& cplSiteName &

RBOCs Cast Wide GPON Net

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
6/14/2005
50%
50%

More details are coming forth from the request for information (RFI) for gigabit passive optical networks (GPONs) that was sent to industry equipment suppliers by three RBOCs on April 29 (see Sources: RBOCs Are Gawking at GPON). And, though there is indeed a "fishing expedition" going on, the RBOCs are serious about getting their access networks up to gigabit speeds and delivering a different consumer experience than the cable companies.

While no formal request for proposal (RFP) has hit the streets yet, the three largest U.S. RBOCs -- BellSouth Corp. (NYSE: BLS), SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE: SBC), and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) -- have asked for a wide range of data from suppliers in order to weigh how to use GPON in the new broadband buildouts.

The main focus of the RFI is on GPON systems, but there is definitely an interest in comparing BPON (broadband PON) and EPON (Ethernet PON) to GPON to see which method of connectivity costs less, is most widely available, and is easiest to deploy, sources familiar with the RFI say.

This new information is significant because it illustrates that, while the RBOCs have a keen interest in faster fiber-based access networks, they're still a ways away from nailing down the specifics about how much GPON they'll use and where they'll use it.

"We're going to have a significant amount of BPON out there before we do any GPON," says Verizon spokesman Mark Marchand.

Verizon, by the way, won't comment directly on the RFI's requirements. Neither will SBC, but the carrier remains bullish on GPON's future prospects.

"GPON is something we're interested in… and we're looking at it in our labs," says SBC spokesman Wes Warnock.

For BPON, the RFI asks vendors to say how much it would cost them to provide and support 200,000 ONTs (optical network terminals) annually and 1 million ONTs annually at four different bandwidth configurations.

Table 1: RBOC's ONT Cost Requests

BPON Downlink BPON Uplink
622 Mbit/s 155 Mbit/s
622 Mbit/s 622 Mbit/s
1.2 Gbit/s 155 Mbit/s
1.2 Gbit/s 622 Mbit/s


For GPON, the RFI again asks for pricing for 200,000 ONTs and 1 million ONTs annually, but this time at seven different bandwidth configurations.

Table 2: RBOC's Requested GPON ONT Costs
GPON Downlink GPON Uplink
1.2 Gbit/s 155 Mbit/s
1.2 Gbit/s 622 Mbit/s
1.2 Gbit/s 1.2 Gbit/s
2.4 Gbit/s 155 Mbit/s
2.4 Gbit/s 622 Mbit/s
2.4 Gbit/s 1.2 Gbit/s
2.4 Gbit/s 2.4 Gbit/s


For EPON, the RFI asks for pricing for 200,000 ONTs and 1 million ONTs annually at 1.2 Gbit/s symmetrical.

There are several ONT-specific questions as well, sources say, including one asking the cost of a three-port Ethernet switch in the ONT. There is also a question asking vendors to assess the costs of supporting ONT Ethernet connection with 35-, 50-, and 100-Mbit/s throughputs.

A final item of intrigue is the description of a different video network architecture than had been discussed two years earlier in the joint FTTP RFP. One section of the GPON RFI, sources say, talks about a satellite direct-to-home (DTH) relay service, where a satellite dish or an array of broadcast antennas would be located at each central office where optical line terminals (OLTs) are hosted.

That's a huge deal, too, because it shows RBOCs are considering a way of simplifying their previously described video distribution networks. Rather than using master headends and regional headends -- and all the high-speed connections between those locations -- the RBOCs appear to be exploring a way to take video direct from satellite to local distribution points, giving them a chance to further differentiate themselves from cable networks.

The fact that the RBOCs have cast such a wide net has led a few Light Reading sources to say that the phone companies are on a fishing expedition. However it's characterized, any written expression that the largest phone companies in North America aren't going to stop at BPON is a huge boon to PON vendors of all sorts.

"If a vendor is delivering BPON now and doesn't have GPON in their plans or on their roadmap, then they're so dumb they shouldn't be in the market," says Kermit Ross, principal analyst at Millennium Marketing.

