T plans much bigger splash in territory starting soon as well. Large buildings and groups are being fought over hard by AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, and others. Verizon brought Fios fiber to this market almost a decade ago, as did local independents. Comcast is offering gigabit coax, which it is soon offering to all ~40M homes as well.
AT&T jumped in more recently, led by Ed Balcerzak of their DirecTV division. DirecTV has millions of lines of coax bringing TV from rooftop antennas, a natural opportunity for broadband. Reporters see the new announcement as the kickoff of a major move with G.fast.
In selected neighborhoods of ~65% of the U.S., AT&T will consider running fiber to the basement or WTTR - Wireless to the Rooftop - plus G.fast at 500 megabits.
The program has been under way for a while and has connected a very limited number of buildings in Boston, Denver, Minneapolis, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Seattle and Tampa. They promoted the offering in Light Reading last year. Since the network must grow building by building, initial volume is unlikely to be large.
In ~35% of the U.S., their primary territory, they still need to finish integrating the G.fast into their software systems. They hope to be ready around year-end and move aggressively in home districts, one reason Tom Stanton of Adtran is optimistic for 2018.
At 3M homes passed/year, AT&T is well along on one of the world's largest fiber home builds. Randall announced it two years ago, touting the now much lower costs of FTTH today. They are telling the street the take rate is strong and will soon be profitable. That's fortunate because customers are fleeing AT&T DSL for cable. Despite now reaching 5M homes with fiber, they lost 7,000 broadband customers last quarter.
The planned 12M fiber homes are less than a third of their territory. G.fast, they believe, can be deployed more quickly. It saves money in many locations. BT is passing 1M homes this year with G.fast, going to 3M/year. AT&T can ramp as quickly if the business case works.
AT&T intends to end copper to at least ten million homes because wireless only is more profitable in many locations. They intend to protect another 25M+ homes, upgrading as practical. G.fast could cover 10M of them at 500 megabits in a few years.
Adtran and Calix are getting a strong takeup of their Software Defined Networking, including most G.fast and NG-PON2 in the field. AT&T is moving faster than anyone else in the world to SDN, so I'm sure the new deployments will use SDN.
Alan Tamboli of Dell'oro sees even more growth in 2019, especially if Deutsche Telekom moves forward on their plan for G.fast in larger buildings.
Illustration of WTTR from Siklu, who sells a 5 gigabit microwave for backhaul.
AT&T's G.fast on Sale Now to Apartment and Condominium Properties in 22 Metros Across the U.S.
G.fast Being Deployed in 8 Metros With 14 Additional Metros Selling the Service to Apartments, Condos
AT&T Provides Connectivity Solution to Properties Without Access to Fiber
We recently completed a trial of G.fast in Minneapolis, the first of the 8 initial launch cities to have a live G.fast property.
G.fast can be deployed immediately in MDUs in parts of the following metros:
- New York City
Additionally, G.fast is currently on sale to MDUs in parts of 14 other metros with deployment planned in the near future. These include:
- Albany, N.Y.
- Buffalo, N.Y.
- Colorado Springs, Colo.
- Hartford, Conn.
- Omaha, Neb.
- Portland, Ore.
- Providence, R.I.
- Richmond, Va.
- Rochester, N.Y.
- Washington, D.C.
- Salt Lake City
Each of these metros is located outside of our traditional 21-state home internet service-area. G.fast provides internet access to apartment and condo units over existing coaxial cables. This can minimize disruption for current residents because there's no need to place new wiring in each residence. AT&T will offer internet speeds of up to 500 megabits per second1, but G.fast provides the capability to allow AT&T to offer greater speeds over time. Residents of these properties can also enjoy the availability of DIRECTV without installing a dish at their individual units.
G.fast adds another innovative solution to existing fiber and millimeter-wave wireless access solutions for MDU property owners to provide their residents high speed internet and TV services.
"We're tapping into the existing internet infrastructure in some multifamily properties to bring ultra-fast internet in less time and with less disruption than replacing the network with fiber," said Ed Balcerzak, senior vice president, AT&T Connected Communities. "While fiber to the unit remains the best broadband solution for most properties where possible, G.fast and fixed millimeter-wave provide connectivity to properties that aren't able to support fiber. AT&T is committed to providing apartments and condos with connectivity across the nation, and innovations such as G.fast are helping us to do that."
AT&T Trialing Fixed-Wireless Millimeter Wave to Deliver High-Speed Internet Outside of its Traditional Wireline Service Area
Apartment Residents in Minneapolis First to Enjoy AT&T Internet Outside of Wireline Service Area
Apartment and Multifamily Properties in Additional Metro Areas Under Consideration for Service
AT&T1 is trialing a point-to-point millimeter wave wireless technology that uses in-building wiring to deliver a 100 megabits per second connection accessible to each apartment unit.2 This first-of-its-kind trial for AT&T uses a combination of wired and wireless network technologies to provide these speeds to multiple apartment complexes in Minneapolis, outside of our traditional 21 state wireline service area.
We plan to make faster speeds available, likely a speed tier of 500Mbps, in these trial properties through this fixed-wireless solution.
“We’re trialing the latest innovations in wireless and wired network technologies. This will make it possible for us to potentially deliver an internet connection to more locations where we have not previously been able to offer a home internet connection,” said Ed Balcerzak, senior vice president, Commercial and Connected Communities, AT&T. “If successful, this will give us the ability to offer a combination of internet, DIRECTV and wireless services to apartment complexes and multifamily communities in additional metro areas.”
Residents in these trial properties can also enjoy our DIRECTV service. Our DIRECTV Advantage solution uses a single satellite dish on the building to send a video signal to a centralized distribution system for the property. This makes it possible to offer DIRECTV service in every unit without satellite dishes on balconies.
What is the fixed-wireless technology solution?
We’re using millimeter wave wireless technology to send a multi-gigabit signal from a central building connected to fiber to neighboring locations, and then connecting each unit over in-building wiring. This makes it possible for us to offer ultra-fast internet speeds to residents in the entire property at a fraction of the time and cost typically associated with making service available.
- Wireless: We’re extending ultra-fast internet speeds from a fiber-connected property to neighboring properties using small radio/antenna systems placed on the properties’ rooftops. Millimeter wave offers a high-capacity wireless signal that makes it possible to connect a neighboring residential property’s infrastructure to speeds of several gigabits per second.
- Wired: Once a neighboring building receives the multi-gigabit millimeter wave wireless signal, we convert it to an ultra-fast wired internet connection. We then use existing or new wiring in the property to offer internet access directly to each unit.
After customers in these properties sign up for service, they can plug their Wi-Fi router into an existing wall outlet to get internet service in their apartment.
What does this mean for residents outside of these trial properties?
Fixed-wireless millimeter wave technology gives us the ability to make ultra-fast internet speeds available to additional locations in less time and with less disruption. This is particularly true in apartment and multifamily communities.
We’re evaluating the expansion of this fixed-wireless millimeter wave solution to connect additional properties outside of our traditional wireline service area. Additional areas under consideration where we might connect more properties include, but are not limited to, Boston, Denver, New Jersey, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Seattle and Washington D.C.