Arris Gets Some RFoG Action

5:00 PM -- The market for Radio Frequency Over Glass (RFoG) technology remains a niche play, but it's finally starting to gain some traction at Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS), one of cable's key suppliers.

Arris, which formally entered the RFoG game last March, won a deal with Trinity Communications that calls for the vendor to supply the cable op with gear to help it deploy a 200-mile fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network that will reach 3,000 homes and businesses in Marion and Sequatchie County, Tenn. (See Arris Enters RFoG Fray and Arris Notches RFoG Deal.)

Under the deal, Arris is supplying its CORWave II multi-wavelength forward transmitters and FTTMax RFoG Optical Network Units (ONUs) at the premises, and its TransMax RFoG Repeater to amp up the RFoG wavelengths.

RFoG, which is not yet a Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) standard, lets MSOs offer their traditional set of voice, video, and data services over FTTP while preserving their legacy headends, underlying OSSs, and consumer premises equipment (CPE), including Docsis modems and set-tops. Operators don't get much of a speed gain, but RFoG does allow them to attach PON extensions.

MSOs, typically in the Tier 2 and Tier 3 category, are using RFoG to target rural areas and greenfield opportunities in which developers insist on FTTP. (See Costs Could Keep RFoG a Niche Player and RFoG Gets the Squeeze.)

Arris hasn't specifically said how much RFoG will contribute to its bottom line, but did note during its second-quarter call that its RFoG products were starting to move from the lab to the field, and were poised to contribute revenues "over the next several quarters."

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 4:27:31 PM
re: Arris Gets Some RFoG Action

I suppose gaining traction where none previously existed is worth mentioning since Arris (and plenty of other vendors) have been talking up the potential of RFoG for  more than three years.  I'd like to think that there might be more RFoG contracts to speak of once SCTE locks in the standards, but I'm not ready to believe yet that RFoG will be anything more than a niche play even then.

Innotrans, a supplier that's relatively new and made up of several former Synchronous folks (we'll have more on them soon)  is also getting some traction in cable, but just a tiny piece of it was being derived from RFoG activity.  "If we relied on RFoG, we wouldn't be profitible," I was told. Guess that pretty much sums it up. JB


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