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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

Altice labs extender 200Portugal as a technology hub. Nuno Monteiro at Altice Labs is ready to ship CPEs, 16 port DSLAMs, and single port “fiber range extenders.” They are working on a 24 port DSLAM as well, using Sckipio chips. The single port has a natural application when you can bring fiber close (<200 meters) and want to save time and the expense of running fiber all the way. The extender can be configured very simply or with full management capability.

They are seeing enough demand for coax connectivity they offer a unit with both coax and twisted pair interfaces. They also offer dual coax outputs, one for a set top and one for a router. They have a Yang-based management system already widely in use. 

Altice acquired the company when it took control of Portugal Telecom and renamed it Altice Labs. Many of their sales are under other companies’ names, so they are not well known. It has a proud history going back to building digital switches in the 1950’s. Today they make GPON ONTs in the hundreds of thousands. Portugal has fiber home in most of the country, far ahead of most of Europe.

They have a natural market in Altice U.S., rapidly converting >3M customers from cable to fiber home. Every other cableco I know is sticking with DOCSIS cable for existing customers. Liberty, for example, is using some fiber for new builds but otherwise is upgrading the existing coax.

Altice startled the cable world with the Cablevision plan to replace more than a million lines of coax, working well, with new fiber. DOCSIS is delivering the gig downstream and has realistic plans to deliver hundreds of megabits upstream. Most of us think that plenty for many years.

Even more startling was Altice’s claim they could do so without raising capex. Running fiber is costly, and I didn’t think Altice had a major breakthrough in construction. They believe they do, possibly building on lessons learned - and gear- from their Portugal branch. They just reaffirmed the lowest cost of fiber in their financial call.

In France, they claim customer calls and repair trips are down by half, with expanded fiber playing an important role.

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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