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Author Topic: ECI M41 DSLAM Replacement With Huawei Kit (Trial)  (Read 2790 times)

j0hn

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Re: ECI M41 DSLAM Replacement With Huawei Kit (Trial)
« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2019, 03:19:50 PM »

Quote
Perhaps this article is only make-believe but if indeed Openreach are contemplating ECI replacements I shudder to think of the downtime and costs for what would be very little gain.

Surely true symmetric FTTH as a new-build would be a better option ?

Walter I read things like that all the time and in part I'm in agreement.
Full fibre can't be the only answer though.

If we all had to wait on FTTP then there's millions who are benefiting from FTTC now who would have had to wait over a decade for it while struggle in their 1-2Mb ADSL.

I'd much rather have my 44Mb FTTC than the 3Mb ADSL I had before.
I would have had years and years to wait for FTTP and that time is right through my child's primary/secondary education when decent home internet is essential.

It could take years to replace all the ECI cabinets with FTTP.
In the meantime they keep breaking down.
ECI kit is less reliable, more fault call outs, parts become more expensive, harder to source.

Someone has done the numbers and it's cheaper over a period to rip it out and replace it with cheaper, reliable, easy to source Huawei kit.

Any down time is overnight only. It's coordinated well in advance with ISP's so any customers with SLA's can have alternative backups put in place.

Many will be over built with FTTP and the DSLAM retired instead of replaced with a Huawei DSLAM.

The cost of maintaining these ECI DSLAM's may simply be too expensive that they can't wait years for FTTP for every single 1.

We're all FTTP fans, but it can't be the only show in town.
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gt94sss2

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Re: ECI M41 DSLAM Replacement With Huawei Kit (Trial)
« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2019, 03:32:03 PM »

The Q&A at BT's recent technology briefing especially 1:18:33- 1:21:30 (and perhaps 24:30) are among those where Huawei is mentioned  - in that while they don't think any Huawei ban will cover DSLAMs, they have thought about what would happen if it did - and that the like having 2 suppliers for everything
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Chrysalis

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Re: ECI M41 DSLAM Replacement With Huawei Kit (Trial)
« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2019, 04:00:36 PM »

Thanks for the info Carl

I expect based on my educated guess.  Reasons would be similar to following.

Support contract coming to end and ECI's current performance in providing support perhaps been subpar is leading to a possible decision to not renew it and perhaps using unsupported kit is deemed not viable.
The cost of running ECI kit I expect is higher than hauwei probably due to increased levels of faults, because of the lack of g.inp.  As well as higher compatibility issues with modems.
Lack of xDB profiles, and general performance leading to hauwei kit been faster which means higher speed estimates and less speed related complaints been made by end users.

I think all these things combined has perhaps finally made it a viable business case to do a swapout.

Ultimately one of the advantages of using 2 suppliers is that if one under performs then it can be replaced with the other, if you not prepared to do that, then it nullifies some of those
 benefits.
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Chrysalis

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Re: ECI M41 DSLAM Replacement With Huawei Kit (Trial)
« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2019, 04:08:48 PM »

most of the cost will be labour cost.

It would be logical to put in kit that can do more than the hauwei kit installed at start of rollout, so e.g. vdsl 35.  But even if its just basic eci -> hauwei I think its misleading to call it "very little gain", the generic advantage hauwei has combined with g.inp, xDB can be significant, in addition g.inp can be difference to having interleave on or off and interleaving is definitely noticeable.
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j0hn

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Re: ECI M41 DSLAM Replacement With Huawei Kit (Trial)
« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2019, 07:45:15 PM »

I don't think the speed difference or potential improved latency between the 2 vendors will be any part of the reason for this.
Very little gain or significant gain, OpenReach get paid the same for lines connected to either DSLAM vendor.

The lack of G.INP might make the fault level slightly higher on ECI kit but Interleaving would do it's job for the majority.

This will be down to future maintenance costs.

The ECI hardware is considerably more expensive to replace parts, overheats, breaks down more often, and has a higher fault call out rate.

Quote
It would be logical to put in kit that can do more than the hauwei kit installed at start of rollout, so e.g. vdsl 35

Agreed, but VDSL2 profile 35b is irrelevant here.

The Huawei MA5618 that will be used to replace some of the ECI DSLAM's can do G.Fast, meaning no additional pod on the PCP would be needed.

