Moto: No Problems in the Cards
While Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ)'s fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) efforts seem to be going ahead full tilt, sources say Motorola has had some trouble recently with one of the PON platforms it has deployed in the carrier's network.
A source close to the situation says Verizon recently called for the replacement of linecards on one of Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT)'s FTTP product lines. The most likely culprit is the AXS2200, the newest FTTP box from Moto.
The Motorola AXS2200 Optical Line Terminal was quietly launched less than a year ago and is capable of supporting BPON and GPON connections in a single chassis. (See Moto Gets a Piece of Verizon FTTP.) Whatever the issue was, its possible that any hiccups in FTTP gear will get some level of magnification in light of the recent closure of Motorola's Next Level facility, the origin of some of the AXS2200's technology. (See Moto Shuts Next Level Facility.)
The cause is not known, but observers say it could be something related to NEBS (network equipment building system) compliance, a set of tests that determine how the gear holds up to earthquakes, fires, and other environmental mishaps.
Motorola wouldn't exactly confirm or deny our sources' claims. "The Motorola AXS2200 Optical Access platform has been fully certified NEBS compliant since Q3 2005," the company said via its PR firm, in an email to Light Reading. "As a partner of Verizon’s, Motorola is committed to ensure optimal performance of the AXS2200 system in their field deployments, and we are respectful of their policy to not comment on their network deployments or status."
Sources say Moto began replacing PON and voice gateway cards in some of its installed base at Verizon beginning in mid-December. More than half the PON cards were swapped out and nearly half of the voice gateway cards were changed before Christmas, one source says.
The remainder of the card replacements began in mid-January, and it's not clear if that work is done. The next phase, according to a source close to Verizon, was to replace the installed OLT's SYSCONs (system controllers).
Still, the issue was apparently not big enough to warrant more than a shrug from Verizon.
"We generally do not discuss ongoing work with specific vendors, but we're not aware of any significant equipment issues that are impacting our deployment pace," says the carrier's spokesman, Mark Marchand. "Our FTTP deployment program, well underway across more than half the states we serve, continues. We passed three million homes and businesses by the end of last year, and we're on track to pass three million more this year, for a total of 6 million prems passed, by the end of 2006."
— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading