The Optical Networking and Communication
Conference & Exhibition

San Diego Convention Center,
San Diego, California, USA

Panel I: Next-Generation Access and Metro – Where is the Money?

Wednesday, 22 March
11:00 - 12:30
Theater I

Julie Kunstler; Principal Analyst, Ovum Inc, USA

Panel Description:

Next-gen EPON is shipping with deployments in North America, China and Japan. XGS-PON has been pushed through the standardization process at lightning speed with initial shipments underway. Next-gen PON has been touted to support the 1G bandwidth craze, MDUs and business services.

Will next-gen PON lead to better profitability for both service providers and vendors? Will next-gen PON become an access solution, meaning shipments in the millions?
Some of the questions addressed in this panel will include:

  1. Standards progress – both IEEE and ITU

  2. Ecosystem status – are the pieces ready – from components to software

  3. Applications for next-gen PON

  4. Challenges for next-gen PON

  5. What are the forecasts for next-gen PON components and equipment?

  6. Profitability in the ecosystem – who will make money and why?


Robert Howald; VP, Network Architechture, Comcast, USA
Ken-Ichi Suzuki; Group Leader (Senior Research Engineer, Supervisor), NTT Access Network Service Systems Laboratories, NTT Corporation, Japan 
Edward Walter; Lead System Architect, AT&T, USA


Julie Kunstler; Principal Analyst, Ovum Inc, USA (Moderator)


Julie Kunstler is responsible for the wireline broadband access component, equipment and software markets, closely following technology developments and subsequent effects on the vendor ecosystem. Julie is paying close attention to SDN/NFV and its impact on wireline broadband access. Julie has worked as an executive, investor and board member for communications companies.  Having served in these numerous roles, Julie understands what it takes for new communications technologies to be deployed in large numbers and across multiple geographies.  Prior to joining Ovum, Julie served as VP Business Development for Teknovus, focusing on FTTX deployments in Asia Pacific, OEM agreements with major equipment vendors, corporate strategy, analyst relationships, business planning and fund raising.


Emerging Fiber Architectures and Technologies of Cable Operators

Robert Howald; VP, Network Architechture, Comcast, USA

Robert Howald has over 30 years of technology and executive experience in commercial and military communications systems.  He is Vice President of Network Architecture at Comcast, focused on the evolution of cable systems and services, future network architectures, and emerging broadband technologies.  Prior to this, Dr. Howald held similar roles in the Cable industry with ARRIS and the former Motorola Mobility.  Dr. Howald was also Vice President of Engineering at Xytrans, specializing in millimeter wave products for cellular backhaul, homeland security, and people screening from 2004-2008.  He was also the Director of Systems Engineering at General Instrument and Motorola’s prior Broadband Communications Systems division beginning in the 1990s. Dr. Howald has taught graduate courses in communications and wireless systems engineering, has published over 150 papers, and has multiple patents issued and pending. He has a BSEE and MSEE from Villanova University, a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering from Drexel University, and a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) from DeSales University.

Flexible Access System Architecture-Future Access Network Systems based on Virtualization and Modularization Technologies

Ken-Ichi Suzuki; Group Leader (Senior Research Engineer, Supervisor), NTT Access Network Service Systems Laboratories, NTT Corporation, Japan 

Ken-Ichi Suzuki leads the Access Systems Technology Group as a Group Leader in NTT Access Network Service Systems Laboratories.  Currently, his group is focusing on FASA proposed as new access system architecture based on network virtualization technologies.  He has been also researching and developing optical access related systems/technologies including next generation optical access systems and long-reach PON systems based on burst-mode optical-amplifier and digital coherent technologies.  He has been a Vice Chair of IEEE P1904 ANWG and a Chair of the Optical Access Test Implementation Liaison Committee in HATS conference of Japan.

Edward Walter; Lead System Architect, AT&T, USA

Ed Walter joined AT&T in 2000 and currently is a Lead Technical Architect within the AT&T Fixed Access Technology Design and Architecture organization.  Ed has been engaged in Access ideation and development since 2006 when he joined the AT&T Lightspeed project to deploy Broadband/IPTV across xDSL and PON technologies.  He is actively involved in architecture and Standards Organizations (e.g. ITU & IEEE) that support XGS, NGPON2, and future PON technologies.  Ed is instrumental in the development of AT&T’s SDN/NFV architecture to support wireless and wireline Broadband Access technologies.  He is a prolific inventor with over 80 Patents. 

Broadband Access Technology Research

Dezhi (James) Zhang, Shanghai Institute of China Telecom, China

Dezhi (James) Zhang is engaged in technology research and application of optical access, including next generation of PON and SDN in Access, participating in ITU Access standards development and bearing co-editor for several documents.

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