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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

PLDT spending $40M over three years. 500 buildings will be connected in 2017, half business and half residential. They plan 1,600 more buildings in 2018 & 2019. They promise "up to 600-700 megabits." That's realistic; today's from the basement or the roof will usually deliver 500-800 megabits. 

The surprise is the inclusion of Korea Telecom's GiGa Wire using Marvell's chips. KT itself is rolling out millions of lines of, possibly faster than the worldwide roll of can deliver high speeds without much of the cost and complexity of engineers believe will encounter severe congestion problems as the networks add more subscribers because of the lack of vectoring. Chano Gomez of Marvell claims real world results are just fine. I'm waiting for some independent data. 

Huawei is supplying the gear,

presumably with their usual Broadcom chips. Broadcom has made many promises for their newer chips, but field results are lacking. All the chip vendors and system houses are working furiously on exceeding the current limits of (16 ports with Broadcom, 24 with Sckipio.) Until then, in larger buildings has extra costs. (16 ports are not enough to serve a single floor of Jennie's building, not unusual in New York and many other cities.) 

PLDT has announced this as a "roll-out" so I'm adding them to the map. A few hundred thousand lines in three years are only a small fraction of PLDT's 6M homes passed with copper. $40M is less than 2% of PLDT's three year capex, making this a very small commitment. 

PLDT now passes 2.5M homes with fiber home, more than either British Telecom or Deutsche Telekom.

PLDT to roll-out fiber-fast broadband on regular phone lines

by PLDT Public Affairs | Dec 20, 2016
Using latest advanced hybrid fiber technologies in P2B 3-year roll-out program

MANILA, PHILIPPINES (19 December 2016) – Philippine telecoms and digital services leader PLDT is bringing fiber-based broadband services to the next level by deploying the latest advanced hybrid fiber technologies that can deliver super-fast broadband service through regular phone lines in buildings and residences.

The deployment comes after the successful trials of two advanced hybrid fiber technologies, one by KT Corporation (formerly known as Korea Telecom) called "GiGa Wire" and the other is by Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. called “" Both are capable of providing data speeds per user of up to 600-700 Mbps per user, depending on the length of the local copper loop.

Both GiGa Wire and work by connecting buildings and dwellings with fiber optic cables and using special equipment to enable the internal copper wiring of these structures to deliver fiber-like data speeds.

“This new initiative is part of our broad effort to make fiber-powered, high-speed connectivity more widely available to the public. It’s part and parcel of building the ‘Gigabit Society’ – where high-bandwidth, low-latency digital services in homes, businesses, healthcare services, utilities and schools become an integral part of daily life,” said PLDT Chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan.

“Our initial plan calls for deploying Giga Wire and solutions in over 500 buildings in different parts of the country next year. This number will be split between residential and office buildings. But this is just the start,” said PLDT Chief Revenue Officer Ernesto R. Alberto.

An additional 1,600 buildings are being lined up for 2018 and 2019. Total investment in this 3-year deployment will amount to about P2 billion.

For PLDT, these hybrid technologies offer a way to take full advantage of the company’s extensive telephone network in order to deliver fiber-powered broadband services.

The vast majority of office and residential buildings are currently wired internally with copper. And it is difficult and costly to re-wire these structures with fiber.

Also, the majority of homes are still connected by regular phone lines. In the case of PLDT, -- the number of “homes passed” – i.e., the number of homes that can be reached by PLDT’s regular phone lines – is 6 million.

“Hybrid fiber technologies break down barriers to fiber deployment. These enable us to extend more quickly super-fast broadband services to areas where fiber deployment is difficult. We side step the challenge of having to re-wire buildings,” said PLDT Chief Technology and Information Adviser Joachim W. Horn.

The deployment of hybrid fiber solutions complements very well the ongoing roll-out of fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) connections. Currently, the number of “homes passed” by PLDT’s FTTH network is 2.5 million.

“With these two parallel and complementary roll-outs, PLDT is well-positioned to bring high-speed broadband to more areas of the country more quickly and efficiently than anyone else,” Horn said.

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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