Hybrid Access - T-Labs sees very positive results from its contributions
"Hybrid" - the bundling of the fixed-line and mobile networks for more broadband at home - saw its market launch by Deutsche Telekom in the late fall 2014. T-Labs contributed significantly
to this success with the development of concepts patents, and prototypes. The bundling of LTE and DSL is a central component of Telekom's integrated network strategy. In particular, areas in which only low data rates are possible through the fixed-line network will benefit from significant speed increases.
T-Labs began work on developing access bundling solutions as early as 2009
T-Labs has been developing a variety of bundling solutions in projects and testing prototypes together with Telekom Deutschland, T-Systems and Technology Europe since 2009. In addition, T-Labs employees have developed a simulation tool to ascertain the quality of experience (QoE) and the DSL/LTE traffic split and have filed a variety of patents.
A highlight of the project activities was a field test in Montenegro with Crnogorski Telekom customers between 2013 and early 2014: a prototype solution of a T-Labs home gateway was deployed and tested successfully. The customers confirmed a significant increase in bandwidth and, with it, quality of their Internet access. In particular, customers with low DSL speeds were able to achieve download speeds of up to 30 Mbit/s through the integration of LTE, thanks to LTE bundling – a crucial milestone to prove the technical feasibility and to deliver insights from the customer perspective. At the Mobile World Congress in February 2014, T-Labs employees had the opportunity to present this hybrid solution live. At a press conference in the course of the MWC, Claudia Nemat, Board member of Deutsche Telekom for Europe & Technology, and to Niek Jan van Damme, Board member of Deutsche Telekom for Germany, announced a late-2014 market launch for hybrid.
Transfers and developments beyond Hybrid Access
The results of T-Labs' work will continue to be incorporated in product development in future. For example, the results of the QoE and traffic modeling are being used for traffic forecasts and for enhancements to existing network planning tools.
T-Labs is currently working on an enhancement to the existing proprietary solution to create a standardized hybrid access solution, which will be based largely on standardized protocols and open source software components. Initial solutions have already been tested successfully in a laboratory environment. The next step is the integration in a TeraStream architecture, to ensure the consistent use of future architectures.
Other follow-up activities involved in access bundling go beyond the hybrid sphere: "DSL Community" – the bundling of DSL connections with neighbors – is a promising approach to improving the user experience at home, as well as utilizing access resources more efficiently. And all in the spirit of the sharing economy.