Light Reading

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
Flash Poll
From The Founder
The New IP is actually bigger even than business. Like another hugely important tech that Light Reading is digging into right now, the New IP has the potential to change the world by fundamentally advancing what it is possible for people to achieve with communications.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Shares Its Vision of the Future of Mobile Networks Innovations

2|26|15   |   2:30   |   (0) comments


Mobile broadband is changing our lives. It's reshaping the Internet, industry, and society. It allows us to freely connect with one another anytime, anywhere. At this year's Mobile World Congress, Huawei will share its latest insights and newest ideas and technologies that will shape the future of MBB. They will showcase their end-to-end MBB solutions that will ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accelerate Digitizing, Boost Digital Business

2|26|15   |   6:14   |   (0) comments


A new digital revolution is leading us to a better connected world. Together with millions of digital partners, Huawei will help CSPs to build their digital service ecosystem and aggregate a wide variety of digital services. In this video, we find out how Huawei is going to help CSPs implement digital operations.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Secret Recipe to Enabling Hyper-Growth Industries

2|26|15   |   3:38   |   (0) comments


With a number of successful cases on network capability exposure, Huawei is going to share the secret recipe to enabling hyper-growth markets with a step-by-step approach.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE 2015 Is Bigger & Even Better

2|25|15   |   03:13   |   (4) comments


This year's Big Telecom Event (BTE) in Chicago is going to provide more opportunities than ever for networking, getting to grips with key industry challenges and opportunities and, equally as important, having some fun.
LRTV Interviews
Light Reading ICT Leaders Roundtable at MWC 2015

2|12|15   |   1:07   |   (2) comments


On Sunday March 1, 2015, Light Reading will host an ICT Leaders Roundtable in partnership with Huawei. At this half-day event, CIOs, analysts and researchers will discuss key industry trends like virtualization in the cloud with a specific focus on new business models. Located at the luxurious Renaissance Hotel near the Fira Barcelona, space is limited so please ...
LRTV Documentaries
Going Green in 2015

2|12|15   |   02:04   |   (0) comments


Energy efficiency is set to be an incredibly hot topic in the telecom industry this year.
LRTV Custom TV
SDN & NFV: Where Are We Going From Here?

2|11|15   |   11:27   |   (0) comments


Vitesse Semiconductor CTO Martin Nuss gives his perspective on why SDN and NFV should be tightly interconnected and how he sees the industry moving forward.
LRTV Documentaries
Time for Gigabit Europe?

2|9|15   |   01:27   |   (4) comments


Gigabit broadband networks are springing up all around the US and they'll soon become more commonplace in Europe.
LRTV Interviews
Brocade Brings New IP Vision to 2020 Vision Executive Summit

2|3|15   |   4:23   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Light Reading gathered telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Brocade's Kelly Herrell shared his company's strategy at ...
LRTV Interviews
Brocade's Kelly Herrell on the New IP

2|2|15   |   12:36   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Brocade VP of Software Networking Kelly Herrell at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Brocade's approach to the New IP, the future of the telecom industry, and more.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Dr. Dong Sun Talks About Carriers' Digital Transformation & Huawei’s Telco OS

1|29|15   |   6:28   |   (0) comments


Dr. Dong Sun, Chief Architect of Digital Transformation Solutions at Huawei, discusses how telecom operators can become digital ecosystem enablers and deliver optimal user experiences that are in real-time, on-demand, all-online, DIY and social (ROADS).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Chief Network Architect Talks about Network Experience & Operators’ Strategies

1|29|15   |   3:39   |   (0) comments


In the digital age, network experience has become the primary productivity especially for telecom operators. In this video, Wenshuan Dang, Huawei’s Chief Network Architect, discusses how carriers can tackle the challenge of infrastructure complexity in order to enhance business agility and improve user experience.
Upcoming Live Events
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Net neutrality, broadband services and the current outlook on data consumption, as presented by the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Hot Topics
Cyber Security Expert Warns: You're Doing It Wrong
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/23/2015
10 Weirdly Useful IoT Devices
Eryn Leavens, Copy Desk Editor, 2/24/2015
Small Cells Enabling Location Services
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/25/2015
FCC Adopts Title II Rules
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/26/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Check out Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he had to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.
G'day! And welcome to an entirely new feature on Light Reading -- our weekly "CEO-to-CEO" interview.