AT&T U-verse

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AT&T Uverse logo.jpg

AT&T U-verse (or simply U-verse) is an AT&T brand of triple-play telecommunications services in 22 of the United States. Launched on June 26, 2006, U-verse includes broadband Internet, IP telephone, and IPTV services.[1][2]

History[edit]

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.[1]

U-verse Voice was added on January 22, 2008, and was first available in Detroit.[3] 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.[1] By 2009, 1 million U-verse Voice customers and 2.1 million U-verse TV customers had been enrolled.[4]

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.[5] 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.[6]

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 are subscribed to a bundle (such as TV and voice) and so are counted in both categories[7]

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.[8]

Services[edit]

U-verse uses a fiber-to-the-node (FTTN) or fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) communications network, which uses fiber-optic connections to boxes either within a neighborhood or at each home's network interface device. High-speed digital subscriber lines with ADSL2+ or VDSL technology connect from FTTN nodes to the customers' premises. In order to qualify for the VDSL service the premises needs to be within about 900-1000 meters (3000–3500 feet) of the VRAD. This distance can be extended to about 1300–1600 meters (4500–5500 feet) with the use of two-pair bonding.

Television[edit]

AT&T U-verse's electronic program guide

U-verse TV is delivered via IPTV from the headend to the consumer's receiver,[9] 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 which 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.

U-verse packages[edit]

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.[10] Many U-family channels were also available on the historical U-basic package.[11] The historical U400 package is identical to the U450 package except that U450 automatically includes the HD Services package.[12]

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.[10]

Channel groupings[edit]

Carriage negotiations[edit]

Internet[edit]

Internet is provided to computers connected to the on-premises Ethernet cabling or wi-fi from the included residential gateway or DSL modem.

The Power service was announced August 26, 2013.[22] The power service requires two conditioned line pairs (pair bond) and the Motorola NVG589 VDSL2+ Gateway.[23] There is a $99 service charge to condition and pair bond the lines and install the new gateway. For the first year, Power initially costs $10 more than Max Turbo, plus the standard u-verse rate of $10 more for every 50GB used over 250GB in a billing month.[24]


The Max Plus service (then "Max 18") was announced in November 2008,[25] 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 is sharing the pair. Conditions where the higher speeds are still attainable through use of filters or quality wiring to more than one jack occur much less often.

Voice[edit]

Call history on U-verse TV

AT&T U-verse Voice is a voice communication service delivered over AT&T's IP network (VoIP). This phone service is digital and has a voicemail service found by dialing *98 from the home number. Customers subscribing to both U-verse TV and U-verse Voice are provided 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.[1]

Equipment[edit]

Line equipment[edit]

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,[2] 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.[26] FTTP (fiber to the premises) systems use model 7340, which is mostly used in areas such as new neighborhoods or large-scale developments where fiber can be run 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 is then split into 32 customer fiber pairs. The fiber pairs are typically led into a customer's residence at the network interface device.

The VRAD typically connects upstream to an Alcatel-Lucent 7450 Ethernet service switch in the central office hub, then to the headend video hub office.[2]

Customer equipment[edit]

The customer premise equipment is provided by AT&T (leased for a monthly fee or purchased with a 1-year warranty), and includes a wireless router and modem, referred to as a residential gateway or internet gateway, as well as 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:

There are currently only two devices which that will support bonded pair, the 2Wire iNID and the Motorola NVG589. The Motorola NVG589 will be replacing the 2Wire iNID for all bonded pair installs (and possibly all single pair installs moving forward due to support for both ADSL2+ and VDSL2.)

All AT&T U-Verse transport types use 802.1x authentication. This means only one of the gateways listed above can be used and cannot be put into bridge mode (unlike standard DSL that uses PPPoE as the authentication method and is easily bridgeable). Because of this there is no way of putting any of the bonded pair devices into a true bridge mode. Users can instead implement a DMZ+ (on the 2Wire/Pace devices) or IP Passthrough (on the Motorola devices).

When IP-DSL (ADSL2+, double play only) was first introduced, AT&T provided either the 2Wire 2701HGV-B or a Motorola 2210 with a Cisco Linksys E1000 (for residential customers) or an EdgeMarc 250AEW (for business customers). The 2Wire 2701HGV-B was limited to 6Mbps speeds while the Motorola 2210 was capable for higher speeds. When the Motorola NVG510 came out, it slowly replaced out the 2Wire 2701HGV-B and became the gateway of choice for all IP-DSL installations.

