From the time it introduced its fiber-to-the-node FTTN upgrade (under its previous incarnation as SBC), it was forthright about its intent to deploy fiber to the premise (FTTP) in greenfield markets. But every time an AT&T greenfield FTTP installation is discovered, at least one market “expert” can be depended upon to chime in with the opinion that the deployment is indication that AT&T is throwing in the towel on FTTN.
It happened when AT&T said it would build an FTTP network to deliver U-verse to a planned community in the Houston area called Bridgeland, and it happened when the company said it would do FTTP in Richardson, Tex., and it happened when AT&T said it would run FTTP in a community called Kiley Ranch in Sparks, Nev.
So maybe that’s why AT&T hasn’t said anything about an FTTP installation in Ft. Worth, Tex, hard on the border of Keller, Tex., which was where, perhaps coincidentally, Verizon had its testbed for its FiOS FTTP service.
Santa Barbara, Calif., is also said to be looking for someone to install an FTTP network, and AT&T is said to be interested in that as well.
brand spanking new town hall.
It’s pretty well established that FTTP in greenfields is the best way to go for just about any service provider. The fact that AT&T is doing any FTTP at all is no reason to doubt the company’s commitment to FTTN.
The reason to doubt the company’s commitment to FTTN is that U-verse FTTN is getting more expensive, not less.
The company recently told The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) it plans to spend as much as $1.4 billion more than anticipated on U-verse by 2008 – upping the total to as much as $6.5 billion. At the same time, AT&T cut the number of homes it expects to pass from 19 million to 18 million.
That automatically jacks up the per-home cost. AT&T’s cost/home still won’t be as much as what Verizon is paying for FiOS, but FiOS prices are at least coming down, not going up.
AT&T CEO Ed Whitacre retires on June 3. That’ll be a few months shy of AT&T’s mandatory retirement age of 65. Whitacre’s proven to be a very, very sharp executive, and if he had any intention of switching from FTTN to FTTP, he knew he couldn’t do it. Wall Street would crucify him for the flip-flop – even though Wall Street is sold on the value of FTTP.
But a new regime? A new regime would be obligated to correct the errors of the past. And though it’s unlikely the new management would be rewarded for doing so, they might at least not get punished. So it will be interesting to see what happens to AT&T’s U-verse plans after Whitacre is gone.
Brian Santo, IP Capsule Editor & CED Magazine Editor
German operator does IPTV with GoBack TV’s CMTS bypass BKG-Neuruppin, has deployed unicast and multicast IPTV services over its cable system in Brandenburg, Germany, using the GoBackTV CMTS bypass technology.
GoBack TV’s GigaQAM IP, in combination with up to eight GoBackTV GigaQAM 3000 edgeQAMs, delivers IPTV streams directly through DOCSIS cable modems, bypassing the CMTS core processor entirely.
BKG-Neuruppin is using off-the-shelf IP set top boxes connected to standard EuroDOCSIS 1.1 cable modems.
Celrun, Metalink unveiling IPTV STB Celrun Co., an IP STB vendor, and Metalink, a wireless/wireline broadband communications silicon solutions provider, are collaborating to launch a next-gen IPTV STB. Celrun’s new IP STB, powered by Metalink’s 802.11n WLANPlus chipset, will feature the delivery of HD video over wireless home networks. The WLANPlus chipset family supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz.
Optimum Lightpath launches voice over Metro Ethernet
Cablevision Systems’ Optimum Lightpath launched a carrier-class voice service delivered over Metro Ethernet, and claimed to be the first MSO to do so.
The company had been providing TDM-based services largely on its HFC network. Optimum Lightpath (OL) voice services are now entirely IP-based. The company is using Cisco’s Communications Manager and CallManager Express providing call processing for Internet Protocol (IP) phones.
Microsoft aims at corporate VoIP market Microsoft is on the cusp of commercializing its long-awaited VoIP offering. The software giant was joined at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) 2007, by nine manufacturers who were all introducing VoIP phone products that will hit the market today.
Microsoft is beginning a public beta program of its Office Communications Server 2007 and Microsoft Office Communicator 2007. Microsoft’s VoIP will have fewer phone features than similar offerings from Cisco and Avaya. On the other hand, Microsoft’s VoIP will integrate with its suite of Office tools, and have the potential to be less expensive to implement, based on the near-ubiquity/economies-of-scale principle.
The nine companies introducing products are: AsusTek Computer, GN, LG-Nortel, NEC, Plantronics, Polycom, Samsung, Tatung Co. and ViTELiX.
Wal-Mart stores stocking Skype hardware Wal-Mart is offering Skype hardware in the Internet and voice communications areas of 1,800 stores throughout the country. Wal-Mart shoppers have access to headsets, handsets and webcams designed to work with Skype, as well as the first pre-paid Skype cards. Skype’s software-based VoIP app is used by 196 million registered users to make free voice and video calls, and send instant messages, via the Internet.
Incognito helps Cybercable launch VoIP Mexican MSO Cybercable will use device provisioning products from Incognito Software http://www.incognito.com to launch Internet telephony services. Cybercable will use Incognito’s Broadband Command Center software, which supports high reliability, automated provisioning of PacketCable multimedia terminal adapters (MTAs) at customer sites, and rapid integration with Cybercable’s in-house billing system.
DSL port shipments up, CMTS market down
Worldwide DSLAM shipments grew in the first quarter, but CMTS shipments declined, according to Ovum-RHK.
DSLAM shipments were up 2 percent sequentially, and up 12 percent from the first quarter of 2006, which CMTS shipments were down 13 percent sequentially, and 10 percent compare to last year.
Alcatel-Lucent, which shipped 7.3 million DSL ports, remains the dominant vendor on a rolling 4-quarter basis, with 35 percent market share, followed by Huawei, ZTE, Ericsson, Siemens, and Fujitsu, Ovum-RHK reported.
In the CMTS market, Cisco remained the dominant vendor with 51 percent rolling 4Q market share followed by Arris (29 percent), Motorola (17 percent) and BigBand (3 percent). Arris increased market share by 3 points and Motorola edged up by 1 point.
Company:IBM Headquarters: Armonk, N.Y. CEO: Sam Palmisano URL:www.ibm.com
Claim To Fame: IBM has remade itself into a company that knows how to put complex systems from disparate vendors together – an integration specialist. IBM has identified IPTV as an integration challenge.
Recent News Of Note: IBM has been entering alliances with IPTV vendors all around the world. Some longstanding partnerships are with smaller companies such as Entone and Kasenna, but it recently entered deals with both Cisco and Allied Telesis. One of the first customers for the IBM-Cisco partnership is the Danish ISP, Dansk Bredband.