September 24 , 2007 
IPso Facto...

"I suppose you realize, this means war..." 

By many measures, Calix is one of the top FTTH networking companies in the world. The company has 450 customers, most of them ILECs in the U.S. and Canada; Calix's customer roster includes Embarq and CenturyTel. The company recently hit a watermark, having shipped its 200,000th Brian SantoGPON optical network terminal (ONT).

The reason you may not have heard of Calix is because if you divide 200,000 by 450, you realize that Calix's customers average about 445 subscribers each. That's not entirely fair, because many of those ONTs serve MDUs, so maybe the actual average is 550, or 650, or even 750 subscribers each. On the other hand, Verizon and Comcast round off more customers than that when they report their quarterly subscriber tallies. But I digress...

So if you're a network gear provider, but if, like Calix, you're not as big, say, as Nortel or Motorola, you might be tempted, as you try to attract attention, to be a little provocative in your phrasing, like this, from Calix's latest press release:

Calix Shifts Bandwidth War in Favor of Telcos

Calix was a bit rankled that Comcast CEO Brian Roberts got so much press last Spring for demonstrating how cable customers will be able to download a 300 MB file in 17 seconds - two or three years from now. Not only that, two or three years from now, no cable subscriber is actually going to get 300 Mbps because the resource is shared.

"We can do six times better than that, and do it today," said Kevin Walsh, Calix VP of corporate marketing.

Calix figures that 2.5 Gbps GPON with gigabit Ethernet beats the pants off DOCSIS 3.0

But talking smack against cable is really just to get attention for the company's GPON products from the cable industry.

"We don't want to make this cable versus telco," Walsh said. "Many of our customers are telco and cable operators. The point is fiber versus copper."

GPON prices are being driven down by Verizon, which is also proving the scalability of the technology. Cable operators, Walsh suggested, can take advantage of that. Calix is trying to make it easy, too - its ONTs have RF interfaces, so a cable operator could deploy GPON and keep its set-top boxes.

And if cable operators don't start considering GPON, expect to see telcos circulating more charts like the one above and claiming technological superiority. That's where the real fight is going to be.

Brian Santo, IP Capsule Editor & CED Magazine Editor
Sigma Systems - Sigma All Play

Minerva provides IPTV platform for another two
Two more companies are rolling out IPTV using middleware from Minerva Networks. One is FTTx specialist Connexion Technologies. The other is small telcos Paul Bunyan Telephone.

Both are using Minerva's new iTVManager 3.0 IPTV middleware. iTVManager 3.0 lays the foundation for IPTV with additional services that include t-commerce and integrated communications services.

SES-Americom's IPTV system a go for rural telcos
The National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC) and the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA) have negotiated a deal that will allow rural telcos to offer an IPTV solution from SES Americom.

The NRTC spent a year evaluating SES Americom's technology and services on behalf of its members. Following that evaluation's completion in August, the NRTC and NTCA negotiated two options for their members.

The first is an end-to-end IPTV service using SES Americom's IP-Prime, a centralized, satellite-delivered IPTV distribution solution that includes content transport, headend services, and set-top boxes. The other is a programming-only solution for telcos that have their own headends or transport arrangements with another company.

The North Central Telephone Cooperative, based in Lafayette, Tenn., signed the first non-beta contract to distribute IPTV using the IP-Prime solution, according to the NRTC. The company will use IP-PRIME to supplement its cable system and its DSL network.

ECI's Hi-Focus MSAN
Hi-Focus MSAN

ECI Telecom's IPTV platform reaches 1M subs
ECI Telecom's Hi-Focus MSAN platform now supports more than one million IPTV subscribers worldwide-covering eastern and western Europe, Israel and Taiwan. The platform aids carriers in delivering IPTV with advanced multicast capabilities, allowing them to provide any service on any architecture via any technology, including copper and fiber.

AT&T's U-Verse TV, Internet services hit Texas
AT&T's U-verse TV and Internet services are now available to more than 325,000 households in northern Texas, the state where AT&T first deployed U-verse services. The company's U-verse service snagged its 100,000th customer earlier this month.


Cedar Point supports voice on WiMAX
Cedar Point Communications announced the general availability of its SafariC multimedia switching system for voice-over-WiMAX. The company previously announced a WiMAX deployment with Grupo TVCable, the largest cable operator in Ecuador.


Bresnan bows Wi-Fi service in Billings
Bresnan Communications has launched a wireless offering using products from Fujitsu Network Communications and BelAir Networks. The free high-speed broadband Wi-Fi service allows Bresnan's customers in Billings, Mont., to access their triple play services. The DOCSIS 2.0 interface works with Bresnan's existing cable architecture.

Alaska Airlines bringing wireless Internet in-flight
Alaska Airlines is set to launch an in-flight wireless Internet service in 2008 with Row 44's satellite-based broadband solution. The airline will test Row 44's system on a Boeing 737 next spring. The solution is expected to give Wi-Fi-enabled devices-such as PDAs, laptops, smartphones and portable gaming systems-high-speed access to the Internet, VPNs and stored, in-flight entertainment content.

Air Alaska
One of Alaska Airway's Boeing 737-800s

Airspan sells $30M in stock
Wireless network specialist Airspan Networks announced it has sold 15,000,000 shares of common stock, at $2.00 per share, in a public offering. Proceeds will be used to fund the continued expansion of the company's WiMAX business and for general corporate purposes.


Another builder joins Corning's FTTH program
D.R. Horton has joined Corning Cable Systems' Connected Community Program, which supports homebuilders who prepare housing developments for communications services delivered via FTTH. D.R. Horton's participation is through a partnership with Connexion Technologies, which designs, builds and operates fiber optic networks for developers.

Company: Accedo Broadband
CEO: Michael Lantz

Claim to Fame: Accedo calls itself an "aggregator and distributor of interactive applications and content" - games and other applications - to be delivered on IP networks.

Recent News of Note: DivX agreed to integrate Accedo applications in its own platform; the company ported its applications to Amino's IPTV set-tops; Accedo launched a multiplayer gaming engine as a service.