The vendors this RFI will impact include fiber access vendors such as Alcatel (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA), Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB; Frankfurt: BTLA), Optical Solutions Inc., and Hitachi Telecom (USA) Inc. But it also includes broadband loop carrier vendors such as Calix Networks Inc., Entrisphere Inc., Occam Networks Inc. (OTC: OCCM), and Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN) -- and, of course, ONT makers like Siemens AG (NYSE: SI; Frankfurt: SIE).

"The field is a fairly big one," Ross says, "but it's also fairly full."

— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
What WTTX Can Deliver

2|23|17   |     |   (0) comments


Mohamed Madkour explains the benefits of WTTX while Dimitris Mavrakis discusses the challenges of delivering home broadband access.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei on Mobile Broadband

2|23|17   |     |   (0) comments


Mohamed Madkour shares his vision on MBB for the next three years.
LRTV Custom TV
Analysys Mason Talks About the Future of Digital Operations

2|23|17   |     |   (0) comments


The future of digital operations has three key aspects: 1. Highly automated operations for both service and network; 2. Highly converged BSS/OSS for business and resources; 3. Highly merged management and control for real-time cloud native operations.
LRTV Interviews
Software Trends in the Telecom Sector

2|23|17   |   03:40   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading senior analyst James Crawshaw talks with Telecoms.com Editorial Director Scott Bicheno about trends and developments in the telecoms software sector and what to expect at MWC 2017.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei's Pre-MWC Analyst Briefing 2017 Highlights

2|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei shares its vision for this year's MWC.
LRTV Interviews
MWC17: 5G, Cloud RAN & More

2|21|17   |   04:35   |   (0) comments


Ovum Senior Analyst Julian Bright talks to Scott Bicheno from Telecoms.com about all things MWC, including Cloud RAN, Huawei's pitch to the industry and the road to 5G.
LRTV Interviews
MWC 2017's Key 2-Letter Terms

2|20|17   |   08:29   |   (1) comment


5G, AI, VR... these are just some of the two-letter terms that will dominate show-floor chat at MWC 2017 in Barcelona, according to these two blow-hards (a.k.a. Scott Bicheno of Telecoms.com and Light Reading's Ray Le Maistre). And then there's PB...
LRTV Interviews
Key Trends for Mobile Operators in Developing Markets

2|20|17   |   06:37   |   (0) comments


Ovum's Matthew Reed talks to Scott Bicheno from Telecoms.com about the challenges and opportunities facing mobile operators in the developing markets of Africa and the Middle East.
LRTV Documentaries
YouTube Takes on Facebook Live-Streaming

2|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Popular 'YouTubers' will be the first to get the new service on their smartphones. You have been warned.
LRTV Custom TV
Open Source NFV/SDN Automation

2|17|17   |   05:54   |   (0) comments


AT&T ECOMP (Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy) code is transitioning into the Linux Foundation for placement into open source. In this video, Carol Wilson provides an update on the maturation of open source ECOMP and meets with industry leaders from AT&T, Bell Canada, Orange, Linux Foundation and Amdocs to discuss what this means for the ...
LRTV Documentaries
Uber & NASA Collaborate on Flying Car Project

2|16|17   |     |   (0) comments


Is Uber for real? Well, it's hired NASA engineer Mark Moore to lead the project, and he wouldn't come cheap.
LRTV Documentaries
Zuckerberg Tries Out the Oculus Rift VR Glove

2|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


Facebook CEO shows off a new way to interact with the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset: an Oculus glove.
Upcoming Live Events
March 21-22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
March 22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
March 22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Uber's HR Nightmare: Company Investigates Sexual Harassment Claims
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 2/21/2017
Broadband Has a Problem on the Pole
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/21/2017
Verizon to Start Fixed 5G Customer Trials in April
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/22/2017
Sprint to Go Gigabit Crazy at MWC!
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/22/2017
MANO Marriage: ECOMP, Open-O Converge as ONAP
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 2/23/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders chats with Sportlogiq CEO Craig Buntin about sports data analysis.
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Animals with Phones
No One Likes This Click Here
Take a hint!
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.