& cplSiteName &

The Bit to See at CeBIT

Light Reading
CEBIT News Analysis
Light Reading

CeBIT, HANOVER, Germany -- CeBIT may be the biggest high-tech trade show on Earth, but you wouldn't have guessed it from the lackluster list of optical networking product announcements today, the first day of this year's big Messe, as the Germans colorfully call it. The most exciting announcement probably came from Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A), which unveiled a new modular network tester (see Agilent Unveils Test Platform). Yes, a tester gets top billing in a trade show that last year clocked up 8,106 exhibitors and 850,000 vistors (see Countdown to CeBIT ). What is the world coming to?

To be fair, Agilent's new product is pretty nifty, because it gives a new meaning to the term "modular tester." Also, it could save carriers a ton of money, according to Agilent, and that's what really counts these days.

So, let's start with the modular moniker. Pretty much all the manufacturers of gear for testing optical stuff in the field claim to have modular solutions. Usually, that means they've got a chassis into which various modules can be slotted, such as an OTDR (optical time domain reflectometer), an optical spectrum analyzer, and dispersion measurement modules. If engineers don't need some of the modules, they can lighten their load by leaving them out. However, they still have to lug around the chassis.

Enter Agilent. Its tester is somewhat similar to the stackable networking gear sold to enterprise users. Its modules simply clip on to a standard front end, so there's no chassis with empty slots to cart around.

Agilent says the other big thing about its tester is that it's been designed to help field staff work more efficiently. Agilent's R&D folk spent a lot of time with carrier engineers, studying how they work and identifying common causes of inefficiency, and then built a tester to help them do their jobs faster.

Frank A. Maier, operations manager for Agilent's optical network test business unit, offers an example. Nowadays, cables often have 864 fibers in them, and, after installation, each fiber needs to have at least two wavelengths tested in two directions. That's a heck of a lot of testing, and the chore typically takes 72 hours. Agilent's gear cuts this to 9.6 hours, according to Maier.

Agilent claims similar improvements in efficiency in dealing with maintenance problems, pointing out that even a small improvement in efficiency equates to huge savings for carriers.

On a typical day, says Maier, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) receives 1 million phone calls reporting faults. About 95 percent are dealt with on the phone, but the remaining 5 percent -- 50,000 fault reports -- have to be dealt with by sending an engineer to investigate. To make matters worse, 22 percent of visits end up failing to rectify the fault, so an engineer has to make a return visit.

The bottom line, according to Maier, is that Verizon spends half its operating budget on fixing faults. Now, here's the amazing bit: Its operating budget totals a staggering $25 billion a year. By that reckoning, improving fault fixing efficiency by just one percent would save $125 million a year.

Agilent's new modular network tester, by the way, costs in the order of $24,000 for a typical setup.

At CeBIT, Agilent is in Hall 13, Booth C58 — Peter Heywood, Founding Editor, Light Reading
http://www.lightreading.com For more information on CeBIT, please visit: www.lightreading.com/cebit

For more about the latest developments in test and measurement gear for installation and maintenance tasks, check out Light Reading's forthcoming Webinar on the topic, scheduled for March 28.

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Peter Heywood
Peter Heywood,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:47:14 PM
re: The Bit to See at CeBIT
Peter Evans, senior VP of marketing at ONI Systems, gave me an interesting anecdote about Verizon this morning, when I met him at CeBIT.

He says that a few years ago, Verizon undertook a study on whether it would be worth its while putting in state of the art infrastructure into some very run-down areas of cities.

On the face of it, it sounds crazy because that's not where the customers with deep pockets hang out, but the reasoning was all based around reducing Verizon's huge spend on fault fixing.

The thing was that the telecom infrastructure in those run-down areas was so bad that lots of faults were reported, and when Verizon had to send engineers to fix the faults, they had to send 3 men rather than 1. One guy did the work, another guy guarded the truck and the third guy watched over the other two guys.
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:47:14 PM
re: The Bit to See at CeBIT
Ah, the joys of union labor.....
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 10:47:05 PM
re: The Bit to See at CeBIT
Ah, the joys of union labor.....

Protecting company assets and company employees from the local thievery can be more expensive than the union labor. (On similar lines, it would be interesting to know the hidden costs per gallon, subsidized by western governments, associated w/protecting oil pipelines built on foreign soils.)

A network infrastructure which doesn't require a standing army to protect it does seem preferred. Maybe putting it in the sewers and letting the robots fix the faults would help solve the cost problems.

