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 Green: Smaller carriers in Germany, Norway, Finland, Japan
Sales doing well. Carl Russo attributed the $11.5M loss to "higher than expected costs in our turnkey network improvement projects, particularly as activity accelerated to meet project schedules." I infer that Calix threw extra resources at projects running late. Calix has earned a reputation for taking care of customers. I'm not surprised they rushed in help when problems developed.
Calix's strength remains the U.S. carriers other than Verizon and AT&T. The increased revenues are good news for the level of capital spending. Century and Frontier are far behind cable; their prospects are bleak if they don't rapidly upgrade.
Calix proudly announced the first customer for their NG-PON2 gear.
Japan's Energia, the ISP of a regional electric company, has been running a small deployment of G.fast for a year. They like it so much they signed on with Nokia to be a Japanese distributor. Alongside the giants NTT, KDDI, & Softbank there remain many smaller companies delivering broadband.
Energia, the electric company for the Hiroshima region, years ago entered the ISP business. Distributing equipment is a natural move. After Fukushima, diversification must be particularly attractive for electric companies, especially in Hiroshima. They are decommissioning reactor #1 at their Shimane Nuclear Power Station, which will take thirty years. They hope to restart #2, where corrosion was recently discovered.
Now that G.fast is proven to deliver 500-800 megabits, it allows the smaller companies to compete with the fiber to the basement of the giants.
35b was expected for 2016 but wasn't ready, the Germans say. The improved 35b vectored VDSL uses more spectrum to get speeds of 200 megabits or so up to 300-400 meters. That's not close to the 500-800 megabits G.fast can do over short loops but in some cases saves the telco a lot of money. G.fast can't share the wire binder with the old 17 MHz VDSL but 35b can. Deutsche Telekom has millions of the 17 MHz modems they don't want to replace so chose 35b. Unfortunately, the new systems aren't delivering what DT requires.
200 megabits+, old modems still work. G.fast is headed over a gigabit on short loops 35b was introduced in 2014 as a simple, fast, low cost upgrade that could more than double speeds on existing VDSL lines. It uses 35 MHz of spectrum rather than the 17 MHz of most European VDSL builds but otherwise is nearly the same. Chipmakers - several now out of business - promised chips ready to deploy by 2016.
Simulations suggested 35b speeds could go up to 350 megabits over short distances. Adtran shared with me test results showing 200-250 megabits+. Alcatel/Nokia had similar results. Both were very confident a year ago. Until DT commented it would be 2018, that seemed reasonable to me.
It's really cheap to just hang a box on an existing remote terminal. "We're rolling out those side pods on the cabinets a quite a place now we have the production hardware, we have the production firmware and we're building a footprint quite quickly now," said Clive Seeley on the quarterly call. "The indications are that the performance of the product over the new equipment is pretty much spot on what we had predicted from the labs in the earlier few trials and I am very pleased with that. So I'm very pleased with where we stand right now on G.fast."
They are on target for 150,000 or so homes passed in the next couple of months and a fast ramp towards the 10M they've promised for 2020. BT is running G.halffast, with a target of ?300 down, ?30 up at three hundred meters. It would be impressive if they hit that; the results I've seen elsewhere are 10%-20% lower. The results at 100 meters - the plan before the beancounters jumped in - will probably be 500-800 megabits split between upstream and downstream. The early trials of G.fast have shown 5%-15% of the lines do not reach the expected speeds. BT and everyone else in the industry are scrambling to find and fix the problems.
The more interesting question is whether Huawei and Nokia have delivered the external vectoring boxes expected about six months ago.