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.