Ballart Bolts From AT&T

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) vice president Ralph Ballart, who became the face of Project Lightspeed at SBC, has left the company to take a job at Alcatel (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA), Light Reading has learned.

Formerly vice president of broadband services for SBC Labs, Ballart reportedly is staying in California, working with the IP group formed around acquired startup TiMetra Networks. (See Alcatel & TiMetra Seal the Deal.)

Neither Alcatel nor AT&T would comment, the latter citing a policy not to discuss personnel matters, but multiple sources closely involved with AT&T say Ballart left for Alcatel in December. One source, requesting anonymity, believes Alcatel initiated the move by recruiting him out.

Ballart couldn't be located for comment, so it's unclear whether the recent merger of SBC and AT&T had anything to do with his decision to say yes. For what it's worth, SBC seems to be running the show at the merged company. (See SBC Brass Dominates the New AT&T .)

Ballart had become a highly visible figure, giving talks about Lightspeed at various industry gatherings, including one run by Heavy Reading. (See SBC Exec Talks Lightspeed.)

Alcatel is the systems integrator chosen for Lightspeed, so Ballart and the company are obviously familiar with one another. Broadband projects including Lightspeed were a boon to Alcatel last year, as the company began staking its routers to IPTV. (See Alcatel Router Revenues Surge.)

The obvious question is whether Ballart's departure might affect AT&T's outlook for fiber build-outs -- but as part of SBC Labs, Ballart wasn't the one dictating SBC/AT&T's strategy. And it's doubtful that any one person's absence could derail the highly publicized Project Lightspeed.

Still, the carrier has lost a big-name proponent of fiber buildouts, and his departure might cause some furrowed brows at non-Alcatel equipment vendors. "Ralph and members of his team were pretty strong proponents of GPON," says one source who requested anonymity.

— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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robert_rodriguez 12/5/2012 | 4:07:07 AM
re: Ballart Bolts From AT&T You guys get pretty angry when people disagree with you.

WTF? I thought EEs where tree huggers?
robert_rodriguez 12/5/2012 | 4:07:07 AM
re: Ballart Bolts From AT&T OK, I am done. I may not have job but you guys certianly do. Don't want you to getting fired preaching on Lightreading Boards to an idiot like me.

Again, PON does not do everything the future customer (5-10 years from today) will need. Never will -- active ehternet can. PON is however cheaper and that is something to hold on to while "undeveloped" technologies maybe develop.

Time will tell. I got no dogs in this race -- unlike you sporting guys with opinions to hold on faith.

ragho 12/5/2012 | 4:07:07 AM
re: Ballart Bolts From AT&T IMHO what PON delivers is ONCE AGAIN an undifferentiated pipe offering to Customers. BUY MY PIPES -- THEY ARE CHEAP and WIDER!!!!!

Wake up, then learn the technology first before you diss it!

xPON is NOT an undifferential pipe. In fact as brookseven pointed out, TCONTs are the way to delivering granular traffic contracts across the PON.

Most ONTs and OLTs support up to 8 TCONTs (VCs or GEM port IDs, for BPON and GPON respectively). This means each subscriber can receive up to 8 unique service contracts, with guaranteed QoS amongst them.

Guaranteed QoS is no bullshit over xPON. I have seen quality voice (AAL2/BLES) and burst data working across 2K+ subscribers served by a single OLT.

Imagine trying to run powered Ethernet to 2K+ subscribers from the CO or a SAI. You can talk the talk, but no sane thinking carrier will install that much Cat5 to subscribers.

....To me, you sound like a GM Car Engineer. Technically right, Strategically wrong...

To me you sound non-sensical. Technically wrong, strategically wrong, and financially wrong.

Read a little bit more. Learn something about what PON can do. When you get to DBA (dynamic bandwidth allocation), you'll be singing the blues.

light-headed 12/5/2012 | 4:07:06 AM
re: Ballart Bolts From AT&T You guys get pretty angry when people disagree with you.

WTF? I thought EEs where tree huggers?

Most people here do not get angry over disagreement. They get angry over people making bizarre, ignorant claims that they cannot backup. From what i have seen most of your logic is very flawed on ALL of your posts. It is not clear if you do this on purpose to take the piss out of others or if you are just insane.

Most EEs are tree huggers but don't like to suffer fools.
robert_rodriguez 12/5/2012 | 4:07:05 AM
re: Ballart Bolts From AT&T U essentially said: "Most people here .... don't like to suffer fools." like me I assume.

Funny, I still have yet to have one intelligent comment to re-address the point I have made. Unfortunately my point is a conceptual one which most engineers are failures at grasping. This is why they work for peanuts for Business Guys like me and are being outsourced to India. (Cheap shot but anyway well deserved.)

I am not stating PON won't work to deliver more or less what we know we want TODAY using a pipe into the house.

I am stating PON (as is) can not solve tomorrow's HH or Business desires with ONE system that allows for better differentiation and improved pricing in a scaled environment and more bandwidth.

Standards committee or not, I think this is an interesting topic to discuss. I think the approach with active ethernet does address it in a crude way. Again, I have no dogs in the race. Just a casual reader of this fora.

PS, take me down another banana. That leaves me a zero banana guy. I know to get it back to 2 banana I need to sing kumbaya in unison with the 4 banana gear heads who can't see other's opinions once they have made up their mind.
paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:06:59 AM
re: Ballart Bolts From AT&T rr,

I wish you would stop changing your story.

First, you claimed that nobody could be deploying triple play over PON.

Second, you claimed that nobody could be building large scale networks via PON.

Third, you claimed that PON was incapable of delivering QoS.

Now, you are claiming that you have no idea how any network actually works BUT you know that the only possible network in the world that should be built is active Ethernet.

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