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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

Cologne-Cathedral-from-UNESCOKick Deutsche Telekom out of the buildings and everyone gets 100 megabits more.  Sharing copper lines became obsolete when vectored noise reduction became practical, first in VDSL and now in As processors became fast enough to cancel noise across the lines in the binder, speeds double if one operator is in control. Deutsche Telekom is demanding a monopoly where they upgrade to 30-100 megabit vectored VDSL; City-owned Netcologne is instead offering 500 megabit+

Technical officer Horst Schmitz tells they will connect 250,000 homes in 2017 and another 100,000 after that.

NetCologne has an established program to deliver fiber working with other cities. If DT doesn't increase speeds, others may be tempted. can run about 100 megabits faster (or go 100 meters further) if the first 20 MHz are not used for some other carrier's VDSL. John Cioffi of ASSIA makes that point strongly. I confirmed the engineering details with several in Paris. NC wants to kick DT's VDSL off the lines, just as DT is demanding to kick everyone off the lines in other parts of the country. I can confirm that several very senior people in England and Germany are listening. It's very hard for governments and giant companies to change to other forms of unbundling but 100 megabits more to every home is a powerful incentive. 

What no one is saying publicly is that traditional VDSL will fairly rapidly fail in competition with and gigabit cable. 17 MHz VDSL delivers 20-70 megabits a modest distance. BT sells it as "up to 72 megabits" but that's deceptive; I've seen no evidence that even 10% of lines can get that speed. Vectoring can double that but you can't vector VDSL and in the same binder. 

Over time (?3-7 years), so many of the VDSL unbundled lines will switch to higher speeds they will generally become too expensive to service. (and gigabit cable) cost very little more than standard VDSL, now a 10 year old and soon obsolete technology. There are many marketing scenarios possible but ultimately the 10x faster service will win most customers. 

That doesn't have to mean broadband competition dies. Sharing the line from the exchange to the home becomes untenable as chips get fast enough to do noise cancellation (vectoring). Vectoring increases speeds from 2-10X. That's worth changing the competition rules.

DT is considering using the 300 meg speeds of LTE combined with slow DSL to compete with cable. They already have DSL + LTE as an offering. They are rapidly upgrading to 3 carrier LTE and have enough spectrum to raise that to gigabit speeds in the next few years.

LTE at 19 megabits today is faster than Deutsche Telekom's average DSL speeds. 


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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