Verizon close to GPON selection: report

Verizon is expected to name vendors for its Gigabit passive optical network deployment imminently, according to a research note from UBS Warburg.

The firm expects Verizon to name Alcatel, Motorola and Tellabs as its GPON vendors within two to three weeks. UBS Warburg bases its expectations on "discussion with industry contacts."

GPON will enable Verizon to deliver a fourfold increase in fiber-based bandwidth to homes and small businesses as part of its FiOS Internet access and video service offering. Verizon currently employs broadband PON and its vendors are Tellabs and Motorola.

FiOS currently offers speeds from 5Mbps to 50Mbps.

UBS Warburg expects Alcatel to be the first GPON vendor to go into Verizon field trials. The firm expects all three vendors to price their gear aggressively - below current BPON pricing even though it offers four times the bandwidth.

Technical competition will also be aggressive, UBS Warburg notes, as the firm expects that only two vendors will remain as long-term suppliers over time.

The selection would be a "major win" for Alcatel, the firm says, in that Alcatel was not a BPON supplier to Verizon. Tellabs, which owns the lion's share of Verizon's BPON deployment, will likely see a loss in share from the transition to GPON, UBS Warburg says.

Verizon would not confirm this information. In June, the carrier named Actiontec Electronics as the supplier of the FiOS 100Mbps broadband home router.

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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