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Getting to Gigabit Gold

Elizabeth Miller Coyne
8/9/2016
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- The expected 50% jump in Internet traffic is driving access innovation on both the copper and optical side, giving service providers more options for getting to gigabit gold, Adtran CTO Kevin Schneider said here today, at the company's annual press and analyst event.

Indeed, as service providers build out their networks to prepare to deliver much more bandwidth, the access network has been a hotbed of innovation in copper-based G.Fast and fiber-based XGS-PON and NG-PON2, noted Schneider. These options enable service providers to deliver gigabit services in the way that makes the most sense based on specific markets -- and give service providers the agility and flexibility needed to deploy dynamic services quickly.

Making the Future Be Now
Kevin Schneider, CTO, Adtran
Kevin Schneider, CTO, Adtran

Verizon recently announced it is working with Adtran Inc. (Nasdaq: ADTN) and Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) in partnership with Calix Inc. (NYSE: CALX) for a trial of NG-PON2 in Waltham, Mass. The trial is expected to lead to commercial NG-PON2 deployments in early 2017, and will allow Verizon to deliver symmetrical speeds of 10 gigabits per second over its Fios footprint, with capacity to support those 10-gig speeds on each of the four wavelengths delivered over a single fiber. (See Verizon Readies Landmark NG-PON2 Trial.)

NG-PON and NG-PON2 each have their own benefits, noted Schneider.

"NG-PON, when paired with SDN, can unleash a whole new set of dynamic services," he said. "NG-PON2 is the perfect match for the software-defined access and a technology that will be very important in the future. And we are trying to make the future be now."

That future also includes an initiative looking at wavelength bonding to deliver 10Gig, he added.

On the G.Fast copper side, right now "everybody that can use copper wants to use copper," said Tom Stanton, CEO of Adtran, during his keynote. "G.Fast gets you to the middle of next year and that's the magic... it gets you the Gig. If a service provider delivers under a gig, they get very nervous about the stickiness of their customers. And where they can deliver Gigabit, there's a strong case for G.Fast." (See also Adtran CEO: Broadband Boom Is Back.)

Adtran is seeing "deep engagement" with G.Fast, according to Eduard Scheiterer, SVP of Research and Development, who shared insight into the company's R&D. Scheiterer said that Adtran is currently participating in a trial with Major EMEA Tier 1. This trial is actually a commercial deployment with paying customers and "the technology is delivering what has been promised," he added. The provider is also working with Telefonica Italia and looking toward a G.Fast launch in 2017, according to Scheiterer.

— Elizabeth Miller Coyne, Managing Editor, Light Reading

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