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AT&T U-verse (or simply U-verse) is an AT&T brand of triple-play telecommunications services in 22 states of the United States. Launched on June 26, 2006, U-verse includes broadband Internet, IP telephone, and IPTV services.
SBC Communications (now AT&T Inc.) announced its plans for a fiber-optic network and IPTV deployment in 2004 and unveiled the name "U-verse" for the suite of network services on January 6, 2008. Beta testing began in San Antonio, in 2005, and AT&T U-verse was commercially launched June 26, 2006 in San Antonio. Later in 2009 the product launched in Chicago, San Francisco, Hartford, Indianapolis, and other cities in their vicinity. On January 25, 2010, AT&T announced that U-verse was available to over 2.8 million households. Later that year, U-verse was launched in Milwaukee, Dallas, Kansas City, Detroit, Los Angeles, Cleveland, San Diego, Oklahoma City, and Orlando.
U-verse Voice was added on January 22, 2008, and was first available in Detroit. In 2008, U-verse availability approached 8 million households, and over 225,000 customers had been enrolled, with new installations reaching 12,000 per week. By 2009, 1 million U-verse Voice customers and 2.1 million U-verse TV customers had been enrolled.
At the end of 2011, U-verse was available to more than 30 million living units in 22 states, and U-verse TV had 3.8 million customers. By mid-2012, U-verse TV had 4.1 million customers, U-verse Voice 2.6 million, and U-Verse High Speed Internet 6.5 million.
By the third quarter of 2012, U-verse had 4.3 million TV subscribers, 2.7 million Voice subscribers and 7.1 million High Speed Internet. This represents 7% growth quarter on quarter. The actual number of customers is lower, as most customers subscribe to a bundle (such as TV and voice) and so are counted in both categories.
On November 7, 2012, AT&T announced plans to do the following:
On October 1, 2013, AT&T announced that it had begun deployment of a 100 percent fiber Internet broadband network in Austin that will deliver speeds up to 1 Gigabit per second. AT&T plans to begin delivering AT&T U-verse® with GigaPowerSM, the city’s fastest Internet available to consumers, along with more advanced TV services and features, in December 2013.
AT&T delivers U-verse service over a fiber-to-the-node (FTTN) or fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) communications network. In the more common FTTN deployment, fiber-optic connections carry all data (internet, IPTV, and voice over IP) between the service provider and a distribution node. The remaining run from the node to the network interface device in the customer's home uses a copper-wire current loop that is traditionally part of the PSTN (public switched telephone network). In more recently constructed housing developments, AT&T uses an FTTP deployment—they run fiber-optic cable from their DSLAM all the way to an optical network terminal in the customer's home.
In areas where AT&T deploys U-verse deploys through FTTN, they use High-speed digital subscriber lines with ADSL2+ or VDSL technology. Service offerings depend on the customer's distance to an available port in the distribution node, or the central office. To qualify for U-verse TV service (only available through VDSL2), the customer must be less than 1000 meters (3500 feet) from a VRAD, the VRAD must contain an available port, and the copper wire-loop must pass qualification. Where pair bonding is available, the maximum service distance can extend to 1600 meters (5500 feet). Pair bonding is also necessary for U–verse's fastest internet tier (Power Tier 45 Mbit/s down). More typically, AT&T services fringe areas with IP-DSLAM ADSL2+, which does not require pair bonding or a VRAD (but operates at slower bitrates compared to pair-bonded VDSL2.)
AT&T delivers U-verse TV via IPTV from the headend to the consumer's receiver, required for each TV. Transmissions use digital H.264 (MPEG-4 AVC) encoding, compared to the existing deployments of MPEG-2 codec and the discontinued analog cable TV system. The receiver box does not have a RF tuner, but is an IP multicast client that requests the channel or "stream" desired. U-Verse TV supports up to 4 active streams at once. The system uses individual unicasts for video on demand, central time shifting, start-over services and other programs.
AT&T groups its general channels into progressive packages (U-family, U200, U300, and U450); each adds channels to the package before it, with rare exceptions. All subscribers receive at least the equivalent of the U-family package, which also includes 41 of the 46 Music Choice channels. Many U-family channels were also available on the historical U-basic package. The historical U400 package is identical to the U450 package, except that U450 automatically includes the HD Services package.
Specialty channels are grouped into A la Carte packages, which can be combined with the general packages: The Sports Package; ESPN FULL COURT and ESPN GamePlan; Fox Soccer Plus HD; NBA League Pass; HD Services; HD Premium Tier; Paquete Español; and Adult. Paquete Español can be combined with a higher-tier package and, is then called U200 Latino, U300 Latino, or U450 Latino. Additionally, channels grouped as Internationals are available A la Carte in language groups or singly, and a number of premium movie packages are available to premium package or higher-tier subscribers. High-definition TV technology is required to access HD channels.
AT&T announced Max Plus service (then called "Max 18") in November 2008, and Max Turbo was announced in December 2009. Basic, Express, Pro, Elite and Max (VDSL) are usually available for self-installation. Max (ADSL2+), Max Plus, and Max Turbo can be self-installed if only one jack is connected for DSL (through a splitter installed by a technician), or splitter-free if no landline shares the pair. Conditions where higher speeds are still attainable through filters or quality wiring to more than one jack occur less often.
