Operators from around the globe will be descending on London this October at the Broadband World Forum, to explore the latest technologies and innovations across the industry to speed up their legacy networks.
And one technology you can safely say will be hogging the limelight at this year’s show is G.9701, or as it is better known: G.Fast.
From “Superfast” to “Ultrafast”
Earlier this year our keynote speaker, and CEO of BT, Gavin Patterson announced the company’s plans to drive the UK broadband market from superfast to “ultrafast”. At the moment you could say that the UK is in a pretty good state, invariably ranked within the top 20 countries worldwide for average broadband speeds. But with high broadband adoption, increasing penetration and clear demand for faster speeds and a better quality of experience, the UK incumbent is faced with a somewhat mammoth challenge.
But through a combination of Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTc) expansions and G.Fast deployments, BT predicts that they will be able to deliver “ultrafast” speeds of up to 500Mbps to most of the UK within a decade. Early tests have shown that G.Fast does hold the potential to get copper up to speed with performance targets between 150 Mbits and 1Gbit.
“G.Fast is extending the bandwidth capabilities of copper-based access networks, which has become increasingly important as competition intensifies between cable, telco and OTT service providers. More and more consumers now understand QoE and the importance of bandwidth, driven by the uptake of services like UHD/4K TVs. G.Fast will claim market share in ultra-bandwidth copper networks.”
Julie Kunstler, Principal Analyst, Components and Intelligent Networks, Ovum
And it’s not just BT who have been busy investigating. Across Europe, other operators such as Swissom, Belgacom and Orange and have had their own field trials and last October A1 in Austria announced the connection of the first customer in the world to its domestic broadband network with G.fast as part of a “testing phase”.
And of course behind every operator exploring G.Fast’s potential is a range of vendors, solution providers and equipment manufacturers. One you may already be aware of is Skcipio, who this year boldly announced that they had successfully demonstrated G.fast at speeds greater than 500Mbps for 200meters – double the official ITU targets for this new broadband standard.
So when can we expect to see it deployed?
The ITU-T’s G.fast specification, designed for fast deployment of “ultrafast” broadband (with speeds up to 1Gbps) over copper, was only approved last December. But already the Broadband Forum has just announced the industry’s first completed plugfest for G.fast DPU and CPE equipment as part of its ongoing program preparing to finalise G.fast certification.
A total of 14 chipset and equipment manufacturers participated in the very recent plugfest, to test the interoperability of their DPU and CPE devices, including ADTRAN, Alcatel Lucent, Huawei, Ikanos and Sckipio to name a few. According to the report, it was considered a success and Calix’s senior vice president Michel Langlois, was quoted:
“The plugfest events held by the Broadband Forum are essential for service providers around the world as they look to introduce new technologies like G.fast into their networks and evaluate technology readiness, interoperability needs, and vendor-specific offerings in a neutral and unbiased environment,”
In terms of BT’s plans for G.Fast in the UK – initial trials have been completed and the technology is next being trialled in pilot trials this summer in Cambridgeshire and Newcastle, where around 4,000 businesses and homes will participate. And if everything goes to plan, deployments are predicted to start as early as next year.
See it work at BBWF!
This year we will be exploring G.Fast in more detail than ever before. For 2015 BT will be showcasing the very latest in G.Fast technology during a free-to-attend, LIVE demonstration at BBWF.
And following Gavin Patterson’s keynote, our Fixed Access Evolution conference track will features findings, results and insights from BT, Orange, Sckipio, Alcatel Lucent, Ikanos and many more.
What’s on the agenda for 2015?
Pushing the Boundaries of G.Fast
- Paving the way to Large-Scale Deployments of G.Fast
- What can we Realistically Expect from Fast Performance?
- Rate vs. reach – how far is it possible to push the technology?
Getting Legacy Networks up to Speed
- Increasing Network Capacity in a Market Driven by Speed
- Evaluating alternative technologies to upgrade bandwidth for existing infrastructure
- What’s next in DSL evolution standards?
Download the BBWF Brochure to check out all our G.Fast content!