The profile 35b ship has sailed. Too late for that.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2019, 07:47:20 PM by j0hn »
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burakkucat

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Re: ECI M41 DSLAM Replacement With Huawei Kit (Trial)
« Reply #20 on: June 30, 2019, 08:16:26 PM »

The ECI hardware is considerably more expensive to replace parts, overheats, breaks down more often, and has a higher fault call out rate.

To that list of defects we should also add that those cabinets installed in non-built-up (i.e. rural) areas were found to be too well ventilated and the cold, moisture laden, air caused condensation problems in the card-cage backplane. I seem to recall that heating pads had to be fitted (thus more energy consumed) to stop the condensation build-up.
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kitz

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Re: ECI M41 DSLAM Replacement With Huawei Kit (Trial)
« Reply #21 on: July 01, 2019, 01:20:02 AM »

Quote
I don't think the speed difference or potential improved latency between the 2 vendors will be any part of the reason for this.

As much as some of us who are on ECI's would like to think it was so, I too suspect it is far more likely to be as you and Carl say, especially if the OLTs aren't too clever either.

After-all if they were just swapping out for the sake of EU performance and rectify some of the M41's shortfalls, then surely it would be far easier to replace them with V41s like Deutsche Telekom and another operator supposedly did with some of their M41s.  Therefore there has to be other reasons. 

Quote
The Huawei has a capacity of 384 lines with the HD expansion and 512 with the newer expansion.

This is a game changer. 
Back in 2012 when councils and residents were moaning about street furniture then the ECI's with 256 ports and smaller footprint were the preferable option in quite a few towns.

Since then,  there has been the ability to upgrade the MA5603 to 384 lines and now if 512 is on the cards (!) this makes it a whole new ball game. 
We are now seeing MA5603 "twins" being installed as the ECI's run out of space, and I suspect there will be more to come.   Both councils and the general public are now more accustomed to seeing  (or not noticing) cabs so are less likely to kick up a fuss about the size of the MA5603s than they did 7 years ago.

In cases where there are twin cabs or ECI's nearing capacity, surely it would be logical to replace with a MA5603 (512 lines) and decommission the ECI completely.  Obviously consideration would be need to be taken into account such as the likelihood and timescale of lines moving over to FTTP in the near future.   So there could well be a mixture of options for Openreach to consider - depending upon of course how the trials go.

Quote
I think many will read this thread and a couple of the comments and assume a mass swap out of all ECI DSLAM's has started or is starting.

In all fairness, I think that assumption may have come from the linked to TBB article. 
It's one of the first things I spotted when seeing the headline and  the article itself could lead many readers to believe 25191 cabs could be up for replacement.  I'd also read the ISPr article so was fully aware it was just a trial of just 200 - which isn't mentioned in the TBB article.
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j0hn

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Re: ECI M41 DSLAM Replacement With Huawei Kit (Trial)
« Reply #22 on: July 01, 2019, 04:15:30 AM »

Quote from: kits
In cases where there are twin cabs or ECI's nearing capacity, surely it would be logical to replace with a MA5603

Certainly not happening yet anyway.

The attached image is a dual ECI site, with the 288 Huawei on the right having just been added.
PCP15 ESDAL.
The original ECI is at the back of the image to the left of the PCP.

It's the only time I've seen 3 cabinets for a single PCP and given recent developments there may not be many more like it.
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CarlT

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Re: ECI M41 DSLAM Replacement With Huawei Kit (Trial)
« Reply #23 on: July 01, 2019, 08:16:57 AM »

Phase 7b so might've filled the first one and had the second one arrive before Openreach abandoned ECI as a bad job.
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Chrysalis

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Re: ECI M41 DSLAM Replacement With Huawei Kit (Trial)
« Reply #24 on: July 01, 2019, 08:48:49 AM »

I don't think the speed difference or potential improved latency between the 2 vendors will be any part of the reason for this.
Very little gain or significant gain, OpenReach get paid the same for lines connected to either DSLAM vendor.

The lack of G.INP might make the fault level slightly higher on ECI kit but Interleaving would do it's job for the majority.

This will be down to future maintenance costs.

The ECI hardware is considerably more expensive to replace parts, overheats, breaks down more often, and has a higher fault call out rate.

Agreed, but VDSL2 profile 35b is irrelevant here.

The Huawei MA5618 that will be used to replace some of the ECI DSLAM's can do G.Fast, meaning no additional pod on the PCP would be needed.

The profile 35b ship has sailed. Too late for that.