AT&T also allows both residential and business customers to sign up for static IP addresses. All 2Wire/Pace gateways and specifically the Motorola NVG510 and NVG589 support static IPs.

Additionally, the Motorola NVG589 is the only gateway which supports an internal battery for those who subscribe to the U-Verse Voice service for battery backup when household power is unvailable. The battery will not be supplied for those customer subscribing only to internet service and/or TV service.

The Motorola NVG589 was first introduced in 2013 when AT&T introduced the "power" tier, providing 45Mbps download speeds for high speed internet customers.

DeviceTransport TypeStatic IPWireless SupportBridge Mode Type
2Wire 3600/3800/3801VDSL2Yes802.11b
802.11g
DMZ+
2Wire 5031NVVDSL2
Also known to work on ADSL2+
Yes802.11b
802.11g
802.11n
DMZ+
2Wire 270HGV-BADSL2+Yes802.11b
802.11g
DMZ+
2Wire iNIDVDSL2 Bonded PairYes802.11b
802.11g
DMZ+
Motorola NVG510ADSL2+Yes802.11b
802.11g
802.11n
IP Passthrough
Motorola NVG589ADSL2+
VDSL2
ADSL2+ Bonded Pair
VDSL2 Bonded Pair
Yes802.11b
802.11g
802.11n
IP Passthrough
Motorola 2210ADSL2+NoNoneIP Passthrough
Motorola 2310VDSL2NoNoneIP Passthrough


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d AT&T U-verseSM Timeline
  2. ^ a b c Post Alexander, Atlanta, Ga., p. 24.
  3. ^ {{AT&T Urverse Timeline http://www.att.com/Common/merger/files/pdf/U-verse%20Timeline41907.pdf}}
  4. ^ AT&T U-verse Voice Digital Home Phone Service Reaches 1 Million Lines
  5. ^ Best-Ever Mobile Broadband Sales and Strong Cash Flows Highlight AT&T's Fourth-Quarter Results
  6. ^ U-verse Update: 2Q12
  7. ^ U-verse Update: 3Q12
  8. ^ AT&T to Deliver the First All Fiber 1 Gigabit Broadband Network to Austin
  9. ^ AT&T U-verse Total Home DVR
  10. ^ a b c AT&T U-verse 2012 Playbook [February 2012]
  11. ^ Detroit Channel Directory: AT&T U-verse [May 2007]
  12. ^ Fall Channel Directory: AT&T U-verse [October 2011]
  13. ^ Hallmark Channels Go Dark On AT&T U-verse, Multichannel News, September 1, 2010.
  14. ^ Univision signs deal to launch cable networks on AT&T U-verse, Media Moves, May 11, 2012
  15. ^ UPDATE: Rainbow And AT&T Ink New Deal, ‘Mad Men’ Season Saved On AT&T U-Verse
  16. ^ "AT&T's U-verse Drops Food Network, HGTV and Other Scrippy-s Networks", Chicago Tribune. November 5, 2010.
  17. ^ Food Network, HGTV, Back on U-verse. Chicago Tribune. November 7, 2010.
  18. ^ "AT&T U-verse, Scripps Reconnect on Carriage Contract". Multichannel News. November 7, 2010.
  19. ^ AT&T & Scripps Networks Reach Agreement
  20. ^ "Longhorn Network hooks U-verse", from kxan.com (September 4, 2012)
  21. ^ Farrell, Mike (January 15, 2013). "Disney Strikes U-Verse Carriage Deal". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  22. ^ "45 Mbps U-verse Internet Service Arrives in 40 Additional Markets". News release (AT&T). August 26, 2013. Retrieved September 4, 2013. 
  23. ^ "45 meg tier...AFTER INSTALL NOTES & PICTURES, etc". http://www.billhamel.net/uverse/. Bill Hamel. August 25, 2013. Retrieved September 14, 2013. 
  24. ^ http://www.att.com/esupport/internet/usage.jsp#fbid=tE3urpN_hCP
  25. ^ "AT&T Customers Connect Faster with New 18 Mbps U-verse High Speed Internet Service". News release (AT&T). November 6, 2008. Retrieved July 28, 2011. 
  26. ^ Alcatel-Lucent 7330 ISAM FTTN ANSI

External links[edit]