Calix Goes for 1-Gig ONTs

'Welcome to 2006,' says a competitor

Raymond McConville

September 24, 2007

2 Min Read
Calix Goes for 1-Gig ONTs

Calix Inc. (NYSE: CALX) has begun deploying an upgraded version of its 700-Series ONT. (See Calix Upgrades ONT.) The new 700G ONT is capable of delivering 1 Gbit/s to individual homes at a cost that is just $15 more per unit, Calix says.

Average sustained bandwidth however is around 80 Mbit/s on a standard 32-split GPON network, so no one will need Calix's souped-up capability for quite some time. Calix compares this to the yet to be deployed Docsis 3.0, which is capable of 160 Mbit/s but will likely deliver 640 kilobits per second if used on a standard 250-home node.

The new ONT is largely the same as its 700-Series predecessor. Physically it contains one extra port inside, specifically for the 1-Gbit/s Ethernet connection, should consumers ever be lucky enough to get their own dedicated bandwidth firehoses.

Calix VP of marketing Kevin Walsh notes that the incremental cost change from the old 700 ONT to the new 700G ONT is about $15. Because of this, he feels it’s a no brainer for telcos to deploy it.

"If we gave them the choice between the two models and said that for $15 extra you get all this extra bandwidth and don't have to touch the customer's home for years, why wouldn't they do that?" he asks rhetorically. [Ed. note: Because they'll never need it?]

While Calix is proud of its new ONT, its competitors weren't impressed. "Welcome to 2006," said Russ Sharer, VP of marketing for Occam Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: OCNW). "The delivery of a gig into businesses and homes is something we've been doing for a year."

But compared to what cable is offering, Calix is positioning telcos to stay ahead. "Docsis 3.0 will help cable, but they won't be able to match telco speeds," says Alan Breznick, senior analyst with Heavy Reading. Breznick notes that cable companies have been investigating ways to further close the gap, such as moving to all fiber.

"They're doing this in bits and pieces like in greenfields, but they're not doing it widespread just yet," says Breznick.

Separately, Calix noted a customer for the new 700G ONT -- Bloomer Telephone, a Wisconsin-based carrier. Calix also announced today that it has just shipped its 200,000th GPON ONT. (See Calix Ships 200,000 ONTs.)

— Raymond McConville, Reporter, Light Reading

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