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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

Frank MillerThe 44 building trial went well and Miller expects to deploy widely. Century, the $17B telco that swallowed Qwest, has 6M broadband lines. many of which need to be upgraded. He has to replace the older lines despite modestly reduced capex. is cost effective and hence a natural choice. He didn't give a projection but sounded like he planned to move quickly.

Sean Buckley of Fierce captured Miller's comments at the Calix Analyst meeting. “When I first came to CenturyLink as the VP of architecture and strategy, my main call was more tied to service velocity,” Miller said. “Our competition of the future is not a telecom company, but rather the Amazon, Facebooks and Hulus of the world, so we had this one time to transform to a software platform and the first to key projects are and NG-PON2.”

Miller intends to move aggressively to Software Defined Networks. He is particularly concerned with deploying rapidly. Comcast is moving fast on gigabit downstream DOCSIS 3.1 and advertising aggressively in the early markets. Cox, however, is delaying the gig until 2020.

The upstream can be an important competitive advantage over most cable for years. Many cablecos have decided to wait for Full Duplex upstream, which John Chapman tells me will be barely out of the labs in 2019. Full Duplex requires remote PHYs, which are a major capital investment and deployment effort. Some cablecos will take a long time to improve all the network.

I would much rather have 50 down, 50 up than the 200/20 that is the best I can get from Time Warner. Jennie does video and the 50/50 Fios at her apartment is a pleasure. I'd switch immediately but Verizon hasn't done my building. Current from fiber to the basement or wireless to the rooftop is 500-800 megabits, allowing 100-200 meg upstream. I want it. The 212 MHz of Amendment 3 will almost double that, probably next year.

35b vectoring is also in the Century plans. Miller says it's a natural choice where most of the lines are 400-700 meters, beyond the efficient range of Deutsche Telekom has just delayed 35b to customers until late 2018, but has deployed millions of easily upgradeable lines. Lab tests show 200+ downstream on short loops. 

Century is buying Level 3 as a way to diversify from the declining landline business, at a price that will continue to limit the upgrade cycle.

Important Conflict of Interest Note: Calix paid my airfare and hotel to attend their Analyst event in San Francisco, 


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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