Oh ... and according to most articles ... initial
FiosTV roll-outs will pretty much have the exact same bandwidth and channel capacity as cable ... they are using an RF overlay approach.
Everything gets RF modulated (ie, NTSC / QAM like cable ... or you could even do QPSK / 8PSK like dbs) and sent down the fiber on a particular wavelength. The ONT (box that goes on the side of your house) converts that light back to RF ... and the signal is distributed through your house via coax.http://www.forbes.com/technology/fee...5305453.html?p
The deal, which includes both set-top boxes and unspecified central office equipment, also confirms that Verizon will use an RF overlay strategy for video as opposed to converting those signals to an IP format. A Verizon spokesman said today that the company isnt talking full details on its video service yet, but part of the decision comes from the carriers desire to take advantage of the economics of RF technology.
"The steps here are logical for us," he said. "This will allow us to put full cable TV type video on the fiber. Its simply a business decision. The video component of this doesnt even compete for space with data."
Most of the equipment is actually the latest iteration of gear from Next Level Communications, which Motorola acquired last year. Next Level was among the early leaders in telco video but was unable to get larger carriers to buy in to the system in part because much of it was proprietary.
Under the architecture Verizon is planning, RF video will be sent from a national head end located in Florida through a local CO and over the fiber network to optical network terminal from AFC Communications that sits on the side of the house. From there, it will connect to existing in-home coax through a traditional RF connector.
The local fare along with some of the nationally distributed content will be delivered in analog as well as digital format, with all content modulated to RF at 50 to 870 MHz onto 256 QAM carriers and sent out at the 1550 nanometer wavelength.
Verizon's first rollout of video services is expected to occur sometime next year, and the company has said it will first offer an RF-based video service, equivalent to what is now offered by cable companies. The FTTP RFP the carrier issued -- along with SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE: SBC - message board) and BellSouth Corp. (NYSE: BLS - message board) -- in June 2003 even spelled out a video delivery system that would use, "to the extent possible, standard off-the-shelf CATV video equipment."
The RFP went on to say that the video distribution technique planned "is a CATV-like system."
Goggle - Verizon Fios "RF OVerlay"
So your video is eventually going to be analog NTSC and 256 QAM in the 50-870MHz spectrum ... basically just like cable TV on a 860MHz plant. Cable does also have to carry voice and data in that same space ... while Verizon isn't ... those get offloaded to seperate wavelengths. So that's a little bit of bandwidth savings.
But basically ... initially ... same as cable. It'll be interesting to see how many (bandwidth-hogging ... but no STB needed) analog channels Verizon carries.
Now ... when Verizon starts delivering IPTV, VOD, etc ... that'll be where things get interesting ... and you'll get some insight on where they might be headed. Of course Verizon's FTTH gives you more options than cable's FTTN ... it'll be interesting to see if Verizon finds a way to (economically) take advantage of that.