Calix adds swappable XGS SFP plus 10G software for Wi-Fi 6 subscriber platform

May 18, 2022
New software and systems capabilities for the Calix GigaSpire BLAST u6x platform enable BSPs to deploy and manage 10G services across the entire subscriber-facing network - while reducing costs by 50%, the company contends.

Calix, Inc. (NYSE: CALX) has now enhanced its GigaSpire BLAST u6x system by adding a module that simplifies broadband operations by creating a single end-to-end platform from the access edge to the subscriber premises.

With the new modules’ built-in flexibility, broadband service providers (BSPs) can choose from several easily swappable small form-factor pluggable (SFP) modules that support GPON, 10G Active Ethernet, 10G Ethernet technologies—and now, also an XGS-PON module.

The manufacturer contends that this degree of choice enables BSPs to easily address rapidly growing use cases—"from gamers to work-from-homers"—that demand additional bandwidth and faster speeds. The new modules offer improved operational efficiency that allows BSPs to reduce installation times by up to 50 percent, contends Calix.

Value proposition

The company says its new SFP modules double the system’s lifespan compared to a typical system, which it says "provides a strong hedge against supply chain issues and cuts inventory management costs in half."

Additionally, as an integrated Wi-Fi 6 system, the company notes its GigaSpire BLAST u6x reduces power consumption by more than 50 percent when compared to solutions requiring an ONT and gateway combination.

In a press release, Calix said its GigaSpire BLAST u6x with an XGS-PON swappable module, brings a number of benefits to 10G deployments, enabling broadband operations teams to:

  • Shorten installation times 50 percent. "For BSPs using Intelligent Access EDGE, the integrated ONT and residential system allows BSPs to simply upgrade GPON to XGS-PON with the insertion of a new SFP module. The rest of the provisioning process is completely automated, eliminating time consuming multi-step provisioning that must be coordinated across the network. Further, as part of the Revenue EDGE offering, the GigaSpire BLAST u6x runs on the same common platform as all other GigaSpire BLAST systems, reducing the initial deployment time by 50 percent."
  • Streamline inventory management and cut costs 50 percent. "Swappable SFP modules transform the GigaSpire BLAST u6x into a Wi-Fi 6 system with an integrated ONT and residential system capable of supporting virtually any access technology. These small modules eliminate the need to stock multiple systems, lowering capex. The availability of swappable SFP modules also extends the lifespan of the BLAST u6x to 10-years, further reducing inventory and capex."
  • Curtail power consumption for a greener network. "Broadband service providers looking to deliver a sustainable network experience for their climate-conscious subscribers can count on the BLAST u6x to provide an integrated Wi-Fi 6 system that reduces power consumption by more than 50 percent versus the need to have separate ONTs, Wi-Fi systems, and mesh satellites. In fact, 93 percent of subscribers with a single GigaSpire BLAST system do not need a mesh satellite to achieve full-premises Wi-Fi coverage."

“With the new XGS-PON SFP module, we’re providing our customers with exclusive end-to-end broadband services across the entire 10G spectrum,” said Shane Eleniak, executive vice president, products, at Calix. “We designed and built this module to work for all BSPs. Adding the SFP module extends the benefits of the GigaSpire BLAST u6x so that BSPs can address a more demanding set of subscriber use cases. We have successfully laid the foundation for the next generation of revolutionary Calix innovations that help BSPs further simplify operations, excite subscribers with an ever-expanding array of managed services, and grow value for their communities and themselves.”


“We pledged to our customers that we’d deliver 2 Gbps Internet to the home in 2022, but Calix has helped us do much more than that,” said Kent Cole, I/R and support supervisor for Mountain Rural Telephone Cooperative in West Liberty, Kentucky, as quoted in Calix's press release. “With Calix GigaSpire BLAST u6x and the XGS-PON SFP module, gamers find they get speeds they’ve never seen before—with no lag. It’s also completely transformed our field operations. When it comes to installations, provisioning is done using Calix Support Cloud and the GigaSpire BLAST connects automatically. The field tech can take care of provisioning in the office, drive to the customer’s home, plug in the module, and they’re done. That’s basically unheard of. We can complete an installation in half the time that it took for a traditional installation.”

The manufacturer's statement also noted that "another BSP that understands the value of this simplified solution is Mainstay Communications of Henderson, Nebraska, which is upgrading their full network to XGS-PON. Chris Johnson, general manager, says every Mainstay internet customer receives a GigaSpire BLAST u6x system. Deploying a single system with integrated Wi-Fi and XGS-PON, he says, means he stocks less equipment and cuts his inventory management costs by nearly half."

Learn more about the Calix GigaSpire BLAST u6x universal Wi-Fi 6 system for broadband subscribers.

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