Intel’s Acquisition of Lantiq to Shake up Market for Telcos’ Broadband

– Intel Targets a Market of 800m Gateways
– Aims at Broadcom’s Dominance in Telco Broadband

There’s a YouTube video dated November 17, 2014 that shows Sckipio CEO David Baum and Lantiq CEO Dan Artusi talking about how their joint efforts provide the industry’s first end-to-end solution for G.fast’s enabling of “ultrafast” broadband. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tqZqmGe9ck

Lantiq and Sckipio worked together at combining VDSL, fiber and G.fast technologies to provide telcos with a complete end-to-end solution — specifically, boxes in the neighborhood and in the residence. The result is that a newly installed neighborhood box (or node or distribution point, whatever it’s called) can support fiber coming in from the central office and both VDSL and G.fast from the box, over existing copper phone wires, to the inside of the residence. (“Inside” being a major advantage over an all-fiber, which has to be installed within the home).

Telcos’ only alternative is fiber to the inside of subscribers’ residences but that involves costly construction to deploy the fiber over the last 400 meters and additionally a technician going inside the residence to complete the installation.

 

Kirk Skaugen Intel

Intel’s Kirk Skaugen: Finding/Replacing “Lantiq & Sckipio” for “Intel & Sckipio”

Under the Lantiq/Sckipio scenario, the gateway/modem in the residence can support either the existing VDSL or the new and faster G.fast, which allows telcos (and their subscribers) to upgrade quickly and inexpensively from VDSL to G.fast. Telcos can remotely make the switchover inside the neighborhood box/node/distribution point. Instantly the subscriber goes from speeds of less than 100 Mbps to 500 Mbps, enough to keep the wolves (the cablecos and government regulators) away. (Statements from the FCC indicate that it too may start meddling with US broadband service providers.)

What makes the Sckipio/Lantiq joint venture even more significant is that in every instance the name “Intel” can now replace “Lantiq,” such as “Intel and Sckipio jointly develop the industry’s first end-to-end solution for G.fast.” That’ll certainly help Sckipio in its efforts to establish credibility and convince telcos that its G.fast technology is deserving of their consideration.

Intel’s acquisition of Lantiq also challenges Broadcom’s dominance of the existing market for xDSL and fiber chips plus the upcoming boom in the market for G.fast chips. Every telco with a cableco as a competitor has to be seriously considering the deployment of G.fast. No other broadband technology available to telcos can match the cablecos’ speeds except G.fast and the rather expensive-to-deploy FTTH.

Broadcom has succeeded in the telco market, as well as the cableco’s DOCSIS broadband technology market, by integrating its access technology and its network processors. Since Intel acquired Texas Instrument’s DOCSIS technologies in 2010, Intel has reportedly carved out a share of the DOCSIS market. Now it wants to do the same in telcos’ broadband technologies, specifically fiber and G.fast. Intel does not own any VDSL2 vectoring technology but the ultimate future of telephone broadband is G.fast and FTTH. Even Alcatel-Lucent, which has done very well with vectoring, would probably admit that. AlcaLu may even be a candidate now to buy G.fast/VDSL/fiber chips from the new Intel/Sckipio team.

 

Details of the Acquisition


Intel has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Germany-based Lantiq on terms that were not announced. The deal is subject to the customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals and is expected to close in about 90 days.

Intel said the home’s smart gateways and broadband services’ intelligent access networks “are important elements in Intel’s efforts to make everything smart and connected,” adding “best with Intel.”

Intel said the Lantiq technology will help it increase its market share in gateways, including DSL, fiber, LTE, retail and IoT smart routers. It also said it will help it increase its market share in the cable TV companies’ residential gateway market.

Kirk Skaugen, SVP and GM of Intel’s Client Computing Group, said, “By 2018, we expect more than 800 million broadband connected households worldwide. Intel has been a global leader in driving broadband into the home and to connected compute devices. The combination of our cable gateway business with Lantiq’s technology and talent can allow global service providers to introduce new home computing experiences and enable consumers to take advantage of a more smart and connected home.”

Most of those 800 million homes will have to upgrade from their existing xDSL or DOCSIS broadband technology, which means lots and lots of gateways/modems are going to be sold between now and 2018. The Lantiq acquisition shows clearly that Intel intends to be a major player in supplying broadband and other chips that are used in telcos and cablecos’ equipment.

Intel said Lantiq’s technology will help it with Intel’s IoT solutions, Intel Security products and Intel-based client devices but didn’t elaborate except to say “Intel can deliver exciting new connected experiences for consumers.”

Lantiq CEO Dan Artusi, who oversaw the resurrection of Lantiq, said, “Intel and Lantiq share a common vision about the evolution of the connected home and the intelligent network. Together we can drive the transformation of the broadband customer premises equipment (CPE) as it becomes a smart gateway that connects an increasingly diverse roster of devices and services in the home.”

Intel is also picking up a large installed base. More than 100 operators around the world have deployed products with Lantiq’s DSL technology. Lantiq owns over 2,000 patents and says it was a major contributor to the G.fast standard.

We do not yet know what will happen to Lantiq’s FTTdp Vinax technology or where it fits into Intel’s plans. We also don’t know whether the Intel-owned Lantiq might re-start its development of G.hn home networking.

What we do know is that the Intel acquisition of Lantiq and Lantiq’s close relationship with Sckipio looks like a win-win-win for Intel-Lantiq-Sckipio.

Note: “Ultrafast” is the marketing term that telcos and their suppliers use to refer to “really fast” broadband such as what G.fast provides ..

 

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