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Gfast map July 2017

Dark blue: 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

Light blue: Smaller carriers in Germany, Norway, Finland, Japan

Green: Incumbent likely:  France, Germany, & Poland  

london skylineApplause from Trevor Linney of BT. Smalls cells - WiFi or LTE - are a crucial part of the "beyond 4G" networks. It's so expensive to run fiber for backhaul no carrier in the West has a large network of freestanding small cells. (The WiFi First networks in Europe have over 10M connected. Carrier small cells are in the tens of thousands.)

LTE is starting to move to 3 carrier, 450 megabit radios, so requires plenty of speed. Over very short distances, G.fast can deliver 500 down, 200 up to an LTE cell. It's a natural way to connect a few cells in smaller office buildings.

WiFi First poses an existential threat to telcos counting on usage levels. LTE is usually charged, WiFi usually not. The profitability of telcos in the next decade will be profoundly affected by whether they keep customers away from the less profitable WiFi.

Free in France, Softbank and others have literally millions of small cells, home gateways that don't require added backhaul, Turning on a second SSID from all willing homes is by far the best, fastest and cheapest way to deliver more wireless capacity, 

There are many locations where G.fast might do the job and save the cost of fiber. Mostly high rise business districts that need several small cells for some building. AT&T has been doing a fair amount of DAS for locations like that but the cost is high. There are complications to solve, especially because efficient small cell operation requires a substantial control plane. David Chambers has an interesting interview with Airspan on their LTE small cell testing with Softbank. They look forward to attaching 5 small cells and centrally manage traffic. In some cases, they can double speed that way.

There's a war on between most of the big telcos and those building capacity more efficiently using WiFi and backhaul in place. Small cells are among the tools. 

Multi-gigabit access via copper

Cost-effective ultra-broadband access based on G.fast standard

23 March 2015, Heidelberg, Germany. Celtic-Plus is launching a 4.4 million euro project to explore multiple-gigabit copper access based on G.fast, a digital subscriber line (DSL) standard for the local loop. The Gigabits Over the Legacy Drop (GOLD) project will initiate the planned second version of the G.fast standard and boost its usability in dense city areas. The goal is to develop alternative backhauling options based on copper instead of fibre. This could lead to significant cost reductions in the network, particularly within dense urban areas in Europe.

4GBB-GOLD

GOLD builds on the success of the completed HFCC/G.fast project, which demonstrated throughput of nearly 1Gbps per copper pair at 100 meters, and up to 170Mbps per copper pair at 480 meters, on a 16 pair standard cable. This is as much as an order of magnitude improvement compared to existing DSL technologies. GOLD will push G.fast even further to multiple-gigabit copper access rates by exploring a second version of the G.fast standard working at higher frequencies and preparing the ground for fifth generation fixed broadband.
“G.fast is quickly turning into a key technology for European operators,” said Trevor Linney, head of Access Network Research at BT. “During our lab evaluations, it has outperformed our expectations in terms of bitrate and reach for fixed line subscribers. Now, we have formed the GOLD project to drive further improvements in the capabilities of this exciting technology, working closely with vendors and other global operators.”
G.fast is the ideal technology for maximizing the value of existing copper infrastructure. Currently fibre roll-out is very expensive and therefore roll-outs are not happening on a large scale in the access network. G.fast bridges this gap by providing high-speed broadband over the existing copper cables.

During the HFCC/G.fast project, lab trials were performed by BT, Orange, Telefonica and TNO. In summer 2015, BT will start G.fast pilots in two UK cities, Huntingdon and Gosforth, with around 4,000 business and home connections.

G.fast-figure

Figure: G.fast application cases

About the GOLD Celtic-Plus Project
The 4.4 million euro Celtic-Plus project GOLD (Gigabits Over the Legacy Drop) will explore multiple-gigabit copper access based on the DSL standard G.fast. GOLD focuses on the planned second version of the G.fast standard with the aim of boosting the usability of G.fast in dense city areas and thus develop alternative, cost-effective backhauling options based on copper instead of fibre.
The GOLD consortium consists of 12 companies from 8 countries including service providers BT (UK), Orange SA (FR); equipment vendors ADTRAN GmbH (DE), Alcatel-Lucent (BE), Ericsson AB (SE), Sagemcom (FR), and Telnet Redes Inteligentes SA (ES); chip vendors Marvell Semiconductors (ES) and Sckipio Technologies (IL); and researchers at Lund University (SE) and TNO (NL). The project is coordinated by Lund University.
The 3-year project started in January 2015 and will run until December 2017.
Further information will soon be available on the project website at www.4gbb.eu.

About the HFCC/G.fast Celtic-Plus Project
The 4.2 Million euro Celtic-Plus project HFCC/G.fast (Hybrid Fibre-Copper connectivity using G.fast) advanced the emerging digital subscriber line (DSL) technology by developing innovations ranging from channel measurements and transceiver designs to novel system architectures and use cases. This has pushed the standardization process as well as the broadband deployment in Europe.
The consortium consisted of 14 organizations from nine countries and included Ericsson AB (SE), ADTRAN GmbH (DE), BT (UK), Dension Broadband Systems Kft (HU), EUR AB (SE), Orange SA (FR), Lund University (SE), Marvell Semiconductors (ES), Fundacion Tecnalia Research and Innovation (ES), Telefonica I+D (ES), Telnet Redes Inteligentes SA (ES), TNO (NL), FTW Telecommunications Research Center Vienna (AU) and Sckipio Technologies (IL).
The project started in January 2013 and completed its work in February 2015. Results are available at www.4gbb.eu

LTE-U: Verizon restated its support for LTE-U (also being promoted by T-Mobile, but not AT&T or Sprint), asserting that it can coexist with Wi Fi in unlicensed bands. We are skeptical that it will be easy to persuade regulators that this is indeed the case and think LTE-U is more likely to be deployed at scale in the new 3.5GHz band rather than at 5GHz.

