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Ethernet equipment

Alloptic Allotted $30M More

Livermore, Calif.-based Alloptic Inc. says it has raised another $30 million in funding from a group of investors led by GMG Capital Management.

This gives Alloptic, a 55-employee company, more than $100 million in funding raised to date. Its previous round, in April 2003, was a $35 million catch led by GMG Capital and Athenian Venture Partners.

Alloptic makes central office and customer premises gear for Ethernet passive optical networks (EPONs), and its technology delivers 1 Gbit/s of bandwidth, giving it plenty of room to offer most combinations of voice, video, and data services that carriers crave for fiber to the premises (FTTP) deployments.

The company competes with Hitachi Ltd. (NYSE: HIT; Paris: PHA), Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB; Frankfurt: BTLA), Optical Solutions Inc., and others in the fiber access market generally. But its decision to focus on EPON gives it an advantage in some cases. EPONs' reach is up to 20km, which is twice that of ATM-based BPONs (broadband PONs). EPON also provides twice the downstream bandwidth and seven times the upstream bandwidth of BPON (see Ethernet in Access Networks).

But though EPON has its advantages, the biggest carriers and the largest pools of cash for fiber access networks in most of North America will be spent on BPON. EPON is firmly entrenched in Asia, but GPON (gigabit PON) is picking up steam in areas where there's a need to keep offering analog video. Michael Howard, principal analyst at Infonetics Research Inc., predicts that by 2008, North America (where GPON dominates) will account for 43 percent of worldwide PON revenue, and Asia (where EPON dominates) will account for 39 percent of worldwide revenue.

In the U.S., two of Alloptic's marquee customers are S.C.-based Hargray Communications and Ga.-based Knology Inc. (Nasdaq: KNOL) -- both of which are offering triple-play bundled services to residential and business customers (see Knology, Hargrave Pick Alloptic PON).

For the latest on the many varieties of PON and deployments around the world, see the recent Light Reading report: PON & FTTx Update.

— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading

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DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 3:04:48 AM
re: Alloptic Allotted $30M More Can someone point me to some big GEPON deployments (more than 100,000 users)? Are there any in North America?

ph
paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 3:04:45 AM
re: Alloptic Allotted $30M More
Big EPON deployment = NTT Japan (and Yahoo BB following along). All EPON per IEEE standard is Gigabit EPON.

There are no large deployments in North America and unless cable decides to do so, there is unlikely to be any. The RBOCs are headed to GPON (which is an ITU and FSAN standard).

seven
DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 3:04:45 AM
re: Alloptic Allotted $30M More I thought NTT's was BPON meant to look like EPON (though I'm not sure of the specifics). I think I overheard that from the Hitachi Telecom guys once.

I may have been drunk.

ph
paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 3:04:44 AM
re: Alloptic Allotted $30M More
The current buildout for residential service is EPON based. They have done some media converter/VDSL deployment for residential in the past. BPON was generally used for 3G cell site work.

seven
paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 3:04:43 AM
re: Alloptic Allotted $30M More
It would be helpful for EPON if the opening of all 802.3ah meetings were not done to the chant: "All RBOC employees are stupid." Just a marketing hint, it is BAD to call one of your biggest potential customers stupid (see Bill Huang at Fast Net Futures for an out of IEEE example of this).

seven
nwave 12/5/2012 | 3:04:43 AM
re: Alloptic Allotted $30M More GPON is appealing to the RBOCs since it is kind of a catch-all hopper that allows legacy ATM systems to be handled natively on a GPON link. Ethernet and TDM are encapsulated in a generic framing method or (GEM) frame. Its interesting that the standard was worked on from 2001 and ratified in 2004 along the same time the rapid move towards everything over "IP" i.e. VoIP and IPTV technologies really began hit the "tipping point" around 2003-2004. With these technologies in mind, itGÇÖs interesting to speculate if GPON standard would have ended up with the kludged arcitecteture it did had standardization started a few years later. The standard does promise a pretty significant peak speed of 2.5 Gbit, which is nothing to sneeze at. But already 10G Ethernet is coming into its own and its likely it will end up in the first mile at some point in the future.

