Ericsson: Ready to Ramp GPON

Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) doesn’t yet have a big GPON customer base in North America, but the company’s fiber access aspirations are high, according to its North American CTO, Arun Bhikshesvaran, who spoke with Light Reading earlier this month.

Its only Tier 1 fiber access customer is AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), which plans to deploy GPON technology for “greenfield” fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) subdivisions.

Yes, we said, “plans.” AT&T has not yet begun its GPON deployments with Ericsson’s gear; it’s still in the testing phase. (See AT&T Prepping for GPON.) The carrier’s schedule from the start has been to significantly ramp up installations towards the end of 2008, but Ericsson says 2009 is more realistic.

“It will probably be a 2009 story,” says Bhikshesvaran. “We are working with AT&T now with the different configurations of how we are going to deploy it. We started off with one particular configuration, and will probably expand into a second and third one.”

But, of course, with Ericsson everything is about scale, and AT&T is no different. Bhikshesvaran says that scale will pan out over the next 18 months. “Things are going well. We are on the right track.”

While the GPON has yet to hit full stride, there’s already talk from other vendors that WDM PON may give GPON gear a shorter than expected shelf life. Ericsson says that’s not a problem.

“You have to offer a balance between investment protection and innovation,” says Bhikshesvaran.

“The stuff we put in the ground has to survive at least until it is completely depreciated. But at the same time we can’t strand our customers from an innovation perspective.” Bhikshesvaran says Ericsson is working on developing WDM PON products along with other advanced forms of GPON such as 10 Gbit/s PON. Those products could come to market sooner rather than later.

“Three to five years is probably a reasonable estimate for WDM PON,” he says.

For more of Bhikshesvaran’s views on other technologies, including 3G networks and femtocells, have a look at our LRTV interview from earlier this year by clicking the start button:

— Raymond McConville, Reporter, Light Reading

zman 12/5/2012 | 3:40:13 PM
re: Ericsson: Ready to Ramp GPON
> doesnGÇÖt yet have a .. customer base
> AT&T has not yet begun its GPON deployments
> itGÇÖs still in the testing phase.
> 2009 is more realistic.
> a 2009 story
> GPON has yet to hit full stride

OK, so where is the news? You can re-use this article next year with "2010" substituted.
NPR 12/5/2012 | 3:40:12 PM
re: Ericsson: Ready to Ramp GPON AT&T has been promising GPON deployment for a while. PON has not taken of in NA except in Greenfield installations. Why would it now specialy given the economic conditions?
Keebler 12/5/2012 | 3:40:10 PM
re: Ericsson: Ready to Ramp GPON Wasn't Entrisphere/Ericsson AT&T's number 2 vendor for GPON behind Alcatel? So that means that they have an even smaller percentage of the nothing that AT&T's deploying.

Interesting that point wasn't brought up in the article.
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