to the store where I bought it.

I haven't checked lately, but the bottom of the line machines I generally stick with likely still don't come with anything but 10/100 NICs rather than Gigabit.

Like I say, 15-20Mbps is plenty of download speed for me. I just want 5Mbps upload.
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Re: New TELUS and Shaw Networks

Postby i2thesky » Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:54 pm

You've found the speeds consistent and accurate, It doesn't necessarily mean a subscriber in a different area or another town will. Every ISP has the "up to" clause in their residential agreements. Shaw so far has been able to deliver with the upgrades they've put in.
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Re: New TELUS and Shaw Networks

Postby TRENT310 » Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:36 pm

At home, I'm on Business 50 with Shaw. It's 50/5. Yes I pay the premium and I am quite happy to pay the premium for static IPs and no port blocking. This runs everything though, including the web server that serves up the images below. So I do value upload speeds.
The capping is done at the CPE end so as network capacity allows, it's very consistent.

In the city, the Telus 50Mbit/50Mbit symmetrical connections are delivered on single mode fiber, and it terminates into a Nebula V-FAST OC-3 copper interface converter. Then it goes into a Telus managed Cisco switch that does the traffic shaping and then you, as the client, are supposed to use the designated port on the switch and not 'hop over' their managed switch. This does the VLAN tagging and etc. for Telus to guarantee service for you. MPLS is delivered similarly from a physical layer but it uses different equipment, like Cisco 1841 ISRs.

If you look on here, right under the last patch panel (the empty one) is the V-Fast on the left beside the US Robotics modem hooked up with yellow OFNR, and sitting on top of the 12 port switch. The USR modem is connected to the switch console port so that Telus can dial in for out of band management.
Image

On many out-of-town sites, Telus ADSL is just about all you can get from an ILEC. Most of the energy sector companies I deal with they don't bother with whatever ISP is in town... they piggyback the branch office data through the existing microwave system they have to run their SCADA stuff. I'm still dealing with old Harris Farinon Microstar or Quadralink equipment, and one T1 channel runs the phones and another T1 channel does the data at good old 1.544Mbps but we're putting in newer stuff that support up to 256-QAM coding on a short-haul point to point microwave link. The new equipment does transparent Ethernet rather than the old T-carrier systems where you'd have to use a router/gateway at both ends to interface between 802.3 and DS1, change the MTUs, get the timing right, etc.

This is my home network setup. It's the equipment that is serving up this image for your viewing:
You'll notice the SMCD3GN, which is configured in bridge mode (disabled routing, gateway, and wi-fi) for business customers.
If you look between the two 24-port switches at the top of the rack, you'll see a little piece of multimode (orange) OFNR trunking the switches together. That's the only fiber in my network, but based on ISP marketing where they can claim the network is fiber because some of their network uses it, I can claim my network is also a fiber network because part of it is connected with 1000BASE-SX right?
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