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Posted by Stephen Hardy

As we reported yesterday, Tellabs has decided to walk away from Verizon's GPON program. As the story indicates, the company isn't providing many details about its thinking, other than "we did not find the deal economical."

However, I have to give Tellabs credit for having the sense to walk away from a high-profile program when the numbers just didn't add up. Yeah, sticking around would mean the company could still say it was a part of the country's biggest FTTH deployment. But being the #3 supplier for a GPON rollout that's still in its nascent stages couldn't have offered much hope of return on R&D; investment. The situation reminds me of those stories you hear about titled families in Europe living almost like paupers in the ancestral castle; at some point, the sacrifices necessary to keep up appearances become irrational.

In an industry that is known for wrapping products in dollars just to keep them moving out the door, Tellabs' ability to say, "Enough!" provides an example that others ought to ponder.

Of course, the smartest move is to avoid getting involved in programs like this in the first place. But, hey, one step at a time.

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Blogger Juan David said...
I agree with your comment. One thing to add: the centralization on one company was avoiding the international market, which could be their logical next step. See how the stocks raised after the news.
Thursday, April 3, 2008 5:14:00 PM EDT  

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Posted by Stephen Hardy

While competitors such as PMC-Sierra, BroadLight, and Conexant Systems have released chips designed to support the development of hybrid GPON ONT/residential gateway platforms (see announcements here, here, and there), iamba Networks CEO Moshe Nattiv recently told me he isn't sure what all the fuss is about, at least in the short term.

iamba develops and markets a wide range of PON products, from chips and software to ONTs.

The regulations and a requirement for network demarcation points their technicians can access easily will continue to drive Verizon, AT&T;, and most other U.S. carriers to have the ONT on the outside of the home and the gateway inside, he believes. And while others have suggested France Telecom might have interest in a hybrid platform, Nattiv expects that unbundling requirements imposed by French regulatory authorities will lead to configurations in which a single ONT can be shared by multiple service providers -- each of whom will want to use their own gateway.

MDU deployments will require separate ONTs and gateways as well, he says.

Nattiv was quick to add that this viewpoint isn't meant to imply that iamba Networks doesn't have a chip for such hybrid platforms on the roadmap. It's just that he doesn't see any reason to rush it to market.

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Night night FlexLight?

December 18, 2007

Posted by Stephen Hardy reported on December 6 that GPON pioneer FlexLight Networks has filed for bankruptcy. (See the story here.) Haaretz's Guy Griml quotes an unidentified FlexLight executive as suggesting the company came out with a product too early. However, the executive also blamed a lack of marketing and development focus.

"At some point it became apparent that FlexLight would be sold or closed down. The investors were impatient, and the big players, Alcatel, Siemens, and Telrad, released similar GPON products," Griml quotes the executive as saying. "As far as I'm concerned, this company is a huge miss."

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The Lightwave editorial staff uses The Lightwave Blog to share their thoughts on optical communications and whatever else might be the current topic of conversation from cubicle to cubicle. Feel free to add your own opinions.

Stephen Hardy is editorial director and associate publisher of Lightwave, which makes him responsible for the editorial aspects of the Lightwave franchise. A technology journalist since 1982, he once had his job duties described as "gets paid to tick off advertisers ".

Meghan Fuller is senior editor of Lightwave. She has degrees from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA, and the University of Delaware and is a card-carrying member of Red Sox Nation.