AT&T announced the Power service on August 26, 2013. The power service required two conditioned line pairs (pair bond) and a Motorola NVG589 VDSL2+ Gateway. AT&T charges a service fee to condition and pair bond the lines and install a new gateway, plus additional monthly charges.
|Name||Download Speed||Upload Speed||Notes|
|Pro||3 Mbit/s||1 Mbit/s|
|Elite||6 Mbit/s||1 Mbit/s|
|Max||12 Mbit/s||1-1.5 Mbit/s|
|Max Plus||18 Mbit/s||1.5 Mbit/s|
|Max Turbo||24 Mbit/s||3 Mbit/s|
|Power||45 Mbit/s||6 Mbit/s||Select markets (requires VDSL2 pair-bonding)|
|GigaPower 300||300 Mbit/s||300 Mbit/s||Austin, Texas only.|
AT&T U-verse Voice is a voice communication service delivered over AT&T's IP network (VoIP). This phone service is digital and provides a voicemail service accessed by *98 from the home number. Customers who subscribe to both U-verse TV and U-verse Voice get features such as call history on channel 9900, which displays the last 100 missed and answered calls on the customer's TV, and "Click to Call" from the TV history. U-verse Voice includes Caller ID, Call Blocking, Anonymous Call Blocker, and many other calling features. U-Verse Voice was first available in Detroit, on January 22, 2008.
U-verse uses the Alcatel-Lucent 7330 or 7340 Intelligent Services Access Manager (ISAM) shelf, also called a video-ready access device (VRAD), deployed either in a central office (CO) or to a neighborhood serving area interface (SAI). These models are both composed of circuit boards providing service, which are fed by fiber. FTTN (fiber to the node) systems use model 7330, which uses existing copper wiring to customers' homes, leading to distance limitations from the VRAD cabinet to the customer's home. The 7330 ISAM is an internet protocol DSL access multiplexer that supports VDSL and ADSL protocols. FTTP (fiber to the premises) systems use model 7340, mostly in areas such as new neighborhoods or large housing developments, where AT&T chooses to run fiber to the household, removing the distance limitations of copper. The 7340 then connects to a serving area interface, which distributes service to homes in the neighborhood, via a dual strand fiber, which then splits into 32 customer fiber pairs. The fiber pairs typically lead to a customer's residence at the network interface device.
AT&T provides the customer premise equipment (leased for a monthly fee, or purchased with a 1-year warranty), and includes a wireless router and modem, which they call a residential gateway or internet gateway,. They also provide TV receivers made by Cisco and Motorola (including standard receivers, wireless receivers, and DVR receivers).
Those eligible for triple play (TV, Voice, and Internet) will use a VDSL2 transport link which uses one of the following modems:
Those who are eligible for double play (Voice and Internet) only, will use an ADSL2+ transport type which uses one of the following modems:
Currently only two devices support bonded pair: the 2Wire iNID and Motorola NVG589. The Motorola NVG589 replaces the 2Wire iNID for all bonded pair installs (and possibly all future single pair installs due to its support for both ADSL2+ and VDSL2).
All AT&T U-verse transport types use 802.1x authentication. This means only equipment on AT&T's approved list works with the U-verse service, as other (non-AT&T) equipment cannot authenticate with AT&T DSLAMs and GPONs. Another side-effect of U-verse's authentication protocol is the lack of bridge mode support (unlike standard DSL that uses PPPoE authentication, which is easily bridgeable). At best, the 2Wire/Pace routers support DMZ+ mode, while the Motorola devices support IP Passthrough. AT&T allows residential and business customers to pay for static IP addresses, which they support on all AT&T approved equipment (including the 2Wire/Pace and Motorola routers.)
When AT&T launched IP-DSL (ADSL2+, double play only), they installed connections with with either the 2Wire 2701HGV-B or Motorola 2210 (pairing the latter with a Cisco Linksys E1000 for residential customers, or an EdgeMarc 250AEW for business customers). The 2Wire 2701HGV-B was limited to a top speed of 6Mbit/s, while the Motorola 2210 was capable of higher speeds. In later installations, AT&T standardized on the Motorola NVG510, phasing out the other routers for new service installation.
When AT&T introduced the "power" tier in 2013, installations were initially done with the iNID. AT&T later standardized on the Motorola NVG589, which supports pair-bonding for both ADSL2+ and VDSL2. AT&T also uses the NVG589 in some installations where the customer otherwise is too far from a node for service. Additionally, it is the only gateway that supports an internal battery for those who subscribe to the U-verse Voice service for battery backup during power failures. AT&T does not supply the battery to customers who subscribe only to internet service and TV service.
|Device||Transport Type||Static IP||Wireless Support||Bridge Mode Type|
Also known to work on ADSL2+
|2Wire iNID||VDSL2 Bonded Pair||Yes||802.11b/g||DMZ+|
ADSL2+ Bonded Pair
VDSL2 Bonded Pair
|Motorola 2210||ADSL2+||No||None||IP Passthrough|
|Motorola 2310||VDSL2||No||None||IP Passthrough|