The world of telecommunications is rapidly changing. The amount of information we are consuming on both personal and business levels is increasing and forcing the telecommunication companies to innovate, create, and deploy sustainable equipment allowing growth and ease of use.

As higher levels of broadband are needed, the transition is leaving many service providers looking for a company that can offer an “all in one” answer to streamlining their offerings.

Zhone Technologies specializes in multi cell service platforms selling to the service provider community globally. The company which pioneered the known as Broadband Loop Carriers (BLC’s) has just recently turned 10 years old.

In those years they’ve seen the landscape for telecommunications change from the world of copper to the introduction and adoption of fiber. Most importantly though, they’ve always looked to the access market as an area where they need to focus their services in providing technology for all options available in market place. ADSL, BDSL, ESM, GPON, and active Ethernet.

Growing revenues while maintain customers is what service providers look to do.

In the Zhone

Zhone prides itself in providing excellent customer service, but they also look at helping the service providers they work with provide the best experience possible. Their product is unique in the market, and one that stands the test of scalability and transition, as people move from copper to fiber.

Zhone produces a platform where providers can service all technologies on same platform, unlike having to service multiple devices.

“We’re also known to have the smallest most dense engineering boxes so service providers can get the most out of serving the most number of customers,” says Gerardo Lara, Director of Marketing at Zhone in an interview with

The two factors that set Zhone apart from their competitors is their main drive to focus on two things for their customers, longevity, and cost savings.

The high point is the engineering strategy that is a focal point for all technologies. Unlike others in the business offering copper services, the need for bandwidth is going up and fiber is a necessity. So when a company goes out to buy a multi platform box to service copper connections but grow into fiber, they don’t have to change their equipment entirely, they just remove the copper services. Transitions are easy and seamless. This ensures the longevity of the box since it’s scalable and will grow with the end users as their company grows.

Having a dense platform is another win for Zhone. If you look at their latest platform, the MXK, if you were to do all GPON it’s possible to service up to 9,000 customers at once, off one platform. When you compare that to other comparable solutions it’s not as dense and companies have to buy more boxes, more cards, and overall becomes a expensive option. By reducing these costs, and having them only depend on one box, you’ve essentially saved them a lot of money.

Copper to Fiber

When asked when a company changes over from copper to fiber offerings, Gerardo says, “it’s not so much company to company where the decisions are made as much as it is country to country. In certain countries like the Middle East, they are going all fiber and skipping copper all together. In the US, there is a lot of mix use depending on the company and where they are located.”

The return on the investment for fiber is what scares most service providers, because you have to dig and put down fiber which is the biggest cost associated with these services. New neighborhoods are prone to get fiber before anywhere else only because there is digging being done already, so copper become obsolete. If they build it, will customers buy it, is a key question that is being asked by service providers. The natural return on investment comes out to 3-5 years, but most would like to see that number reduce.

Some markets like Japan and South Korea are exceptions to the rule, the return is more immediate because of how information is consumed by the population.

Verizon is the most aggressive in fiber offerings, in the U.S.

At the Ethernet Expo 2009 in New York, Zhone had the honour of being on the panel for “Think Tank – Carrier Ethernet Network & Service Management Strategies."

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