SCTE Cable-Tec Reporter's Notebook, Day 2

By Stephen Hardy

10/29 12:30 PM: The snow is still coming down...

In a workshop session this morning, Mark Pelligri, manager, transport networks, at Cox, provided an overview of Lambda Zone, a proposed method of accommodating multiple business services over the same fiber-based collection ring. Lambda Zone would see passive OADM filters placed on the collection ring, from which optical access rings would deliver services to customers. Cox hopes to trial the technique in the first quarter of next year. More details to come.

ZTE USA through its hat in the DOCSIS PON ring this morning. The ZXA10 DOCSIS Mediation Server enables the company's existing EPON OLT to integrate with an MSOs DOCSIS management structure.

Oplink is at SCTE Cable-Tec for the first time, hoping to raise its profile among manufacturers and their customers in the MSO market. Among other things, the company is showing off a liquid-crystal-based 1x2 WSS, pluggable VOAs in SFP format, a wide range of XFP and SFP+ modules for 10-Gbps applications, as well as SFP BiDis and other modules for EPON applications. Oplink is also showing off WDM subsystems for prospective ODM/OEM customers.

Alcatel-Lucent is showing off routers, but not its GPON gear. GPON and MSOs are a bad mix, a source at the booth told me.

4:35 PM: Cisco is showing off its D-PON technology in a corner of its booth. (See the video "Intro to DOCSIS PON" on our the Lightwave Channel's MSO Optics page for an introduction to Cisco's approach.) James Brannan, market manager, transport and access networks, told me that the company has changed its original plans for a standalone 3RU unit in the hub to a modular approach that sees transmitter and amplifier modules that fit into the Prisma II platform. Brannan said the corresponding ONT is a real differentiator; the "RFoG plus" capabilties include a proprietary FM scheme that gives the MSO the option of greater reach or more bandwidth. He says Cisco has customers for its D-PON technology in Europe and the U.S. (including Hawaii).

Auxora's President and CEO Xin Zhang says his company is seeing success in the MSO space thanks to extended-temperature-range WDM products, which can be deployed in the outside plant.

One of the good things about coming to shows is finding new (to me) companies. For example, Zycko is a Minnesota-based distributor of optical communications products. However, it has its own line of optical transceivers, branded as ProLabs. The line extends from 1 to 10 Gbps in the standard form factors. A source at the booth said that they think they can provide better quality control and customization when necessary through their own module line...Electroline is a Montreal-based company that's been in the RF business since the 1950s, but is now moving into the optical realm. The company recently was purchased by an investor group that includes Applied Optoelectronics. (The two companies bumped into each other when they used the same Chinese manufacturing facility.) The company's newest product is the very high density ELink Optical Transmission Platform, which can accommodate a wide range of optical services, including RFoG. The company has a companion RFoG micronode that can support PON overlay. Other items include a mini-node for MDU applications and a standalone transmitter unit....QAMnet also has a full fiber-optic line for MSOs. The line includes a variety of amplifiers and transmitters for HFC, FTTH, and RFoG applications. A lot of their work is custom, and their customers include several well-known government and academic research organizations.

Pacific Broadband Networks (PBN) is attempting to mimic its Asian success in optical platforms for MSOs around the world. CTO Peter Saglietti reports the company is active in HFC, RFoG, and FTTH, with the modules that fit within the OCMR optical communications mainframe the cornerstone of PBNs optical approach. The OCMR modules provide support for HFC, 2.5G EPON, and Active Ethernet. The company also offers space-saving RFoG OSP nodes as well as micronodes (it has an OEM relationship with Hitachi for the latter). Saglietti says the company has at least 10 million deployments of its platforms and asserts the company is the #1 supplier in China -- as well as the lead supplier to Telstra. Customers can also be found in Taiwan, Korea, Europe, and the U.S.


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