The book finally appears

I have been like a little kid on christmas eve: the time will never, never, never pass. When will I ever see the real book?

And like all christmas eves, the time eventually passes and the magic appears: it’s real! Feels great to actually have it in hand. It has certainly been an adventure getting it this far.

Now the world gets to decide whether it has been a worthwhile effort. We certainly hope so.

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Pre-sales

Although the book (Gigabit-capable Passive Optical Networks) is not yet in print, Wiley offered me a bound copy of the uncorrected proofs. The publication of the book was announced in the opening plenary meeting of this week’s Broadband Forum meeting in Dubrovnik (and thank you to the very kind BBF people!), and I have had the bound proofs at the registration desk for interested parties to page through.

I don’t know how many books have been sold on the basis of this, but definitely a few!

BBF Dubrovnik

Showing a bound copy of the uncorrected proofs as a sample of what the book will look like when it appears (23 March is the official date that I’ve been given). Considerable interest, and I hope to get some feedback soon about the value I’ve been able to add to the industry.

Gigabit-capable Passive Optical Networks

It has been an adventure, developing this book with my co-author Elmar Trojer, working through the proofreading process with Wiley, and now helping it into the wide world, where I sincerely hope it will prove to be valuable to the telecommunications community.

The title of the book, and the advertising material, do not mention G.987 XG-PON at all, which creates an important question in the mind of anyone wanting to understand the ITU-T PON family. In fact, this book covers XG-PON extensively and in depth, compares it with G.984 G-PON, and in what I call a bold venture into the world of marketing claims (aka hype), even dares to compare the G-PON family with the EPON family.

Authors’ review

To express the value proposition of our book in one word: insight.

A book that merely recapitulates the standards adds no value. The engineer responsible for actually specifying, developing or testing a system is well advised to refer directly to the standards. This minimizes the error loop, and tracks the continuing evolution of the standards.

The value of a book lies in the insight it conveys. To engineers responsible for specifying, developing or testing a G-PON system, we explain why the standards are as they are, point out the implications of the standards, suggest applications, and compare alternatives. Our book also acts as a sanity check on the standards, helping the engineer interpret areas that may be unclear. We strongly believe that such insight leads ultimately to better products; the standards can never specify everything that ultimately matters.

With this in mind, we do not attempt to cover the minutiae of the standards themselves. We prefer explanation, comparison, analysis.

This approach also considerably widens the audience for the book. A recapitulation of the standards is of little interest to anyone who is not intimately involved with the technology itself. In contrast, a book whose focus is on insight is useful –

  • As an introduction to engineers who are just entering the field. When they study the actual standards, there will be no surprises, and they will understand what the standards actually mean. This category includes not only new and transferred employees, but also advanced undergraduate and graduate students. It is not possible to explain the entire universe of interest in a book of limited size, nor is a reader interested in all aspects of the field at any given time, but we are diligent in pointing out where the interested reader can go to find out more about most topics. This is likely to be of particular value to students.
  • Engineers who may work in areas peripheral to the field, but who are not directly involved and who do not expect to become directly involved. Those focused on mobile backhaul or the delivery of business telecommunications services are examples of this category: they never need to understand the fine detail, but they do need to understand access networks.
  • Telecommunications managers who are responsible to understand the options and determine the directions for their networks. These are primarily business decisions, but involve a great deal of technological understanding, necessary to evaluate the tradeoffs, while also remaining far away from the need to delve into the minutiae.