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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

KailathHoping to upgrade six million homes of NTT and KT of fiber to the basement. Details are scarce, but NTT, KT and their supplier Sumitomo are testing chips that offer the gigabit performance of (release below). They haven't said whether these are, vectored VDSL using high frequencies or a proprietary hybrid. They have engineers far along on all three possibilities. Their engineering is strong, headed by CTO Debu Pal, who studied under legendary Stanford Professor Tom Kailath. (pictured, with wife economist Anuradha Luther Maitra)

Japan and Korea's fiber deployments have been putting the West to shame for a decade. Since around 2005, NTT has been delivering 100 megabits from fiber to the basement. At the same time, Randall Stephenson of AT&T looked at me as if I were joking when I asked whether AT&T would do 100 megabits to Chicago highrises. "Why would anyone want more than 24 megabits," he asked me.

To Randall's credit, when he learned he was wrong he backed his technical people looking for the highest speeds practical within the budget. It hasn't been publicized, but the U-Verse team has done a remarkable job getting three HD channels in a network no one thought could handle the load. There are unsung heroes at AT&T.

Tallwood's Ikanos has absorbed Globespan/Virata and Centillium, giving them a lock on the Japanese market. The Japanese took a risk on early high performance DSL and it's done well for them. They may well go their own way on this as well. 

In Busan for the ITU last fall, I asked many of the Koreans whether anyone had found practical uses for their gigabit fiber. "Pride," not "practical use," was the answer. 

Here's the Ikanos release. When I get more details than this, I'll be happy to report them.

Ikanos First to Demonstrate Gigabit Broadband Performance Over Existing Copper Networks in Japan and Korea

The Only End-to-End Solution to Date Showing Over 1 Gbps Throughput on Copper with VDSL Fallback, Ensuring Co-Existence without Degrading Legacy VDSL Service in these Regions; Over Six Million Subscribers Could Benefit from this Gigabit Technology over Copper

FREMONT, Calif. – May 20, 2015 – Ikanos Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: IKAN), a leading provider of advanced broadband semiconductor and software products for the connected home, today announced that it has successfully demonstrated in OEM lab trials data rates in excess of 1 Gbps at a distance of 100m over existing hybrid fiber-copper networks in Japan and Korea. As the first company to achieve true gigabit performance over a short-loop copper network, Ikanos becomes the sole access-network technology provider to date that can enable carriers in both regions to provide millions of VDSL subscribers a 10 times or greater increase in data rates, over the same VDSL lines that can only deliver up to 100 Mbps service today.

In addition, these demonstrations were conducted in the presence of currently deployed VDSL services, without any impact on the existing VDSL data rates. The VDSL fallback feature will also ensure backwards compatibility with the deployed CPEs, enabling a seamless upgrade for the entire subscriber base. Achieving gigabit performance over copper networks without adversely impacting the deployed VDSL service is an important carrier requirement in Japan and Korea. Other competing technologies cannot co-exist with deployed VDSL service in the same binder without suffering heavy performance loss, expected to degrade to a few hundred Mbps data rates in a real deployment. Ikanos’ solution, on the other hand, is optimally designed to co-exist with the VDSL 30a profile that is widely deployed in Japan and Korea today, and, as such, is the most suitable and deployable gigabit technology for both regions.

Ikanos’ latest advancement in gigabit broadband marks a significant milestone for the company in Japan and Korea. Ikanos pioneered 100Mbps service over copper using its state-of-the-art VDSL 30a profile, which allowed the company to capture effectively 100% market share in both regions, with a combined VDSL subscriber base of over 6 million. Today’s announcement once again confirms the company’s gigabit technology leadership and continued commitment to the region’s broadband initiatives, positioning Ikanos to continue its dominance in both countries. Ikanos’ gigabit technology is a variant of the recently ratified standard, optimized for the unique requirements of the carrier networks in the two regions. Due to its incumbency, Ikanos is very familiar with these carrier requirements, which uniquely positions the company to meet the carrier performance targets without impacting existing VDSL broadband services.

Over the past 12 months, Ikanos has worked closely with its OEM partners in the region to define the requirements and the desired performance targets that would create a compelling offering for the local carriers. This collaboration resulted in a series of jointly defined OEM lab trials, consisting of rigorous tests designed to mimic actual carrier network deployments, including Japanese and Korean cables, and currently deployed VDSL CPE devices to test co-existence as well as backward compatibility. At the conclusion of these trials, Ikanos was able to achieve best-in-class overall performance, including reaching data rates of over 1 Gbps at a distance of up to 100m, uniquely establishing Ikanos’ gigabit technology significantly ahead of any potential competitors.

“Growth in demand for technology to deliver ever-faster, more responsive applications and services is at an all-time high, with one of the key driving factors being the upcoming 2020 Olympics in Japan,” said Hiroaki Nishimoto, General Manager, Broad Networks Division, Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. “We have worked hand-in-hand with Ikanos since the early days of xDSL, and together we have remained remarkably agile in responding to each new wave in demand for broadband. We are very excited to see Ikanos’ latest demonstration of true gigabit performance, particularly given the strong carrier interest in upgrading all their subscribers to gigabit service.”

“The rapid emergence of high-bandwidth applications such as ultra-HD broadcast with 4K and 8K content, high-resolution gaming, and multi-screen streaming are increasingly driving demand for gigabit consumer connectivity,” said Kazunori Sakai, General Manager, Network Solution Division, NEC Magnus Communications, Ltd. “NEC Magnus and Ikanos have enjoyed a strong partnership that has enabled operator deployments of 100Mbps service ahead of the broadband adoption curve. Now, with Ikanos’ demonstration of gigabit technology, we can see a viable path for Japanese operators to offer gigabit broadband services to their entire subscriber base.”

“Carriers in Japan and Korea were the first to deploy high-speed broadband services capable of reaching 100Mbps data rates, leveraging Ikanos’ industry-leading VDSL technology,” said Omid Tahernia, CEO and president of Ikanos Communications. “Now, as these carriers prepare for upgrading millions of their VDSL subscribers to gigabit services, our latest gigabit broadband demonstrations reiterate our technology leadership to our partners, and show our commitment to the carriers in the region and to meeting their specific requirements.”

About Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd.

Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. designs, manufactures and sells optical fibers, cables, components, advanced electronic devices, and automotive parts. Through successful strategies of research and diversification, Sumitomo Electric has become one of the world’s leading companies at the forefront of the revolution in information and communications. Sumitomo Electric’s world-class research and manufacturing capabilities in optical technology continue to expand and strengthen the product portfolio while maintaining industry leading levels of reliability. The company has global operations in more than 40 countries with over 240,000 employees. Sumitomo Electric reported group net sales of $23.5 billion for the fiscal year ended March 2015.

About Ikanos Communications, Inc.

Ikanos Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: IKAN) is a leading provider of advanced broadband semiconductor and software products for the connected home. The company’s broadband DSL, communications processors and other offerings power access infrastructure and customer premises equipment for many of the world’s leading network equipment manufacturers and telecommunications service providers. For more information, visit


Anuradha Luther Maitra

The Site for gfast 230 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.

Deutsche Telecom: 35b Supervectoring Delayed to 2019
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 DT itself is planning extensive deployments in 2019, mostly in apartment buildings.

Gigabit 100 Meters - Unless the Wires are Lousy
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 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 & 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.

AT&T Wants Coax 2-5 Gigabit Very Soon.
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."

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