Calix Launches Ethernet Platform

  • Active Ethernet
  • Calix
  • FTTH
  • GPON
ORLANDO, FL - Broadband access vendor Calix introduced a new FTTH access platform, the E7, that is entirely Ethernet based and modular. Unlike Calix's flagship C7, a multiprotocol platform that enables a gradual, evolutionary approach to an all-IP/Ethernet network, the E7 allows providers to reach that same endpoint with a single giant step.

"The ultimate goal is to collapse everything on one unified access network - residential, business, wireless backhaul, CATV," says Calix marketing director Geoff Burke. "Every separate network increases operational, equipment and maintenance expenses, and makes everything much more complex." The E7, he says, is designed to support this unified access network.

Burke says the E7 is especially suitable for major network upgrades. He says operators are looking at obsolete sections of networks that require significant repair as opportunities to place new infrastructure, like fiber, and put in equipment, such as the E7, that will support the network "end state." If necessary, they can hand off traffic temporarily to equipment that can translate to other protocols - for example, they can use the Calix C7 platform as a gateway for traditional voice services.

He adds, "We're seeing our traditional service providers finding aspects of their networks that are primed and ready for transformation, and doing that proactively. A whole slew of others, increasingly the cooperatives, can move nimbly and do full network upgrades rapidly, in a phased manner."

Support for a Pay-as-You-Grow Strategy
With a 100 Gbps backplane and a one-rack unit (RU), two-slot chassis, the E7 supports any mix of GPON, point-to-point GigE or active Ethernet, and 10 GigE transport for business and residential services. Service providers can combine multiple E7 platforms as a single, manageable network element.


The modularity of the E7 is intended to address the rapid and unpredictable growth of Internet traffic (currently 60 percent annually) based on the demand for video. As subscriber penetration increases, E7 chassis can be added incrementally. Each platform provides additional GPON, active Ethernet and 10 GigE ports, but the whole stack can be managed as a single network element with one IP address and a single configuration database. Providers can add bandwidth cost-effectively while maintaining operational efficiency across the extensible modular chassis.

"As one of the first large-scale switched digital video deployments in the country, we know what it takes to deliver and keep pace with the accelerating demands of advanced video services," says Joe Corbin, vice president of operations at Horizon Telcom in Chillicothe, Ohio. "The E7 allows us to immediately address emerging access needs and to simplify and reduce our cost of operations. Where existing fiber is available, we can install an E7 and install advanced video and broadband services to multiple customers, all on the same day. Calix has become a partner which Horizon can rely on to deliver solutions to keep us ahead of our competition."


The E7 platform can be deployed in the central office, remote terminal or node, in the basement of a building or cellular tower hut, as a retrofit in an existing cabinet, or in a network with other Calix platforms. It uses a standards-based Ethernet kernel called Ethernet eXtensible Architecture (EXA), which allows it to be easily provisioned, facilitating fast installation and turn-up. The combination of the EXA Powered E7 and the Calix Management System allows cross-network and cross-platform service provisioning and a single management view of the whole network.

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