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Calix Ups Ante on VDSL Vectoring

As its user group gathers in Las Vegas, Calix Inc. (NYSE: CALX) today tries to one-up its Ethernet access competitors by not only adding new vectoring and bonding to its access products, but also industry-leading density. (See Calix Adds Vectoring to E7-2.)

Calix is adding new VDSL2 upgrades to both its E7-2 Ethernet Service Access Platform and its Calix B-Series Ethernet Service Access Node, the product it acquired in its Occam Networks buy. (See Calix CEO Claims Occam for Its Ethernet.)

The E7-2 upgrade features two new line cards, based on Calix's Ethernet eXtensible Architecture, that support up to 96 VDSL2 combo ports, and support bonding and vectoring to add bandwidth, with two ports able to support 10 Gigabit Ethernet and two others able to deliver Gigabit Ethernet or 2.5 Gbits/sec, in a one-rack unit module.

Both Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) unveiled their next-generation, vectoring-based architectures at Broadband World Forum earlier this year. (See Huawei Unveils Its U2Net Vision and AlcaLu Launches VDSL2 Vectoring.)

Teresa Mastrangelo, an analyst with Broadbandtrends, believes Calix is offering industry-leading density.

"I am not aware of anyone else offering 96 ports (combo, no less) and in a 1RU form factor," Mastrangelo says in an email exchange. "The question will be how often an operator will need this in a rural environment, but I could see a Qwest play very easily and it would be optimal for MDU applications and FTTx scenarios."

Rural telcos, which have been considering FTTH deployments, particularly when federal broadband stimulus dollars were in prospect, are again looking at how they can extend their copper reach and the bandwidth improvements that vectoring and bonding offer certainly will help them, says Geoff Burke, senior director of corporate marketing at Calix.

He says adding Packet Transfer Mode technology to the platform also helps because it allows a telco to support VDSL2 technology where the copper loop length supports it and fall back to ADSL2 where it doesn't. "Not only that, but we are actually improving the bandwidth on long-loop ADSL2 deployments by about 13 percent," Burke claims.

Why this matters
Telcos continue to look for ways to extend the reach of their copper plant and there is plenty of competition amongst the vendors to help them achieve this.

Calix is showing it can rival other suppliers in terms of technical capabilities and try to ward off any encroachment by other players into its key Tier 2 and smaller operator market. In addition, those capabilities also enhance its chances of brokering new deals in future deployments, especially in international markets.

For more
Here's a look at recent activity on the faster copper front:



— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

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