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Optical/IP

Carriers Give FTTP Update

LAS VEGAS -- The three big incumbent phone companies behind the industry's largest fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) proposal -- Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), BellSouth Corp. (NYSE: BLS), and SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE: SBC) -- expect to have vendor equipment in their labs for trials by November 14, the carriers said here Tuesday.

BellSouth and SBC will start first office application (FOA) trials during the second half of 2004, the carriers say. Verizon says its FOA trials will start during either the second or third quarter of 2004. The carriers narrowed down their shortlist of prospective suppliers in August, and each began individual negotiations with suppliers this month. Only BellSouth and SBC are working together on the business aspect of the FTTP deal, according to Peter Hill, VP of technology planning at BellSouth.

The finalists, according to several equipment vendor executives here, are Alcatel SA (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA), Advanced Fibre Communications Inc. (AFC) (Nasdaq: AFCI), and the Motorola Inc./Quantum Bridge Communications Inc. combo (see Motorola, Quantum Bridge Do FTTP). AFC's partnering with Harmonic Inc. (Nasdaq: HLIT) on video applications, and Alcatel is pairing up with Scientific-Atlanta Inc. (NYSE: SFA), the sources here say. Additionally, Alcatel may be forced to work with Marconi Corp. plc (Nasdaq: MRCIY; London: MONI) in some applications.

Others that bid on the project but aren't at the top of the list include a combination of Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT) and ECI Telecom Ltd. (Nasdaq/NM: ECIL) and the combo of Fujitsu Ltd. (OTC: FJTSY) and Entrisphere Inc. (see Fujitsu, Entrisphere Turn Triple Play). Catena Networks Inc. is also said to be among the top of the secondary list of contenders, as is Siemens AG (NYSE: SI; Frankfurt: SIE). While the carriers were impressed with most of the proposals, there were some areas where the technology was lacking. Mark Wegleitnet, senior VP and chief technology officer at Verizon, says the products they're evaluating still require improved operational support for the equipment and improved ways to power the optical network termination (ONT) units. The responses by vendors to provide radio frequency adapters, used to convert composite video signals, were so bad the three carriers issued a separate RFP as a follow-up.

While the carrier RFP did cover all areas of active electronics to be used in an FTTP deployment, it did not specify what the optical distribution network feeding the FTTP network had to look like. Also, the RFP didn't specify anything about what kinds of video headends nor customer set-top boxes should be used, the carriers say.

All three carriers said they were committed to FTTP deployments, but admitted that, because of regulations and costs, greenfield deployments make the most sense for FTTP. "The FCC order incites us to fiber-build new subdivisions," says Keith Cambron, president and CEO of SBC Laboratories, noting that there's a "disincentive to fiber-existing homes." The carriers warned, however, that consumers won't understand why new subdivisions will get triple-play services over fiber, while, across the street, copper-fed houses will be stuck in 1990. "The answer can't be 'If you want fiber to the home, you have to buy a new house,' " says Cambron. "We have to do better than that."

Whatever the outcome of eventual FTTP deployments, just the activity by big carriers has led to several smaller RFPs from other phone companies, vendors here say. "If nothing else, the FTTP RFP has had a profound psychological effect on the industry," says Kermit Ross, founder of Millennium Marketing, a telecom consultancy.

— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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wap545 12/4/2012 | 11:20:20 PM
re: Carriers Give FTTP Update Interesting information, only it may be outdated in that we have heard that Verizon has selected the AFC/Harmonic team, turning down Motorola/Quantum Bridge and ALcatel the two leaders in the PON or FTTHome space.
This is really interesting in that AFC has not shown any product or had any press in the FTTH space, much less has had any success in their DSL deployments to date. Not sure where Harmonic fits in here. They appear to have a FTTBusiness solution (which also appears to be Ethernet Based vs APON for RFP)but nothing on FTTHome-Two very distinct markets.
Boy are the Analysts who predicted the RBOC where just appeasing the FCC on this RFP going to have a field day with this one.
Especially if AFC cannot show or produce a real product for the LAb trials. By the way didn't the original specs call for Working products for Lab trials by Mid August sometime??
Not sure where Bell South and SBC are going. BS appears to be focusing on the FTTCurb space and SBC is pretty solid behind ADSL+ DAta and Satellite CATV partnership.
We'll have to watch Verizon closely to see what if anything they do with this weird selection.
All kind of speculation as to why they would pick a product that has not seen the light of day-or is it delay.




This is at best a non decision, since it
firstmile 12/4/2012 | 11:20:19 PM
re: Carriers Give FTTP Update Done,
Very interesting...but not correct.
AFC and Harmonics has not been selected yet.
The big three (RBOCs) are still in the process of beating the heck out of ALA etc. to get their pound of flesh. It is in the RBOCs best interest to not select a vendor too soon, because they lose economic leverage.
Also, watch for ALA to pick up Marconi's PON biz.
...first
firstmiler 12/4/2012 | 11:20:19 PM
re: Carriers Give FTTP Update Does anyone know of SPs that are providing triple play in production today? And reselling dish along with your DSL and ILEC POTS does not count!

Fm
bo knows optics 12/4/2012 | 11:20:19 PM
re: Carriers Give FTTP Update What? No Zhone Technologies on the list?
I thought they were leading edge FTTP.
How can that be?
integrator 12/4/2012 | 11:20:18 PM
re: Carriers Give FTTP Update firstmiler

I know of some small Independent Telco/Video companies who are doing RF video, Class 5 switch telephony and high speed data with FTTH products.

There are several MUNIs, and new developer SP companies servicing new construction that have 2 of the three services active and plan to add the third. The FTTH Council has lists of these projects in the US but not by what actual services are being provided.

Even the Verizon FTTP trials in late 2004 are data and voice, with future on Video uncertain.

The big Asian and European markets primarily focus just on data. Voice is left alone and video is a mixture of how it gets delivered. More IP video is being tried Internationally.

integrator
optical Mike 12/4/2012 | 11:20:16 PM
re: Carriers Give FTTP Update Does anyone know of SPs that are providing triple play in production today? And reselling dish along with your DSL and ILEC POTS does not count!

Check out
http://ftthcom.com/

True triple play provided by http://www.opticalsolutions.co... FiberPath 500 system
zookeeper 12/4/2012 | 11:20:16 PM
re: Carriers Give FTTP Update See http://www.sasktel.com/store/p...

Does anyone know of SPs that are providing triple play in production today? And reselling dish along with your DSL and ILEC POTS does not count!

Fm
loopman 12/4/2012 | 11:20:14 PM
re: Carriers Give FTTP Update BellSouth has over 900,000 homes served with fiber to the curb where the fiber gets within 500 feet of the customer premises or in apartments complexes is to the apartment building. Their fiber to the curb deployments are all triple play capable and BellSouth is providing voice and high speed data on all. They are also providing video on their FTTC system in Atlanta, Miami and Ft Lauderdale. The FTTC system they are using is Marconi's.
firstmile 12/4/2012 | 11:20:12 PM
re: Carriers Give FTTP Update There are hundreds of IOCs in NA that are providing a triple play today on copper with ADSL(short loops, pedestal deployments), or VDSL. The key item that allows the Rural IOCs to deploy triple play on copper is that the folks in rural America do not require 200 channels. They are typically happy to get 15 or 20.
...first (not to be confused with firstmileR)
solver 12/4/2012 | 11:20:11 PM
re: Carriers Give FTTP Update firstmile,
so it looks like everyone is saying AFC's got the verizon project over ALA, despite all the incredible odds against them.

What makes you think otherwise?
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