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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

Siklu-fiberWho needs fiber for Skywire/Xchange has been using microwave for backhaul and commercial links, here in New York. They are putting into some of their buildings, using wireless to the roof rather than fiber to the basement. Siklu and Ericsson offer mmWave up to 5 gigabits with good latency. Boris Maysel of Siklu tells me they will have 10 gig in a box next year. 

Since Google bought Webpass everyone is thinking gigabit wireless. Suddenly, reporters around the world claimed the Webpass deal implied abandoning fiber for wireless to homes, even though that wasn't their primary business. Webpass used wireless to the roof and then copper, often Cat 5 Ethernet, to reach the apartments. No one has given me a reason to believe it wouldn't work for in many locations.

Digging up the streets here can cost $5,000 per block, so it's very hard to make fiber to the basement profitable except for large commercial buildings. Multi-gigabit radios are now priced in the thousands; Ubiquiti sells a pair of one gig units for $2K. 

Karolina Wikander of Ericsson told me "Microwave backhaul technology is already able to handle 100 percent of all radio access sites."

II was surprised because the 5G engineers had all been talking fiber. I checked the specs and asked a senior engineer, who confirmed it would work. 

Academia has been headed here for a while. Robert Heath and University of Texas colleagues describe a microwave system that can provide many gigabits of backhaul. "Simulations demonstrate that with 500 MHz of bandwidth (at 39 GHz band) and 28 dBm transmission power (55 dBm EIRP), it is possible to provide more than 11 Gbps backhaul capacity for 96 small cells within 1-km radius."

Thoughts, anyone? 

Siklu Brings Broadband to New York City’s Digital Deserts


FAIRLAWN, NEW JERSEY — July 27, 2016 — Skywire Networks, the business division of Xchange Telecom, has selected Siklu Inc. for its easy-to-deploy solutions to enable multi-gigabit broadband for commercial buildings in New York City. This partnership is part of New York City’s broadband expansion in Industrial Business Zones, which is delivering business class data and voice services to currently underserved areas known as the city’s “digital deserts”. As industrial areas undergo urbanization, there is a huge need for urban wireless solutions as these areas lack fiber-based broadband. Skywire Networks is using Siklu’s fiber-like wireless links to resolve the network densification bottleneck that is happening in these underserved pockets of the city. With Siklu’s cost-effective links, interference-free communication is delivered within weeks to business buildings; changing digital deserts into digital havens.

Skywire Networks is a Brooklyn-based telecommunications provider who delivers enterprise-class broadband and unified communications services to businesses that operate in buildings underserved by traditional cable and telephony carriers. “While there is plenty of fiber in Midtown and Wall Street running north-south along the avenues, much of the blocks between the avenues – as well as large parts of Brooklyn and Queens — are digital deserts,” says Brent Barbara, SVP Product and Marketing at Xchange Telecom. “Speed to deploy is very important, but when we tell the landlords we can connect their buildings within two to three weeks, are dubious. Then we sit down with them and explain how Siklu’s small, innovative radios operate in the abundant and uncongested mmWave spectrum, providing interference-free communication to businesses for all modern commercial needs. We don’t need to dig up the streets like the other guys.”

Attitude, Inc., a post-production video company in the Flatiron District of Manhattan, desperately needed faster speeds than their cable provider could deliver due to the asymmetrical nature of cable-based ISPs. “We had to upload giant video files to our client servers on a daily basis,” says Attitude Inc.’s owner, Joe Baron. “We deliver for air, so my clients have zero tolerance for late delivery.” Moving offices was not an option, as the company had invested a lot in the infrastructure of their space. Then in 2015 the building’s landlord introduced Baron to Skywire Networks. They told Attitude Inc. that they were delivering broadband through a wireless connection. “From the day Skywire Networks came in and installed the service, my speed quadrupled,” Baron says. “They had us up and running in less than an hour and did the installation off hours so it didn’t disrupt my business.”

Siklu is uniquely qualified to bring immediate high-speed connection to a densely populated city like New York. “Siklu’s 60, 70/80GHz products are geared towards realizing high-capacity, fiber-like connectivity for the last mile in those dense locations lacking the reach of fiber, and thus prone to interference from the multitude of devices connected close together,” said Ilan Moshe, General Manager, Americas, at Siklu.

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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