From The Founder
Kicking off BCE 2017, Light Reading founder Steve Saunders lays blame for NFV's slow ramp-up and urges telecom to return to old-fashioned standards building and interoperability.
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 Interviews
CenturyLink: Let's Get Past SD-WAN Hype

6|23|17   |   04:02   |   (0) comments

Technology becomes a "shiny object" unless it's properly focused on solving business needs for enterprise customers, says Bill Grubbs, network solutions architect for CenturyLink. He explains to Light Reading why SD-WAN deployments have to be tailored to specific needs – and more.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Infinera's Sales Director Paints Tech's Big Picture

6|21|17   |   4:14   |   (1) comment

Shannon Williams, Infinera's director of sales, shares how she achieves work's many balancing acts -- between her role and the broader company, today and tomorrow's tech and more.
LRTV Custom TV
SD-WAN Innovation & Trends

6|20|17   |     |   (0) comments

Versa CEO Kelly Ahuja discusses with Carol Wilson the current status and trends in the SD-WAN market, Versa's innovation around building a software platform with broad contextualization, and the advantages that startups can bring to the SD-WAN market.
LRTV Interviews
Ovum's Dario Talmesio on 5G in Europe

6|20|17   |   02:16   |   (0) comments

At 5G World 2017, Dario Talmesio, principal analyst and practice leader on Ovum's fixed and mobile telecoms European team, explains the emerging trends amongst European operators as they prepare for 5G.
LRTV Custom TV
Putting Power on a Pedestal

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments

ARRIS's John Ulm says a major accomplishment of SCTE•ISBE's Energy 2020 program is increased focus on power cost and consumption, including inclusion of energy requirements in operators' RFPs and RFIs.
LRTV Custom TV
Gigabit Access: The Last-Mile Pipe for All Future Services

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments

A Gigabit access platform being deployed today must be able to deliver all types of services to an increasing number of devices. A non-blocking architecture is necessary to support the ever-increasing growth in bandwidth demand. The Huawei Gigabit access solution is based on a distributed design that is fully scalable to deliver a unprecedented performance.
LRTV Custom TV
Key Factors to Successfully Deploy an SD-WAN Service

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments

As service providers transition their SD-WAN solution from trials and limited deployments into production at large scale, there are important considerations to successfully operationalize these solutions and realize their full potential, without adding complexity, introducing uncertainty or disrupting current business operations. Sunil Khandekar, CEO and Founder ...
LRTV Custom TV
IoT Solutions: Rational Exuberance

6|19|17   |     |   (0) comments

IoT solutions are morphing from hype into viable business opportunities. Huawei has the platform and ecosystem support to help carriers successfully address new business opportunities in the IoT space.
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing ICN as a Network Slice for Mobile Data Distribution

6|19|17   |     |   (1) comment

Network slicing in 5G allows the potential introduction of new network architectures such as Information-centric Networks (ICN) as a slice, managed over a shared pool of compute, storage and bandwidth resource. Services over an ICN slice can benefit from many architectural features such as Name Based Networking, Security, Multicasting, Multi-homing, Mobility, ...
LRTV Interviews
Ovum's Mike Roberts on 5G Uptake

6|19|17   |   04:08   |   (0) comments

Mike Roberts, research director for Ovum's service provider markets group, explains why he has boosted his 5G subscriptions forecast.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T's Hubbard on Intersection of SD-WAN & MPLS

6|15|17   |     |   (0) comments

Rick Hubbard, SVP of Network Product Management for AT&T Business Solutions, discusses how AT&T's approach to SD-WAN fits in with its overall virtualization strategy, explains how SD-WAN can improve enterprise customers' use of the cloud and addresses the intersection of SD-WAN and MPLS.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Keep Connected IoT Devices Under Control With Allot

6|15|17   |     |   (0) comments

Allot AVP of International Pre-Sales, Daniel Keidar, explains how communications service providers can protect infrastructure and service availability from flooding attacks caused by malfunctioning or bot-infected devices connected to their network.
Upcoming Live Events
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
All Upcoming Live Events
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
Netflix's Lesson in Culture Expectation Settings
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 6/21/2017
No Imagination: UK Chip Biz Goes Up for Sale
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/22/2017
Kalanick Steps Down as Uber CEO
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 6/21/2017
Buy American: Will It Affect the Telecom Sector?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 6/21/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
Animals with Phones
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.