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gfast map nov

Dark Green: Firm commitments from incumbent: BT (10M), Belgacom, Australian NBN, Swisscom,  Austria, Bezeq Israel, Chunghwa Taiwan, Telus Canada, Telekom South Africa, SK Korea, (U.S.) AT&T, Century, Frontier, Windstream, Belgium, Omantel

Mid Pink: Smaller carriers in Germany, Norway, Finland, Japan

Light Green: Incumbent likely:  France, Germany, Italy

Ikanos-bandwidth-without-boundariesSome of the finest engineers are sending out resumes. The rumor is true - yet one more extraordinary chip outfit is gone. August 1, the entire division was told they are out of work on August 22. Founder Behrooz Rezvani emails, "It's a shame how it all came to an end. Ikanos was truly the leader in 2005 at the time of its IPO ... Ii felt it could keep up with changing times ... we were the first to do 100mbps downstream and 50 mbps upstream." They demonstrated 100/50 29 March 2004, the same day John Chapman and John Cioffi offered a roadmap to a gigabit on DSL and cable at FNF.

Qualcomm was hopeful when they bought Ikanos last August, release below. The company named Ikanos was one of the first two in the world to develop 100 megabit VDSL back in 2003. A few years ago, Dado Banatao of Tallwood VC, brought together the old Ikanos and Conexant/Globespan/Virata, who had pioneered DSL chips last century. They added Centillium, the first to extend ADSL2+ to 40 megabits and used that to dominate the Japanese market. 

G.fast chips, the remaining hope, are starting to sell, but neither the market nor the chips Ikanos has been working on developed quickly enough.

I'm separately reporting that BT intends to reach 25,000 homes with G.fast in Q3 and then proceed with ten million lines by 2020. There are 12 other telcos firmly committed, as you can see on the map. There will be millions of lines deployed next year. Broadcom and Sckipio have established strong positions in G.fast and the Chinese are hopeful. More to come as I gather comments and write the history of a distinguished company.

There is little joy in Red Bank, where some of the last great engineers in the Bell Labs tradition continued to work on DSL. 

 

Qualcomm to Acquire xDSL and G.fast Networking Technology Provider Ikanos

—Qualcomm Atheros Augments its Networking Portfolio with End-to-End Fixed Access Broadband Capabilities—

AUG 6, 2015 SAN DIEGO

Qualcomm products mentioned within this press release are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced that its subsidiary, Qualcomm Atheros, Inc., has entered into a definitive merger agreement to acquire Ikanos Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: IKAN), a high performance broadband networking semiconductor and software provider enabling both central office and home gateway solutions. Pursuant to the agreement, Qualcomm Atheros, through a wholly-owned subsidiary, will commence a tender offer to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of common stock of Ikanos for $2.75 per share in cash, and assume all outstanding indebtedness at the closing of the transaction.

The acquisition is intended to expand Qualcomm Atheros’ footprint in the carrier fixed line segment with the addition of high performance broadband access and modem technologies critical to enhancing users’ connected experiences in the home. The home gateway extends Qualcomm Atheros’ leadership in carrier Wi-Fi and wired connectivity, while providing a central hub for Internet of Everything (IoE) enabled devices, services and 3G/LTE small cells.

Ikanos’ board of directors has unanimously approved the transaction and recommends the offer to Ikanos stockholders. The transaction is expected to close before the end of this year and is subject to customary closing conditions, including a minimum tender of a majority of outstanding shares of Ikanos and regulatory clearances in certain non-US jurisdictions.

“Qualcomm Atheros has always viewed the home gateway as the enabler for consumers to not only access the Internet for browsing and downloading content and video streaming, but also as the hub of the Internet in the home for a variety of reliable and high quality services,” said Rahul Patel, senior vice president and general manager, connectivity, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “The combination of Qualcomm Atheros’ broad home gateway IP portfolio, including Wi-Fi, powerline, small cell, and Ethernet switch technologies, and Ikanos’ advanced wired modem technology, is designed to create a complete solution for a wide range of home gateway products to better serve the carrier segment.”

