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Updates on RFOG in ’09 (Don’t Go Glassy-Eyed)

Motorola ONU190 RFOG

Despite certain lagging indicators in the cable industry, RFOG seems likely to get a boost in 2009 as operators spend money building out their commercial services offerings. The RF-over-Glass technology falls in the sweet spot between “cost-effective” (cheap now) and “revenue generating” (FTTP enables future higher-tier services), and is getting more attention of late. While eavesdropping (with permission) on a phone conversation this morning, I heard that incoming calls from customers asking about RFOG are on the upswing – not from operators looking to do greenfield residential buildouts (originally assumed to be the prime target), but from operators going after a ripe commercial services market. According to one insider, RFOG looks like it might hit its stride in the next six months.

Meanwhile, there is some understandable confusion in the market about how to get the best RFOG solution. The old “keep it simple” adage applies here. Motorola’s RFOG technology sticks close to the developing SCTE standard and doesn’t force customers to purchase proprietary hardware. The approach: keep DOCSIS signals in their native format, avoid costly overprocessing, and make the solution flexible to let operators keep their options open for the future.

6 Responses

  1. So then RFOG is being looked at for new office buildings, etc. where right now other companies like SureWest and Qwest are pre-wiring traditional fiber?

  2. Matt- First, the fiber is the same, whether it’s being used for optical networking or not. Second, cable has a potential opportunity to offer cheaper broadband service to business with RFOG, while still maintaining the option to upgrade to a passive optical network. Think of it this way. It’s better to put fiber in the ground now than more coaxial cable, even if an economic analysis doesn’t yet justify a PON solution.

  3. Well right it’s the same cabling, I guess I was trying to clarify who’s doing the fiber laying. Is it that MSOs are now trying to lay fiber to office complexes, etc. where it typically only was smaller FTTP style companies before?

  4. Yes, MSOs are looking to lay fiber to office complexes, etc., where both smaller FTTP companies *and* larger (non-FTTP-installing) telcos have dominated.

  5. […] a special holiday bonus, Floyd goes on to discuss RFOG in this two-minute video as well. Enjoy, and have a Happy […]

  6. […] next week with sessions covering everything from broadband stimulus proposals, to MDU delivery, to RFOG. I won’t be making the Houston trip, but Motorola will certainly be there. In fact, the first […]

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