JUNE 16, 2009 By Stephen Hardy -- Realizing that the transition from copper to optical access networks would require more horsepower than its current MALC platform would provide, Zhone Technologies Inc. (search Lightwave for Zhone) has added the MXK intelligent terabit access concentrator line the company's family of carrier-class multi-service access platforms (MSAPs). The system is architected to provide approximately half a terabit of switching capacity, scalable to a full terabit.
Steven Glapa, vice president, product management and marketing at Zhone, says the platform comes in three configurations:
- the 8RU MXK 819 (for 19-inch racks) and the MXK 823 (for 23-inch racks), which offer 14 line cards and 18 line cards, respectively
- the 3RUx19-inch MXK 319, which supports seven line cards.
Glapa says the company will offer client-side copper interfaces for each later this year. However, the main applications for the new platforms will be found in optical access networks, he asserts. The MXK will support both GPON and Active Ethernet architectures; at full configuration, its 400-Gbps backplane will accommodate 3,600 GPON 100-Mbps subscribers or 360 Active Ethernet 1-Gbps subscribers per chassis. GPON line cards are available in four- and eight-port configurations, while the Active Etherent cards will support 20 ports.
Glapa says the platform will support future 10G PON architectures as well.
In addition to its large capacity, the product also differentiates itself with Zhone's Smart OMCI GPON ONT management, part of the Zhone Management System, Glapa believes. Zhone's approach offers true OMCI interoperability, he asserts, thus enabling rapid ONT and service expansion.
The MXK platforms are available now. In fact, Zhone is already touting a range of customers around the world:
Latin America: Copaco in Paraguay, Telefonica del Sur in Chile, and "a large service provider in Mexico"
Europe: Edge Telecom of the UK as well as LOS Bynett and "another utility service provider" in Norway
Middle East: A nationwide-scale deployment of GPON and Active Ethernet with "a leading regional operator"
United States: Hickory Telephone in Pennsylvania, Ketchikan Public Utilities in Alaska, Stratford Mutual Telephone Co. in Iowa, and Yadkin Valley Telephone Membership in North Carolina.
Glapa says the MXK will become Zhone's primary platform for optical access networks. However, he envisions that the incumbent MALC platform may still find use for its current GPON capabilities, primarily in copper applications where the carrier wishes to either experiment with optical technology or needs to accommodate a specific service request from a high-value customer.
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