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March 21, 2006
By Paula Bernier
Motorola at TelecomNEXT this week truly is looking at what’s next. For this vendor, that means a discussion about how GPON technology can deliver the ultra-broadband, symmetrical connections customers are ready for; how broadband wireless fits into the IP video age; and new applications that can accompany IPTV on these broadband networks.
Floyd Wagoner, who manages marketing for Motorola’s IPTV operations, said GPON is more than just a pipe, it allows for a whole new business model. That’s because customers increasingly need not just super fast downstream connections, but also big upstream pipes to carry stuff like home video to their family and friends, he says. Motorola’s GPON solution, which is a blade in the company’s AXS2200 solution, will be available in May.
The company also is doing a proof-of-concept demo at the show in which high-def IP video is running over an unlicensed, broadband wireless link established by Motorola’s Canopy equipment. Motorola also is talking at the show about its WiMAX solution, which is not a Canopy solution but is based on some of the knowledge gained from the product line, Wagoner said.
But whatever the access technology, Wagoner noted there is a massive shift in consumer behavior in terms of a growing demand for big bandwidth. Service providers can take advantage of that demand, he said, by partnering with content providers to offer a higher grade customer experience for select users. For example, a telco might consider joining forces with Apple to offer more bandwidth to premium customers of the iTunes store. In this scenario, either the subscriber could pay for more bandwidth to download iTunes or Apple could subsidize that bandwidth bump in an effort to increase the customer’s spending during the store visit, Wagoner said.
That kind of ties in to a larger concept Wagoner and Steve Hersey, Motorola’s senior director of marketing for FTTP networks, have been promoting, called “turbo button.” In this scenario, a customer that typically subscribers to 2mbps of bandwidth could opt to increase their bandwidth to 5mbps, for example, for a temporary period of time, said Hersey, adding that today’s networks already are engineered with dynamic bandwidth allocation. There’s always a business model that can be built around more bandwidth,” Hersey said.
Indeed. Wagoner continued that 35-36mbps is now “the baseline” of bandwidth required into the new digital home. He noted that HDTV is beyond the early adoption phase, and that in the future some homes will even have two HD-capable TVs.
Hersey added that some carriers believe DSL and 20mbps is enough, but he said such business models are “at risk” given other service providers will offer more bandwidth, which will enable them to offer more and better service options. “I think it’s a very dangerous game,” he said, adding that Motorola’s GPON has tested out to deliver more than 900mbps to the end user. GPON, he said, gives carriers the headroom they need to scale their networks.
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