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The Lightwave Blog
She's getting married in the morning
October 26, 2007
Posted by Stephen Hardy
Tomorrow will be a sad day for single men everywhere. That's because Meghan Fuller is getting married. (Yes, that's right -- you blew your chance.)
John Hanna is the lucky guy. (No, not that one.) He's an actuary. Believe it or not, they got to know each other while playing in a kickball league.
The date of the wedding, October 27, was not selected at random. As every card-carrying member of Red Sox Nation knows (as well as the non-card carrying members who roll their eyes at yet another ploy to squeeze money out of the fan base), October 27 is the date the Sawx beat the Cardinals to win the 2004 World Series. Meghan planned a morning wedding to avoid conflict with Game 3 of this year's Series, just in case.
So with the Sox in the Series, Meghan was quite concerned Wednesday when the weather looked threatening for Game 1 in Boston. If they had to postpone the first game, would they move all the games back? I told her that would mean there wouldn't be a game on her wedding day, which would pose one less distraction for all concerned.
"But what would I do after the wedding?" she asked.
No, I'm not making that up.
And, yes, I believe John knows what he's getting himself into.
So raise a glass or a coffee mug or whatever to Meghan and John (and, of course, to the Red Sox), and feel free to post your best wishes in the comment area below. Also, feel free to vote on whether I should follow through on my threat to post a Bill Simmons-style running diary of tomorrow's festivities.
Inside the numbers
October 23, 2007
Posted by Stephen Hardy
If you subscribe to the excellent newsletter from broadbandtrends.com or are a regular visitor to Telephony's website, you're probably aware of the controversy surrounding the most recent North American FTTH subscriber numbers the North American FTTH Council released early this month at its conference in Orlando.
For those new to the story, broadandtrends.com Principal Analyst Teresa Mastrangelo broke with the usual market research rules of decorum by calling the 21.4 million FTTH subscriber number derived by RVA LLC "too aggressive" and suggesting that RVA and/or its council client "continue to be evasive as to the actual data that makes up these numbers." (The statements were contained in broadbandtrends.com's October 18 newsletter, which you can find here.)
As I point out in my editorial for the upcoming November issue of Lightwave, the implication that something slippery is going on is incendiary because of RVA's relationship with the North American arm of the FTTH Council, which uses the company as its primary source of market data. The council has repeatedly released studies conducted by RVA as if they were official FTTH Council data; as you'll notice, Mastrangelo attributed to the council a figure that she printed in her newsletter that I would guess RVA created.
Clearly the potential controversy surrounding these market figures doesn't do the FTTH Council any good, since it implies that the council is promoting data that over-hypes the FTTH market. Certainly the last thing the optical communications space needs is another round of market hyperbole -- and the council doesn't need to have its credibility questioned, particularly as it tries to lobby Congress for more fiber-friendly policies.
Mastrangelo caps her commentary by challenging the council and RVA to "show me the data" that backs up the 2.14 million number. And, lo and behold, Mike Render, the "R" in "RVA," has stepped up to the task. In a letter to Telephony (see it here), Render outlines how he derived his figures and why his numbers might not match those collected by Mastrangelo and others.
I applaud Render for speaking up -- not only was his credibility called into question, but so was that of his client, the FTTH Council. One can debate Render's assumptions, but the spotlight is now squarely on him and off the council.
The FTTH Council is lucky Render stepped up. This episode points to an important aspect of using market research to advance your aims: Regardless of where research numbers come from, once data appears in public next to your name, those numbers are yours. Know where those numbers came from and how they were derived, and be prepared to discuss these points.
Market research is opinion -- and everyone has a different opinion.
Thoughts on 40/100G, posted by the bride-to-be
October 18, 2007
Posted by Meghan Fuller
In his last post, Stephen talked about the mounting evidence to suggest that the 40G market is real and viable. I just finished an article about tunable optical dispersion compensation (TODC) for our November issue, and if ever there was a market that would reflect an upsurge of activity in 40G deployment, it's the TODC market. By all accounts, the market is more active today than it was just six months ago, and the vendors say they are readying, if not already shipping, their 40G devices.
Guy Martin, vice president of technology and business development at Teraxion, told me that of the 2,000 TODC units Teraxion has shipped this year, 80% are being used for 40G applications.
Civcom, meanwhile, has a single-channel 40G TODC device in the final stages of development. Yair Itzhar, Civcom's vice president of sales and marketing told me that the product has already been shipped to Tier 1 and Tier 2 customers for evaluation.
ANDevices has a 40G TODC based on PLC technology, but Wenhua Lin, vice president of technology and new product development, noted that her company's customers are now making more stringent demands in terms of the tuning range. Two years ago, 200-300 psec/nm would have been sufficient, but today they are looking for something closer to 400 psec/nm and higher. Lin confirmed that ANDevices is now working on an AWG-based device with a wider pass band and dispersion window.
From my perspective, this round of interviews yielded far more concrete answers to questions about 40G than a series of interviews on the same topic elicited back in March (See TODC vendors ready inline and integrated devices from our April issue), lending credence to Stephen's assertion that there will be a market for 40G.