The acquisition of Ikanos provides Qualcomm Atheros access to a wide array of leading technologies, including A/VDSL2 and G.fast modem technology and chipsets for consumer premises equipment (CPE) and central office (CO) infrastructure. Ikanos also offers multi-mode gateway processor and accelerator technology for fiber, LTE, Ethernet and hybrid-copper applications. In addition, Ikanos inSIGHT software allows remote diagnosis, management and optimization of the broadband connection and quality-of-service, and voice over IP (VoIP) integrated access devices and bridges. Ikanos’ strong central office product portfolio, as well as its technology collaboration with Alcatel-Lucent in the area of fixed access communications, enables Qualcomm Atheros to offer a strong product portfolio in the ultra-broadband access space, including G.fast.

“Qualcomm Atheros and Ikanos have a long history of collaboration in the carrier space and share a common vision for the connected home. Bringing the two companies together enables Qualcomm Atheros to accelerate implementation of its strategy for the connected home, and to move the home gateway forward as a key enabler for new carrier applications and services,” said Omid Tahernia, president and chief executive officer, Ikanos.

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G.fast News

I’m still working through remarkable presentations from the Broadband Forum events. Michael Weissman, Bernd Hesse and team did a remarkable job choosing the speakers. http://bit.ly/BBFBASE

Deutsche Telecom: 35b Supervectoring Delayed to 2019 http://bit.ly/35blater
Broadcom is now over 3 years late. DT briefed German reporters after their financial call and revealed 35b was now delayed until 2019. 35b should deliver 200+ meg downloads 500-600 meters, a crucial tool for DT, which is losing share to cable. Cable now covers about 70% of Germany and is expanding. DT now only offers 50-100 megabit DSL while cable is often 400 megabits, going to a gigabit. 

The problem is software; the hardware is shipping and supposedly will work. DT says 35b is not ready to turn on. Broadcom in 2015 said 35b was in "production" in the press release below. Alcatel in early 2016 said to expect complete systems very soon. "35g is very similar to 17a so there should be little delay."

Broadcom's problems are leading major telcos and vendors to have a plan B, using Sckipio G.fast. DT itself is planning extensive G.fast deployments in 2019, mostly in apartment buildings. http://bit.ly/35blater

Gigabit 100 Meters - Unless the Wires are Lousy http://bit.ly/gflousy
Speeds are fine, "Unless there's a line problem." I've been reporting for three years that ~10% of lines have problems. In the chart by Rami Verbin of Sckipio, he finds G.fast goes ~130 meters on good lines. Poor lines have about half the reach. 

His chart roughly matches the reports from Swisscom, Belgacom, and England for both G.fast & vectored DSL. The 10% with problems can cause the majority of the line-related complaints to support. The angry customers drive up cost.

Rami's solution to reach the gigabit is bonding, supported on the Sckipio chips. Verbin made some additional points:

  • 4 gigabits is possible by bonding two decent 2 gigabit lines.
  • Even in a service from remote cabinets, ~25% are close enough to get a full gigabit."
  • cDTA and iDTA are practical ways to deliver much higher upstream by switching some bandwidth from downstream to upstream only when needed.
  • 35B will probably be similar but Deutsche Telecom doesn't expect to deploy until 2019. http://bit.ly/gflousy

AT&T Wants Coax 2-5 Gigabit G.fast. Very Soon. http://bit.ly/ATTCoax
AT&T faces intense competition from cable, talking about 10 gigabits in both directions. (Cable will only be 1 gig down, ~100 meg up, until ~2021.) AT&T wants something to brag about as well.

AT&T gained millions of lines of coax as part of the DirecTV deal. Alcatel and Huawei are leading the development of G.mgfast. That uses 424 MHz, full duplex, to achieve ~2.5 gigabits in both directions. The reach on telco twisted pair is only about 30 meters. On coax, those speeds can probably extend far enough to service most apartment buildings. Using 848 MHz, speeds can reach 5 gigabits. The ITU standards group has been aiming for 2019-2020 for G.mgfast, too slow for AT&T's marketers. David Titus wants a high-speed standard for coax "early in 2018." He believes that is "doable."http://bit.ly/ATTCoax

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