Verizon wants 25 ms switchover for large customers needing reliability.

Verizon is planning at least hundreds of thousands of 5G mmWave cells, many of which will be backhauled using NG-PON2 from Calix. (Below.) Recently, Brett Feldman of Goldman Sachs projected Verizon is spending $20B over the next several years; from different sources, I came to a similar conclusion last year.

"Verizon's announcement is legitimizing NG-PON2," Carl Russo of Calix asserts. "It's the right choice today for 5G and customers who need the failover reliability. Because you can switch wavelengths almost instantly and upgrade easily, it's very attractive for customers with growing demand."

He added, "The cost will come down with volume and time. Today, it's the right choice for many; going forward, we expect a very wide market."

NG-PON2 requires expensive lasers of a kind that haven't been mass produced. A half-dozen companies, Adtran as well as optics specialists, are working furiously to bring down the cost.

Alcatel was first to promote the 40 gig PON back in 2014. Standards were first defined in FSAN and in 2016 ratified by the ITU. Verizon, planning the 5G build, put out an RFP. It was assumed to be Alcatel/Nokia's but VZ surprised the industry by choosing Adtran and Calix for trials. Both companies are reorganizing around Software Defined, Open Source Networks, as is Verizon.

Vincent O’Byrne, leading the Verizon effort, gave a very clear presentation last summer explaining the choice. Sean Buckley of Fierce was there.

“We want technology that can grow without driving a lot of outside plant changes by concentrating our efforts on the reuse of spectrum versus the use of physical plant,” O’Byrne said. “The move from BPON to GPON was a fairly large investment and the move to go from GPON to another new technology requires a large upfront investment in OLTs.”

“The 10G options you have with XGS-PON and 10G-PON support only a single wavelength versus multiple wavelengths. From a long-term perspective, a single wavelength is something that is a short-term solution for business services.”

Verizon President Hans Vestberg wants a single network that can serve homes, backhaul, and the largest businesses.

"If we have a converged core, meaning that a core network that can handle fixed mobile enterprise, whatever. I only need one of those, then I can take its maintenance cost, its software and hardware, that kind of goes away. Unified transport, one transport network that can have a fiber network that is used for all the business units in our company."

There is a clear path to 16 wavelengths at 25 gigabits for 400 gigabits.

 

 

Calix and Verizon Achieve Major Industry Milestone with the First Large-scale Deployments of AXOS and NG-PON2

Verizon partners with Calix to launch the next phase of its Intelligent Edge Network strategy to realize radical reductions in operational costs and improvements in the speed of new service delivery

PETALUMA, CA – January 29, 2018 – Calix, Inc. (NYSE: CALX), today announced that Verizon has selected the AXOS E9-2 Intelligent Edge System to begin large-scale NG-PON2 deployments in the first quarter of 2018. These deployments will include the AXOS RPm (Routing Protocol module for Layer 3) and the AXOS SMm (Subscriber Management module for disaggregated Broadband Network Gateway). By leveraging an always-on, converged services platform, Verizon will deploy a single access network for residential, business, and mobile services. This industry-first use of NG-PON2 technology will help Verizon realize a radical reduction in network operating complexity and costs while enabling the Company to deploy new services with unprecedented speed.

“Several years ago, we determined that we were going to need a better network to meet our growing customers’ demands for bandwidth and higher throughput. We saw that the single wavelength systems (e.g., 10G EPON and XGS-PON) were only possible interim solutions and that we needed a longer term solution. NG-PON2 is a platform that will meet the customers’ envisioned needs for the next decade or more given its many evolution paths as well as bringing many operational benefits to simplify the network. It represents a paradigm shift in the design of access networks,” said Vincent O’Byrne, director of technology planning at Verizon. “NG-PON2, allows us to converge our many service networks into a single unified intelligent network, and simplify our operating model by integrating the OLT and subscriber management system.”

“We also need to drastically shorten the time it takes to deploy new services,” added Lee Hicks, vice-president of technology at Verizon. “The best way to achieve these goals is through leveraging breakthrough technologies like NG-PON2 and the automation of manual functions across the network. Innovative partners like Calix are enabling us to leap frog the competition and consolidate multiple network elements into one platform and automate many of our most critical network functions. We are excited to now begin this transformation, starting in Tampa, Florida and expanding into other markets.”

With the inclusion of the industry’s first compliant NG-PON2 optics, the AXOS E9-2 Intelligent Edge System now delivers on the promise of software defined, converged networks. By consolidating the subscriber management, aggregation, and optical line terminal (OLT) functions into a single point in the network that is closer to the subscriber, Verizon will realize significant operations expense reductions with fewer network elements while dramatically improving their ability to automate the network. 

“Calix has pursued the vision of a unified access network for a decade, and through the AXOS software platform the vision is now a reality,” said Carl Russo, president and CEO of Calix. “AXOS allows a service provider to deliver all services on a single, elastic, converged access network that is always on.  AXOS provides the flexibility to move intelligence deep into the access network, close to the subscriber where it makes architectural and financial sense. Quite simply, no other offering in the industry can match this value proposition. Over the last decade, we have made a significant investment in software development and built the world’s only Software Defined Access network, while Verizon has pioneered fiber everywhere. Culturally, our teams are a perfect match, and we are very excited to partner with Verizon as AXOS-enabled NG-PON2 enters production and reshapes how service providers architect their networks forever.”

dave askOn Oct 1, Verizon turned on the first $20B 5G mmWave network. It will soon offer a gigabit or close to 30M homes. Thousands of sites are live in Korea; AT&T is going live with mobile, even lacking phones. The hype is unreal. Time for reporting closer to the truth.

The estimates you hear about 5G costs are wildly exaggerated. Verizon is building the most advanced wireless network while reducing capex. Deutsche Telekom and Orange/France Telecom also confirm they won't raise capex.

Massive MIMO in either 4G or "5G" can increase capacity 4X to 7X, including putting 2.3 GHz to 4.2 GHz to use. Carrier Aggregation, 256 QAM, and other tools double and triple that. Verizon sees cost/bit dropping 40% per year.

Cisco & others see traffic growth slowing to 30%/year or less.  I infer overcapacity almost everywhere.  

Believe it or not, 80% of 5G (mid-band) for several years will be slower than good 4G, which is more developed.

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5G Why Verizon thinks differently and what to do about it is a new report I wrote for STL Partners and their clients.

STL Partners, a British consulting outfit I respect, commissioned me to ask why. That report is now out. If you're a client, download it here. If not, and corporate priced research is interesting to you, ask me to introduce you to one of the principals.

It was fascinating work because the answers aren't obvious. Lowell McAdam's company is spending $20B to cover 30M+ homes in the first stage. The progress in low & mid-band, both "4G" and "5G," has been remarkable. In most territories, millimeter wave will not be necessary to meet expected demand.

McAdam sees a little further. mmWave has 3-4X the capacity of low and mid-band. He sees an enormous marketing advantage: unlimited services, even less congestion, reputation as the best network. Verizon testing found mmWave rate/reach was twice what had been estimated. All prior cost estimates need revision.

My take: even if mmWave doesn't fit in your current budget, telcos should expand trials and training to be ready as things change. The new cost estimates may be low enough to change your mind.