NXTcomm Preview: GPON Gear

With NXTcomm happening next week, companies in the access space have been lining up announcements leading up to the show. Most of this activity involves anything -- systems, chips, systems-on-a-chip -- that contributes to the gigabit passive optical networking (GPON) phenomenon, which is taking all the mindshare (and hardly any marketshare) from DSL.

Here is the first wave of GPON announcements that came in this month ahead of NXTcomm:

Among these, there were a few that caught our eye:

Calix C7 all grown up
Calix Inc. (NYSE: CALX) kicked off the PON party by upgrading its C7 multiservice access platform, adding carrier-grade Ethernet services and GPON functionality. (See Calix Adds to MSAP.)

The C7 also added GPON modules, each of which has four 2.4-Gbit/s optical line terminal (OLT) ports for the delivery of high-bandwidth services such as IPTV or high-speed Internet. A single module can support up to 256 subscribers, with up to 5,120 subscribers supported from a single C7 MSAP.

Geoff Burke, director of field marketing for Calix, says the C7 is becoming the do-it-all device for carriers. With new Ethernet services and GPON built in, Burke says the C7 "has a full flexibility to support legacy services, Ethernet over copper services, and Ethernet over fiber."

Wave7 does a PON double play
Wave7 Optics Inc. announced support for two PON standards, which could help it compete in the North American fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) equipment market. The company added GPON functionality to its Trident7 Universal Access Platform, making it the first supplier, or so it claims, to integrate GPON and Gigabit-Ethernet PON (GEPON) functionality on the same platform. (See Wave7 Adds GPON.)

TXP and Zhone pitch interoperable ONTs
TXP Corp. (Nasdaq: TXPO) and Zhone Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: ZHNE) say there is a way to make GPON networks friendly and to drive product margins up, while eliminating power problems at the home and shortening installation times. (See Zhone Debuts Line-Powered ONT and A PON in the Game.) We'll have a closer look at the show to see how much of this tall order carriers think is really possible.

— Ryan Lawler, Reporter, Light Reading

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