Seeing so many over-hyped networking technologies fail over the last 10-20 years itGÇÖs hard to believe that GPON will sweep the world by storm. Remember Token Ring, and ATM to the desktop? I believe George Gilder once said that ATM was supposed to kill Ethernet but that clearly didnGÇÖt happen. Practically all business and residential core technologies are Ethernet. By some estimates Ethernet makes up over 85% of installed networks worldwide. Judged from the RBOC perspective, Ethernet obviously has its faults, but complexity is not one of them. MetcalfeGÇÖs simple plug and play Ethernet continues to evolve and its also not going away anytime soon. Ethernet continues to Keep it Simple and Keep it Cheap. It will likely take some time for the RBOCs to get it.

http://www.wsta.org/publicatio...


nwave 12/5/2012 | 3:04:40 AM
re: Alloptic Allotted $30M More It certainly wasn't stupid employees that designed the Smartest Network in the world. Its not the employee stupidity, but the issue facing RBOCs is that they have a decades old and "very smart" network architecture. A network architecture designed for a time prior the Internet explosion. As David Isenberg wrote in 1998 paper "The Dawn of the Stupid Network:" its the "Stupid Network" not the Smart one that is ascendent.

http://www.isen.com/papers/Daw...


OldPOTS 12/5/2012 | 3:04:40 AM
re: Alloptic Allotted $30M More nwave - "Ethernet continues to Keep it Simple and Keep it Cheap. It will likely take some time for the RBOCs to get it."

While nwave makes several good points, he fails to understand that Ethernet simplicities at the edge has and will continue to push networking costs, scale and complexity back into the network. This includes solutions for authentication, security and QoS. If one wants to deliver a level of service that customers already receive (cablecos), these must be included in the delivery costs.

My experience with proposing and implementing networks with various types of service delivery methods (TDM, TDM/Stat Mux, Fast Packet, FR, ATM, IP & Eth) and networks to deliver various service levels have shown me that;
The cost of service delivery is proportional to the quality of the delivery, not the delivery method. Choose the quality required and costing is easy.

OldPOTS

BTW;
Content determines revenue.

GPON - There are BPON ONTs that output traffic in Ethernet. Ethernet In OLT and ONT Out. So why must the access method be Ethernet? Just wundering.

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 3:04:39 AM
re: Alloptic Allotted $30M More
I guess you missed my point. The IEEE folks want to control the standard and force what they want on the RBOCs. The RBOCs want to control what is designed and deployed in the standard.

NTT can use it's close relations with its system suppliers to get proprietary tweaks out of whatever the standard says.

The RBOCs just go to a separate standards body (FSAN) where the vendors don't get a vote to get what they want.

You can do or say anything, but market to your customer. For telecom access equipment in NA, that is the RBOCs. Even if every decision they make is wrong, give them exactly what they want. They will give you money. Tell them what you are going to do and how much better it is...and welcome to the world of startups that went nowhere.

seven
lilgatsby 12/5/2012 | 3:04:38 AM
re: Alloptic Allotted $30M More Ethernet platforms exist today that offer a subset of features to enable the authentication, security and QoS you mention - without increasing the complexity level at the prem - and keep the costs in line with traditional Ethernet expectations. Take your pick, there's a few.

Set up an IPTV network, run 3 HD streams to 2-3 sets, run one with VoD, a few mb of data for PCs, throw in VoIP and see how the 30mb PON degrades before your eyes. I'm about tired of hearing about the magic compression techniques to make this dog work as advertised. Where's the lemon-law police? PON is like buying a car with a lawn-mower engine, it'll work well enough to get you to the coffee shop but don't head out on the highway...

ONT, OLT that are trying to replicate Ethernet are laughable. Why not spend the same OR LESS for real Ethernet that is not split 32/16 ways. GPON is an easy step in a carrier understood technology - no magic or special features, it was first to be deployed for many reasons (that don't exist today) ie fiber exaust and high fiber costs. This I can accept (ruefully), but commenting it is selected for superior capabilities or less complexity just 'aint the whole picture, sport.

cheers,
lg

----------------------------------------------
nwave - "Ethernet continues to Keep it Simple and Keep it Cheap. It will likely take some time for the RBOCs to get it."

While nwave makes several good points, he fails to understand that Ethernet simplicities at the edge has and will continue to push networking costs, scale and complexity back into the network. This includes solutions for authentication, security and QoS. If one wants to deliver a level of service that customers already receive (cablecos), these must be included in the delivery costs.

My experience with proposing and implementing networks with various types of service delivery methods (TDM, TDM/Stat Mux, Fast Packet, FR, ATM, IP & Eth) and networks to deliver various service levels have shown me that;
The cost of service delivery is proportional to the quality of the delivery, not the delivery method. Choose the quality required and costing is easy.

OldPOTS

BTW;
Content determines revenue.

GPON - There are BPON ONTs that output traffic in Ethernet. Ethernet In OLT and ONT Out. So why must the access method be Ethernet? Just wundering.
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