Incidentally, I also asked the TODC vendors about the market for 100G and was surprised to hear Giovanni Barbarossa, CTO of Avanex, admit that he does not see much activity in this realm. That's news to me, as I feel like four out of every five phone calls I field has something to do with 100-GbE. But as Barbarossa pointed out, there's a big difference between 100G speeds and 100G capacity. If, as most people believe, the first generation of 100-GbE uses a parallel architecture, then the highest bit rate would be either 10-, 20-, 40-, or possibly 50-Gbits/sec, multiplexed for an aggregate of 100 GbE. And, as Barbarossa reminded me, Chromatic Dispersion becomes more problematic as bit rates scale, not capacity.
While that's probably an obvious distinction, I've been a little slow on the uptake lately. A few too many long nights spent watching the Red Sox come up with new and innovative ways to lose to the Indians? Perhaps. Or maybe--just maybe--I might be a little preoccupied because I'M GETTING MARRIED IN NINE DAYS.
Speaking of which, Stephen has threatened to bring his laptop to the wedding to provide Lightwave readers with a running commentary on the festivities. He may or may not have been kidding, so stay tuned!
There is a market for 40G -- really
October 16, 2007
Posted by Stephen Hardy
In light of today's announcement regarding the partnership between JDSU and Mintera, it's clear JDSU believes the 40G market is worth pursuing. This belief comes from the company's insight into the RFPs their system house customers are fielding, according to Director of Product Marketing Craig Iwata.
"JDSU is involved in pretty much every transport RFP that's out there. And they're all coming through with requirements for 40-gig," he told me.
While there's a difference between requiring 40G capability and actually fielding it, Iwata also told me that the market research community is backing this viewpoint as well. As part of the presentation he and Mintera's Niall Robinson delivered to me last week, Iwata said that when you look at the 40G line-side interface forecasts from CIR, Infonetics, and Ovum-RHK, the average unit CAGR for 2008 through 2011 is 100%, with their respective hockey sticks all taking a distinctly upward turn beginning in 2009.
Neither Ovum-RHK nor Infonetics have much on the public parts of their websites covering their 40G forecasts. You can find a little bit about CIR's view here and here.
As usual, the big issue will be cost, Daryl Innis of Ovum-RHK told me. "There's still a serious price problem. The cost of a 40-gig line card is something like five to six times the cost of a 10-gig line card. Until that cost comes down, that's going to limit the growth rate of 40-gig," he said.
I think there's mounting evidence that there will indeed be a market for 40G technology, particularly in the long haul and ultra long haul. (Which probably translates into a "good" but not "great" market.) Certainly 100G will eventually overtake 40G in terms of popularity, but that's going to be a fairly long time coming. The standards have to be put in place first -- and if 40G technology currently is 5X to 6X your average 10G system, one can only imaging the price differentials of the first and even second generations of 100G platforms.
The Lightwave Blog: True QAM
October 10, 2007
Posted by Stephen Hardy
Yes, at long last, the Lightwave editors step into the 21st Century with the launch of The Lightwave Blog. Senior Editor Meghan Fuller and I plan to share this space, which we'll use as a forum to offer opinions, report on events, comment on trends, pass judgment on rumors, and maybe show a few sides of ourselves that don't come through in print.
This being the Lightwave site, you can expect a lot of what we'll write about will pertain to optical communications. We'll likely report on the visits of company executives to the office, our experiences at trade shows, and maybe even our reaction to relevant television commercials, like the Verizon one referenced in this post's title. (Do they run the "20-dB hot" commercial with the Verizon technician and that scary-looking kid everywhere in the U.S., or just the Northeast?)
But we also want to give you insight into what goes on behind the scenes here at the Lightwave offices. That means bringing you into some of the conversations that normally would never leave the cubicles here in our Nashua, NH, offices. So you can expect a few posts on truly important topics such as baseball (Red Sox fans to George Steinbrenner: Fire Joe Torre? Go ahead, make our day), pop culture, and the mystical properties of chocolate.
Naturally, we're hoping to make this blog as interactive as possible, so we welcome your comments, including a heads up on any topics you'd like to see treated or any questions you'd like answered.
Meghan and I think this blog is going to be a lot of fun. We hope you'll bookmark this page and check us out whenever you have a few minutes.
THE LIGHTWAVE WEBSITE AUTHORS ARE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONTENT AND ACCURACY OF THEIR BLOGS, INCLUDING ANY OPINIONS THEY EXPRESS, AND PENNWELL IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR AND HEREBY DISCLAIMS ANY AND ALL LIABILITY FOR THE CONTENT, ITS ACCURACY, AND OPINIONS THAT MAY BE CONTAINED HEREIN. THE CONTENT ON THE LIGHTWAVE WEBSITE MAY BE DATED AND PENNWELL IS UNDER NO OBLIGATION TO PROVIDE UPDATES TO THE INFORMATION INCLUDED HEREIN.
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