You seem to agree and disagree on the same thing, speed complaints, latency complaints, errors due to lack of g.inp all amount to the same thing which is as you said "higher fault call out rate"

You can be under DLM's threshold and still notice visible instability.  So basically there will be lines that dont get interleaved but at the same time have things like dropouts and error bursts causing packet loss.  Likewise you can get lines looping between fast path and interleaving because the instability isnt consistent.  So g.inp can significantly decrease fault reports in my opinion.  DLM is not and never will be perfect.  It kinda just masks some of the worst instabilities, whilst g.inp is a proper solution, DLM is not its more like a automated band aid.  (Remember on ECI the default operating mode is fast path, so interleaving isnt applied on many lines, it requires DLM to identify a line, and then keep it in place.  Whilst on hauwei interleaving is default, then g.inp applied after if line fits the stability profile, so by default lines on hauwei will have massively reduced error counts)

Its kind of like the affect SRA had on my old ADSL line, BT's DLM ultimately couldnt fix squat on it, but SRA when implemented transformed the line in terms of usability and stability, and that ultimately halted the fault reports to openreach dead, it went from dozens of callout's a year to zilch once SRA was enabled.  g.inp I can imagine has a similar affect on the vdsl product.

So yes openreach wont care about the sync speed as it doesnt directly give them revenue, but they will care about the reduction of callouts that are related to speed. (as well as stability).  I suppose I should correct myself actually, there may be some small increases in revenue if xDB can push a line up enough for someone to move from 40 -> 55-> 80 products.  The cost of changing the kit is quite low, so even tho that revenue increase wont be huge, it may still be a factor.  Also factor in the loss of revenue if someone ultimately cancel's their VDSL and moves to cable/FTTP/4G instead due to performance/stability.

Ronski moved to cable, and I think a factor in his decision was ECI issues.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2019, 09:01:14 AM by Chrysalis »
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Ronski

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Re: ECI M41 DSLAM Replacement With Huawei Kit (Trial)
« Reply #25 on: July 01, 2019, 10:21:00 AM »

Chrysalis is correct, the poor performance especially on the upstream was a deciding factor in moving to Virgin Media. When I was first connected I got 12Mbps upstream, when I left it was about 6Mbps, would I have stayed if I still had 12 up, possibly.
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Bowdon

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Re: ECI M41 DSLAM Replacement With Huawei Kit (Trial)
« Reply #26 on: July 01, 2019, 12:41:43 PM »

I suspect the the reason for the ECI cabinet change is for;

1. The man power needed to repair and replace parts. There is a shortage of engineers industry-wide, so while OR are also building the FTTP network, adding G.fast pods on to cabinets, fixing G.fast connections, fixing copper line associated faults, the last thing they want to be doing is replacing parts on cabinets.

2. As some have mentioned it might also be something to do with the ECI kit at the exchange. I think OR are looking in to the future and seeing that in order to compete with the likes of CityFibre and others, they need to have the infrastructure to easily be able to increase future speed boosts. Having ECI kit stuck at 330Mbps rate isn't going to cut it when eventually 1Gbps connections slowly become normal, especially on rival networks. So its probably better and more cost effective to sort the future FTTP network and its transition from copper based FTTC now rather than later.
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adslmax

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Re: ECI M41 DSLAM Replacement With Huawei Kit (Trial)
« Reply #27 on: July 03, 2019, 07:22:35 PM »

My mate Albert who live in Ketley area has suffered VDSL with ECI cabinet (61Meg) for the last 2 years but been replaced to Huawei and now getting (76Meg)
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Alex Atkin UK

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Re: ECI M41 DSLAM Replacement With Huawei Kit (Trial)
« Reply #28 on: July 04, 2019, 11:03:03 AM »

My mate Albert who live in Ketley area has suffered VDSL with ECI cabinet (61Meg) for the last 2 years but been replaced to Huawei and now getting (76Meg)

That's pretty much what I would expect based on how my line has deteriorated.

Had 100Mbit on Digital Region as there was zero crosstalk (I was likely the only person on the cabinet due to the terrible uptake), down to 80Mbit on ECI, now chugging along at 66Mbit.  I got a second line to make up the difference and that is syncing at 63Mbit.  I don't think its unrealistic to suggest I'd still be syncing at or close to 80Mbit if I were on G.INP and vectoring.
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gt94sss2

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Re: ECI M41 DSLAM Replacement With Huawei Kit (Trial)
« Reply #29 on: July 06, 2019, 10:51:59 PM »

Openreach statement:

Quote
We’re constantly working on ways to upgrade and extend our network but we have no immediate plans to swap out fibre cabinets on any significant scale.

Its said they have about  25,000 ECI cabinets of which they plan to replace around 200.
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