The news is interesting for two reasons. One, it's a reference customer for ECI's recently launched GPON platform, the F152, which, by housing a network processor on each linecard, has an architectural approach different from that of many other GPON platforms. (See ECI Touts GPON Advance.)
Second, Lattelecom has some bold targets for bandwidth delivery. Only a few weeks ago it announced its intention to offer downstream connections of up to 500 Mbit/s by the end of 2009, and eventually provide customers with downlink speeds of up to 10 Gbit/s. (See European Minnow Boasts Fastest FTTH.)
ECI associate VP of product marketing, Ron Levin, tells Light Reading the 500 Mbit/s service will be achieved by splitting the root fiber among only four end-user customers, instead of the customary GPON configuration of 32 or 64 users. (See The Future of Fiber Access.)
As for the potential for 10 Gbit/s, Levin says that's something he's not currently engaged with: "That's probably being discussed by the technology teams." Such per-user bandwidth will require next-generation fiber access technologies like WDM-PON, for example, notes Levin, who says ECI is following all future PON technologies as they work their way into the standards processes.
As for the current GPON platform, Levin says that's also being deployed by a Latin American carrier with broadband operations in three countries; is in an "advanced field trial" with an operator in Asia/Pacific; and is on a shortlist of options for one European Tier 1 carrier. While ECI can't name that operator, Light Reading believes it's BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), which has been scoping out GPON technology for some time. (See BT Preps GPON Shortlist and BT Unveils $3B FTTx Plan.)
Other news from the show floor this morning:
— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading