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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

Carl's epiphany: the box business was going to shrink; software was going to become king; the carriers' traditional revenue would stagnate or worse. More recently, I heard much the same things from AT&T. It's now the common wisdom. Ten years ago, I didn't put all that together and I think few others did. 

To decide the right moves, he started with the question "What will Calix's customers need in ten years?" His first conclusion was that the carriers would need to find massive new revenues. That would require extreme flexibility, including a network designed to satisfy new demands rapidly. With revenues flat to down, the carriers would need to cut costs drastically to stay profitable. Inevitably, that would squeeze their suppliers. 

Russo decided the answer was agile software that brought carrier products to market quickly and allowed using less expensive standard hardware.

Today, we call that SDN - Software Defined Networking - and AT&T has become a true believer. So have most of the biggest telcos. Carl's aim is right on target. 

Calix's AXOS software is now controlling DSLAMs at dozens of their customers. Verizon is testing it on NG-PON2 fiber units. The demonstrations were impressive, but everything is still early.  

AXOS has clearly defined North and South interfaces to work with just any controller and hardware. They are directly working with CORD and ECOMP in the lab. They plan an open ecosystem and are actively recruiting companies with related products. They bring an attractive market to partners, including being near exclusive suppliers to hundreds of telcos. They have units at both Verizon and AT&T, with good prospects for growing their market share at the bigger companies.

I'm not qualified to report in depth about SDN software. To this uneducated viewer, their products look very good. I'm sure Calix would be delighted to demonstrate for you. While best known in the U.S. and Canada, they have a recent win in Australia and an expanding presence in much of the world.



The Site for gfast 230 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.

Deutsche Telecom: 35b Supervectoring Delayed to 2019
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 DT itself is planning extensive deployments in 2019, mostly in apartment buildings.

Gigabit 100 Meters - Unless the Wires are Lousy
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 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 & 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.

AT&T Wants Coax 2-5 Gigabit Very Soon.
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."

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