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gfast map nov

Dark Green: Firm commitments from incumbent: BT (10M), Belgacom, Australian NBN, Swisscom,  Austria, Bezeq Israel, Chunghwa Taiwan, Telus Canada, Telekom South Africa, SK Korea, (U.S.) AT&T, Century, Frontier, Windstream, Belgium, Omantel

Mid Pink: Smaller carriers in Germany, Norway, Finland, Japan

Light Green: Incumbent likely:  France, Germany, Italy

Real aim is 250 megabits for a long block. Stories across the tech press picked up the ITU press release headline of 1Gbit/s, but those contemplating deployment will be happy to get a quarter of that speed. Acceptance of the standard has slipped to 2014 and product until 2015, so it will be years before we discover whether the $100's of millions going into research will pay off.

Noise problems restrict the peak speed, although Alcatel reports applying vectoring is improving things. They've reached 500 megabits over 100 meters in lab tests. http://bit.ly/14o8WUk 

   Proponents think saving the $300-600 cost to run fiber the last few meters will persuade carriers to switch to G.fast from fiber for the last stretch into the home. Skeptics believe that if you're running fiber so close you might as well go all the way. G.fast certainly will offer an upgrade path to AT&T and Deutsche Telekom, relying on VDSL to get to 50-100 megabits if gigabit cable draws away too many customers. That's reassuring to companies like DT, Swisscom, and Telecom Italia that have cancelled fiber builds to save money with DSL instead.  

   G.fast saves the carriers money by not requiring a power supply. It uses "parasitical power" drawn from the clients' cpe. In addition, Frank van der Putten of Alcatel is confident customers will be able to self-install. Vectored VDSL's biggest emerging problem is the devastating effect bad in-building wiring can have on performance. Too many customers get less than half the expected speed because of bad home wiring, etc. For that reason, at least one major carrier does only technician installs in their vectoring tests, adding $100+ to the cost for each customer.

    Toby Johnson of the ITU showed he hasn't lost his newsman's instincts in an interview with van der Putten at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXg_vRaFBpg

 

ITU Readies New 1Gbit/s Broadband Standard

G.fast Uses Existing Wires to Deliver Fibre Performance at Lower Costs

Geneva, 16 July 2013 – G.fast, a new ITU broadband standard, that promises up to 1 Gbit/s over existing copper telephone wires, is one step closer following a meeting of ITU-T Study Group 15 this week. G.fast is designed to deliver superfast downloads up to a distance of 250 meters, thereby eliminating the expense of installing fibre between the distribution point and people’s homes.

The Geneva meeting saw first stage approval of ITU standard, Recommendation ITU-T G.9700, that specifies methods to minimize the risk of G.fast equipment interfering with broadcast services such as FM radio, paving the way for G.fast to be approved in early 2014. 

G.fast is expected to be deployed by service providers wanting to provide fibre to the home (FTTH) like services, which will enable flexible upstream and downstream speeds to support bandwidth-intensive applications such as streaming Ultra-HDTV movies, uploading high-resolution video and photo libraries to cloud-based storage, and communicating via HD video.

Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General, ITU: “Since the early days of the World Wide Web, people around the world have accessed the vast resource that has become the Internet via ITU standards. I applaud our membership for continuing to show great leadership in the development of these specifications that bring broadband into our homes at ever increasing speeds and at ever greater efficiencies.”

The G.fast work has attracted active participation by a large number of leading service providers, chip manufacturers, and system vendors.

An important feature of G.fast is that it will enable self-installation by consumers without a technician’s assistance. For service providers, self-install eliminates the expense of deploying technicians to the consumer’s home, thereby also improving the speed at which they can rollout new services. Consumers will benefit from not having to arrange to be at home for a technician’s visit.

“G.fast is an important standard for service providers globally,” said Tom Starr, chairman of ITU-T Study Group 15, Working Party 1, which oversees the G.fast effort. “Service providers will be able to deliver fibre-like performance more quickly and more affordably than with any other approach.”

“G.fast provides the speed of fibre with the ease of installation of ADSL2,” said Les Brown, Associate Rapporteur of the G.fast Experts Group.

The new G.fast standard is being coordinated with the Broadband Forum’s system architecture project, Fibre to the Distribution Point (FTTdp). The ITU-T and Broadband Forum have been working closely to ensure that G.fast solutions can be quickly placed into FTTdp deployments.

Video interview with Frank van der Putten, Rapporteur, Question 4, Study Group 15: http://youtu.be/bXg_vRaFBpg

 

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G.fast News

I’m still working through remarkable presentations from the Broadband Forum events. Michael Weissman, Bernd Hesse and team did a remarkable job choosing the speakers. http://bit.ly/BBFBASE

Deutsche Telecom: 35b Supervectoring Delayed to 2019 http://bit.ly/35blater
Broadcom is now over 3 years late. DT briefed German reporters after their financial call and revealed 35b was now delayed until 2019. 35b should deliver 200+ meg downloads 500-600 meters, a crucial tool for DT, which is losing share to cable. Cable now covers about 70% of Germany and is expanding. DT now only offers 50-100 megabit DSL while cable is often 400 megabits, going to a gigabit. 

The problem is software; the hardware is shipping and supposedly will work. DT says 35b is not ready to turn on. Broadcom in 2015 said 35b was in "production" in the press release below. Alcatel in early 2016 said to expect complete systems very soon. "35g is very similar to 17a so there should be little delay."

Broadcom's problems are leading major telcos and vendors to have a plan B, using Sckipio G.fast. DT itself is planning extensive G.fast deployments in 2019, mostly in apartment buildings. http://bit.ly/35blater

Gigabit 100 Meters - Unless the Wires are Lousy http://bit.ly/gflousy
Speeds are fine, "Unless there's a line problem." I've been reporting for three years that ~10% of lines have problems. In the chart by Rami Verbin of Sckipio, he finds G.fast goes ~130 meters on good lines. Poor lines have about half the reach. 

His chart roughly matches the reports from Swisscom, Belgacom, and England for both G.fast & vectored DSL. The 10% with problems can cause the majority of the line-related complaints to support. The angry customers drive up cost.

Rami's solution to reach the gigabit is bonding, supported on the Sckipio chips. Verbin made some additional points:

  • 4 gigabits is possible by bonding two decent 2 gigabit lines.
  • Even in a service from remote cabinets, ~25% are close enough to get a full gigabit."
  • cDTA and iDTA are practical ways to deliver much higher upstream by switching some bandwidth from downstream to upstream only when needed.
  • 35B will probably be similar but Deutsche Telecom doesn't expect to deploy until 2019. http://bit.ly/gflousy

AT&T Wants Coax 2-5 Gigabit G.fast. Very Soon. http://bit.ly/ATTCoax
AT&T faces intense competition from cable, talking about 10 gigabits in both directions. (Cable will only be 1 gig down, ~100 meg up, until ~2021.) AT&T wants something to brag about as well.

AT&T gained millions of lines of coax as part of the DirecTV deal. Alcatel and Huawei are leading the development of G.mgfast. That uses 424 MHz, full duplex, to achieve ~2.5 gigabits in both directions. The reach on telco twisted pair is only about 30 meters. On coax, those speeds can probably extend far enough to service most apartment buildings. Using 848 MHz, speeds can reach 5 gigabits. The ITU standards group has been aiming for 2019-2020 for G.mgfast, too slow for AT&T's marketers. David Titus wants a high-speed standard for coax "early in 2018." He believes that is "doable."http://bit.ly/ATTCoax

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