Light Reading

Calix Pushes Gigabit Further Indoors

Jason Meyers

Calix is trying to give service providers more ability to extend gigabit services into customers' homes with the introduction of a new line of access devices.

Calix Networks Inc. (NYSE: CALX)'s 844G and 854G GigaCenters are premises service delivery platforms that couple Wave 2 802.11ac 5GHz band WiFi technology with Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output (MU-MIMO), incorporating beamforming capabilities that allow providers to target specific devices for better coverage.

The aim is to maximize gigabit network speeds wirelessly within and throughout homes, while also giving providers more control and visibility.

"This device takes the access network and moves it into the home itself," says Geoff Burke, senior director of corporate marketing for Calix. "Now you have a single device that allows you full ability to control and manage wireless and wireline in the home. Before, that hasn't been possible because you had to go through other devices, like consumer-purchased wireless gateways."

The additional control comes by way of Calix's Consumer Connect software, which gives service providers visibility into broadband device performance and potentially more insight into new managed service revenue opportunities.

Calix is confident the platforms will allow less interference and more concentrated power, resulting in better utilization of service providers' efforts to deliver high-speed connectivity over their fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks -- especially for video. "It's really a technology that's necessary to wirelessly deliver high-end video," Burke says.

Get the latest updates on the Gigabit Cities trend by visiting Light Reading's broadband/FTTx content channel.

South Dakota service provider Venture Communications Cooperative Inc. is getting ready to test the Calix platforms with an eye toward reducing the time and cost of hooking up video subscribers. The carrier has about 6,500 IPTV customers spread out over a 9,000-square-mile territory, so it's always looking for remote maintenance methods that can help reduce costs, says Randy Olsen, Venture's assistant general manager.

"Our main goals are to be able to access the consumer and help them, the ability to run IPTV over wireless setup, and to prevent truck rolls," he says. Venture has deployed an FTTH network but doesn't yet offer gigabit services.

Many US cable providers have deployed advanced WiFI gateways in subscribers' homes designed to give the operators more visibility, and Australia's Telstra Corp. Ltd. (ASX: TLS; NZK: TLS) recently debuted an 802.11ac/DOCSIS 3.0 router with Netgear Inc. (Nasdaq: NTGR). Other companies are starting to provide platforms that allow Internet subscribers to manage their own bandwidth more closely on in-home WiFi networks (See Telstra, Netgear Claim Cable WiFi Gateway First, Celeno Debuts Home WiFi Software and Comcast Sweeps Up PowerCloud.)

The Calix platforms use the QSR1000 chipset from Quantenna Communications Inc. , which is also embedded in the Wave 2 802.11ac retail WiFi device recently released by AsusTek Computer Inc. (See Asus, Quantenna Bring Gigabit WiFi Home.)

Calix is taking orders now and plans to deliver the platform in October, Burke says.

— Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, Light Reading

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9/5/2014 | 9:27:55 AM
Rollout to Reduce Rolling Trucks?
Calix's push to provide the consumer service seems like a great idea if it will in fact reduce installation and maintenance costs as they hope. "The carrier has about 6,500 IPTV customers spread out over a 9,000-square-mile territory, so it's always looking for remote maintenance methods that can help reduce costs."

I wonder if the idea will also fly for more urban providers who may not be so concerned with that cost if their customers are more concentrated per square mile.
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