Bruce Lee's Hong Kong statueSoon, the cost to the telco for 10 gigabits will be little different than the cost of ten megabits.  1 gig service over fiber costs the carrier very little more than 10 or 100 megabits. Equipment going in today is almost all ready for a gig. There's rarely any savings using obsolete gear that tops out at lower speeds. PCCW's Hong Kong telco has now upped the ante, bringing a ten gig - presumably XGPON - to all 800,000 fiber customers. Trials have begun and they expect to cover nearly all 800K by the end of 2015. 

Hong Kong consumers are among the luckiest in the world. Despite wages often as high as the U.S., prices both for wired and wireless service are typically half what they are in the states. Pricing for the gig service isn't announced and will be determined by what the market requires. Even with the low revenue base, HKT is going fiber or vectored VDSL to nearly all the city while investing less than 10% of revenue. Their LTE is going to 300 megabits.

Hong Kong HKT's cost should be somewhere between $400 & $1,000 per home - probably closer to $400.

The city is almost all apartments. AT&T's CEO Randall Stephenson confirms fiber costs have come down significantly since Verizon spent $1,000+ per home. It's quite possible HKT is spending less than a year's revenue per home. 

Gigabit and ten gigabit service to homes is about pride and one-upmanship, not practical benefits today. That probably won't change for many years. Nearly nobody anywhere can explain why an ordinary home gains major benefits with more than 100 megabits. 100 megabits can carry 25 HD channels or 6 4K channels. Very few things are that demanding. Milo Medin of Google gave me the only likely mass benefit; their gig in Kansas City is so fast even music and video can be stored in the cloud. I've asked dozens, included Koreans also promising gig and ten gig networks. No one wants to be quoted but they all said it was about ego. 

Alcatel's bringing down the cost of upgradable 10 gig WDM PON

After 20 years and billions spent by Samsung and others, Wave Division Multiplexing PON is still too expensive to find a market. Alcatel's WDM PON can go 40 gigabits and probably 100 gigabits. To win customers, they are now offering a version with a single laser and "only" 10 gig speed. It can be field-upgraded to 40 gig. The natural market is 5G wireless backhaul.

   Alcatel is promising WDM will have "a similar initial cost." as 10G PON. Like most prices claims in telco sales, that's meaningless. There is no list price for network gear and every deal is negotiated, usually in confidence. Negotiate hard, Alcatel is suggesting, and they'll work with you on price. They seem to be finding success. Mathew Pitt-Bailey writes me, "What I can say is that we have 20 trials planned for of our TWDM solution (customers from all regions except CALA) and 3 of universal TWDM."

    I'd be happy with 100/100 and probably ecstatic well below a gig, even though Jennie does video and we move a lot of bits.

Julie Kunstler of Ovum, an analyst I respect, provided this summary of the different PONs:

WDM POM has the opportunity to become the access technology for supporting a wide range of subscribers and applications, leading to faster network monetization. . TWDM PON’s architecture is fundamentally different than that of GPON and XG-PON1. Its design enables the assignment of wavelengths to specific customers or applications. This design also provides an easy solution for sharing the fiber network either to meet LLU regulations or to support co-investment. The wavelength design also enables CSPs to add wavelengths as needed, providing a pay-as-you-grow platform. While GPON and XG-PON1 can support MBH, TWDM PON can provide more bandwidth, thereby supporting more MBH traffic. The assignment of wavelengths enables the support of enterprise services. In addition TWDM PON was designed to allow point-to-point overlays for the support of fronthaul. (In a white paper commissioned by Alcatel that is loaded with data


Fiber-rich HKT introduces 10G broadband service
HKT – Redefining Broadband          Building for Tomorrow, Today

HKT (SEHK: 6823) – HONG KONG, February 10, 2015 – HKT is redefining the meaning of leading-edge broadband connectivity service in Hong Kong with the introduction of 10G broadband service over our extensive fiber network for both residential and commercial customers.

Upon its commercial launch, all premises that are within HKT’s FTTH (fiber-to-the-home) coverage – currently comprising more than 80% of Hong Kong households and progressively expanding – will have the opportunity to enjoy this ultra-fast network speed. Our existing 504,000 FTTH customers may also upgrade to 10G service easily.

10G broadband is ideal for customers with a real need for speed such as for home office, online gaming, OTT movies, etc., as well as those who simply aspire for the great and better things in life. For instance, it would take only about 20 seconds* to download a typical HD feature movie with a file size of 25G using 10Gbps broadband. The same download might take 400 seconds* (6.7 minutes) if using 500Mbps service or more than 33 minutes* on a 100Mbps service.

The NETVIGATOR 10G PON (passive optical network) service will initially be provided to select customers in the pilot phase of introduction which will commence immediately. It will be made available broadly to customers in the general commercial launch targeted in the third quarter of this year.

Mr. Alex Arena, Group Managing Director of HKT, said, "In line with our "Building for Tomorrow, Today" promise, we are bringing this technological breakthrough to our customers as early as possible. We know that Hong Kong consumers demand the best and enjoy having world-leading services available quickly. As the first operator to introduce 10G service in Hong Kong, HKT also has the unique capability of offering this service to everyone under our FTTH footprint because of the investments that we have made in the past in building an extensive fiber-rich network to handle technological evolution. Because of our abundant fiber resources, incremental cost for the deployment of 10G service to meet customer demand is also well contained within our normal capital expenditure budget."

