Thursday, November 29, 2007

Behind the end of OEN and Sprint/Clearwire

Here is an interesting story on why OEN (Optical Entertainment Network, a FTTH company in Houston) folded. Apparently there were management issues, but it seems to have boiled down to a tech matter: PON (gear from Alloptic) v. active ethernet (gear from PacketFront). The company couldn't decide. "It was a group of engineers getting together and having a serious case of vendor love."
(PON is cheaper to deploy and has a shorter reach. Active ethernet requires more active electronics, a fatter backbone and therefore looks more future-proof, but it comes at a 15-20% premium.)
By the way, look out for France where FT is a supporter of PON, v. Iliad and Neuf favoring active ethernet.

Which brings me to another (so-called) demise: the end of the intended Sprint/Clearwire partnership in rolling out WiMAX. A new ABI Research report (I haven't seen it, just the abstract) justly points to the fact that it wasn't a contract but an LoI only. I agree with Phil Solis of ABI that the parties may still come together, but I believe they need a different approach, preferably full network sharing.
And: communicating a little better with the investment community.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This interview may add to the understanding of what all was wrong at OEN: