January 16, 2008
IPTV, VoIP Are Game Changing Technologies
By Rich Tehrani, President and Editor-in-Chief
Occam Networks' broadband access solutions are designed to empower service providers to offer profitable new voice, data and video services over copper and fiber. Over 1.6 million BLC 6000 ports are currently deployed at over 260 service providers in North America and the Caribbean.
With more than 10 years experience in last mile access technologies, Juan Vela (News
) is responsible for development of new product and market strategies for Occam. I had the opportunity to ask Vela several questions about the state of the market and what trends are driving IP
RT: What trends are you noticing in the communications market?
The communications market is undergoing a variety of technical and business changes. On the technology front, Ethernet is clearly becoming the transport of choice for all services — including Voice and especially for IPTV
. As applications continue to evolve, carriers of all types are turning to FTTx architectures for delivery of bandwidth intensive services to subscribers that are becoming accustomed to on-demand and interactive viewing habits.
RT: Did 2007 finish the way your company expected?
Overall, yes. There were a variety of industry changes that we expected including equipment supplier consolidation, access infrastructure migration and technology maturity. While Occam has enabled innovative carrier deployment of IPTV (News
), 2007 became the year IPTV gained mainstream acceptance. Carriers began investing heavily in FTTx networks. A number of equipment suppliers either merged or were acquired — including Occam's acquisition of innovative GPON supplier Terawave.
RT: Is 2008 going to be a better year than 2007?
JV: Yes. Occam Networks expects 2008 to be a year of innovation in the carrier community. Competitive pressure coupled with consumer demand for innovative services, carriers will be faced with a challenge to create and offer innovative services that leverage the technology options now available in the access equipment market. This environment will change the way carriers think of access networks with a bigger emphasis placed on equipment that enables the transition towards bandwidth intensive, on-demand services.
RT: What technologies have altered the market the most?
Clearly IPTV and VoIP
have changed the telecommunications market like no other technologies before. Never before have new services impacted so many parts of a service provider network — including CPE, Access, Transport and Service Management. Combined with the impacts to Service Provider revenue streams, customer retention and network evolution, it's easy to see how IPTV and VoIP are in every carrier executive's list of 'must haves'.
RT: How will Apple, Google and Microsoft (News - Alert) each change the telecom space?
JV: Apple has already changed the way wireless carriers package Voice, text and Internet services for everyday consumers. The iPhone was an instant phenomenon that impacts more than what services are offered or how many minutes, text messages or kilobytes are consumed every month — it also places a bigger emphasis on multimedia than Voice. Before the iPhone, mobile carriers sold users Voice handsets with multi-media capabilities. The iPhone reversed the expectations as a multimedia device with Voice capabilities.
Google's effect in the telecom space remains to be seen. The Android (News
) OS will eliminate the dependence mobile operators force on users between handsets and mobile networks. This is obviously a big win for consumers. What remains to be seen is how big this effect will be as well as what Google plans to do with 700Mhz spectrum it has committed to bid on.
RT: What are the brightest spots in your business going forward?
JV: Since Occam Networks is focused on last mile access networks, we expect continued momentum for FTTx infrastructures. Combined with IPTV acceptance, we expect a bright future for carriers that take initiatives to meet consumer demand for IP-based service portfolios that enable service revenue growth while overcoming competitive challenges.
RT: What will conferees learn from your ITEXPO conference session this month?
Occam plans on explaining best practices with regards to IPTV service deployment including operational tools that will reduce the TCO
of last mile access networks. End to end service management is critically important in converged service networks.
RT: Who should attend?
JV: Network planners, service provider managers and industry analysts.
RT: What unique perspectives will you offer?
JV: Occam will provide real world accounts from innovative carriers that leverage equipment from Occam Networks. Our best practices are built from revenue generating network deployments.
RT: What is the most exciting market change we can expect in communications in technology in 2008 and beyond?
Ethernet will be the ubiquitous transport technology of choice eventually surpassing TDM
technologies including SONET.
RT: Please make one surprising prediction for 2008.
) will abandon current FTTC plans and evolve towards FTTH infrastructure.