"Our data show that a considerable portion of our FTTH customers are using 500Mbps service or above, and we believe there is strong potential for customer upgrades," Mr. Arena added.

As the world embraces more and more digital technology, the pace of change increases. New consumer devices are becoming more bandwidth-hungry and continue to provide faster processing speeds. HKT has built a fixed broadband network to fully utilize the developments in technology and consumer devices. Together with its market-leading mobile broadband network which is now being dimensioned for LTE-A at 300Mbps, HKT offers an unparalleled broadband experience across both fixed and mobile networks – and progressively HKT is building these networks so that they can operate seamlessly as consumers lead their normal lives and move across HKT’s networks.

  • HKT – Redefining Broadband
  • Building for Tomorrow, Today

* Download speed is based on theoretical calculation. Actual speeds experienced by customers may be lower, depending on various extraneous factors.

About HKT

HKT (SEHK: 6823) is Hong Kong's premier telecommunications service provider. It meets the needs of the Hong Kong public and local and international businesses with a wide range of services including local telephony, local data and broadband, international telecommunications, mobile, and other telecommunications businesses such as customer premises equipment sales, outsourcing, consulting, and contact centers.

Together with the highly successful media business of its parent company, PCCW Limited, HKT offers innovative media content and services across the PCCW Group's unique quadruple-play platforms – fixed-line, broadband Internet access, TV and mobile.

For further information, please contact:

Stella Wong
Group Communications
Tel: +852 2888 2253
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Issued by HKT Limited.

Alcatel-Lucent’s Universal TWDM technology to accelerate deployment of superfast gigabit ultra-broadband access services


‘Pay-as-you-grow’ upgrade path for service providers preserves existing fiber investments while significantly reducing cost of deploying latest fixed-line ultra-broadband technology

Paris, France, February 11, 2015 - Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) is to introduce an enhancement to its TWDM-PON technology that will enable service providers to meet demand for gigabit ultra-broadband access services while significantly lowering the cost of doing so.


Operators are looking to upgrade fixed-line networks to meet demands for data-hungry enterprise cloud services, mobile backhaul for small cell deployments and consumer applications. TWDM-PON (Time and Wavelength Division Multiplexed Passive Optical Networks) is seen as an ideal solution thanks to its highly flexible, 40 gigabits-per-second (Gbps) capacity. However, the current cost of TWDM-PON means that it is better suited for premium gigabit services. For deployments not immediately requiring the full capacity, operators need a TWDM solution with a lower entry cost.


Alcatel-Lucent has solved this issue with ‘Universal TWDM’, an enhancement to its existing TWDM solution. By allowing different types of optics to be used, it enables operators to initially deploy 10 Gbps capacity and easily add more as demand grows, providing a smooth upgrade to full TWDM without the need to replace network components, evaluate new technology, or reconfigure operations and business support systems (OSS/BSS).


Federico Guillén, president of Alcatel-Lucent’s Fixed Access Business Line said: “The primary obstacle for deploying new ultra-broadband infrastructure and services is the business case. Universal TWDM is Alcatel-Lucent’s innovative solution to this challenge. We are enabling operators to build upon their existing fiber investments while bringing down the total cost of ownership of TWDM technology. This means they can immediately address new high-revenue opportunities for gigabit services while knowing that their investment is future-proof.”


Julie Kunstler, Principal Analyst, Intelligent Networks, with Ovum, said: “TWDM-PON is an excellent upgrade for broadband providers, supporting recent, strong demand for residential gigabit services and expanding business/enterprise services. Operators can quickly add capacity in their broadband access networks and completely bypass 10G PON. In Universal TWDM, Alcatel-Lucent has developed an ingenious solution to help operators shrewdly manage their network investments and move directly to TWDM.”

Key facts

  • TWDM-PON requires new optics capable of providing four tunable 10 Gbps wavelengths. With these optics not yet available in large quantities, TWDM’s current cost is higher than established technologies.
  • Universal TWDM enables operators to accelerate TWDM adoption by providing a lower cost solution that scales to full TWDM as demand for gigabit services grows. It also enables operators to:

o    Start with one non-tunable 10 Gbps wavelength using commonly available optics, significantly reducing the initial cost of TWDM.

o    Add more wavelengths – and more capacity – as required by plugging in more optics.

o    Upgrade seamlessly to full 40 Gbps TWDM without replacing network components – such as line cards, access nodes and optical network units – or reconfigure OSS/BSS.

o    Protect existing fiber investments, as Universal TWDM and full TWDM-PON can co-exist with current PON technology.


  • Compared to established 10 Gbps technologies, such as XG-PON1, Universal TWDM:

o    Has a similar initial cost.

o    Has a significantly lower cost when switching to full TWDM-PON.

o    Provides greater revenue opportunities as it supports asymmetrical and symmetrical gigabit services, which are particularly important for enterprise cloud services.



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