There are many locations where G.fast might do the job and save the cost of fiber. Mostly high rise business districts that need several small cells for some building. AT&T has been doing a fair amount of DAS for locations like that but the cost is high. There are complications to solve, especially because efficient small cell operation requires a substantial control plane. David Chambers has an interesting interview with Airspan on their LTE small cell testing with Softbank. They look forward to attaching 5 small cells and centrally manage traffic. In some cases, they can double speed that way.

 

The Site for gfast 230
 

G.fast News
A remarkable 400 people attended the very strong Broadband Forum BASE events in Berlin and Las Vegas. Trevor confirmed BT would pass the million this year. Cioffi projected “Waveguide DSL” could carry 10 gigabits a kilometer as well as a terabit 100 meters. Werner sees a 4X improvement in upstream with cDTA. Much more in next issue.

Deutsche Wants a Gigabit, Finally Realizes 50 Meg Isn't Enough http://bit.ly/2zeZ5oZ
Deutsche Telekom is finally realizing that 50 megabit DSL won't make it against gigabit cable. VP Franz Seiser is blunt. "We must change radically, become disruptive and, above all, throw away things," he proclaims at BBWF. After years of DT insisting 50 megabits is plenty, we now hear "it is about Gigabit products" from DT's Robert Soukup.  
    A lucky building in Frankfurt will receive 500+ megabit service as ultra-conservative Deutsche Telekom experiments with G.fast. Soukup told BBWF, "We're going to have a field test in Frankfurt with G.fast and Fiber To The Building (FTTB.) We will know by the end of the year if this is the right way to go." Hint to Soukup: Yes it is. G.fast is working well at a dozen telcos I;ve talked to.
     The details are surprising. DT is going for CORD, Open Source, Calix, and Radisys. http://bit.ly/2zeZ5oZ

*** The new Telebyte Guide to Testing Gfast follows the Broadband Forum IR-337 Gfast test specification, the same used by the University of New Hampshire (UNH-IOL) for Gfast certification testing. Free download http://bit.ly/telebyte (ad) It is the best technical guide to G.fast  I have seen. Grab it. Dave

1.6 Gig in Sckipio-Calix Test http://bit.ly/Calix16
A telco tells me they are getting impressive early results from the Calix 48 port DSLAM with the new Sckipio 212 MHz chips. There still is work to do but this is encouraging. 
    Carriers want DSLAMs with more than 16 ports to reduce the deployment costs from the basement or larger field cabinets. Speed matters to the marketing side of the company; AT&T's CEO believes he must offer a true gigabit to match cable. (They've been getting ~750 megabits with first generation chips. http://bit.ly/Calix16

*** Self-Healing Wi-Fi With ASSIA Real-Q 
Beyond-the-Box visibility and control extends quality-of-experience (QoE) beyond the gateway to the end-user device for every device in the home. Based on ASSIA technology, proven across 80 million subscribers http://bit.ly/2dj7FJk (ad)

Reverse Power 4 Port DSLAM for Australia http://bit.ly/NetcommRP
Australia is connecting 1M homes to G.fast, some with a Netcomm distribution point mini-DSLAM. It's a small unit designed for pole or pit mounting. It's waterproof, pressure proof, and temperature resistant. Their matching home modem is bittorrent friendly, with two USB ports for a hard drive dedicated to sharing.
     A reverse power unit at the customer, the NDD-0100-01, can save the cost of bringing power to the DSLAM. They don't expect many orders until the second half of 2018, as nbn is waiting for the second generation chips. Netcomm demonstrated RP with BT Openreach in August. http://bit.ly/NetcommRP

*** Sckipio's Three advances are taking G.fast to the next level.http://bit.ly/Sckipio (ad)

Australia Makes it Official: G.fast to Million Plus http://bit.ly/GFAussie
No news here. In September, 2015, I reported Australia's nbn Going G.fast. This June. I reported the million home fiber to the curb (kerb?) was beginning. Unfortunately, they are no closer to figuring out where to find the needed $10B to $20B to cover the cost overruns. Instead, the parties are battling in Parliament about who is to blame. http://bit.ly/GFAussie

2 Bonded 212 Lines = 3 Gigabitshttp://bit.ly/twobonded
Sckipio at BBWF is demonstrating 3 gigabits down, nearly a gigabit up, over two phone lines, bonded. Twice the bandwidth (212 MHz instead of 106 MHz) times two lines is fast. Sckipio does great demos; at CES, they showed G.fast first generation chips delivering almost 1 gig upstream.
    “Sckipio is pushing Gfast to astonishing speeds with production silicon,” CEO David Baum proclaims. Calix is using the SCK23000 chipset in their 48 port gig+ DSLAM at the show. http://bit.ly/twobonded

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