Gfast map

gfast map copy


In 2016, looked very promising.
Thousands worked at developing and deploying.
It wasn't enough. 
Most carriers are investing
in fiber or 5G instead.


Dark Blue: 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 Blue: Smaller carriers in Germany, Norway, Finland, Japan

Light Blue: Incumbent likely:  France, Germany, Italy

"11M subs/year in 2021 predicted by nbn/Ovum" was my original headline. After reading the report, I saw no way to be so precise five years from now. There are too many unknowns. Ovum sees only 330,000 in 2017. My guess for 2017 would be higher. Technicolor has an order in hand for 100,000 modems, probably used in VDSL mode until is ready. AT&T is passing 3M homes a year with fiber and/or They are being coy about but see large savings likely. BT is passing 140K homes in the first half of the year, then ramping rapidly to 3M/year. 

SK in Korea will be in a race with Korea Telecom for the 9M homes in the country that need upgrades. KT is promising to offer at hundreds of megabits to 95% of the 9M by the end of 2017; SK can't afford not to move quickly. I've 12 countries on the map with firm deployments. Over 60 more are in trials.

Most of the planned builds will still be ramping late in 2017. A modest delay could easily push subscriber adds into 2018. Data for 2019-2021 are highly speculative.

Broadcom and Sckipio, the leading chipmakers, have incorporated important advances in their chips. Sckipio customers have confirmed to me DTA, 30A, and the fiber extender are working well and are comfortable moving ahead. I haven't yet heard from Broadcom customers so have no way to estimate when their new features will be ready. They don't even have a product sheet for me, much less a reference customer or field trial data.

I have the Ovum data from Petroc Wilson of Commsday. “In 2021 Ovum expects to be supporting nearly 29 million subscribers, representing 3% of the global fixed broadband market. As an emerging technology the growth in annual subscriber additions is expected to accelerate in each year, rising from 330,000 in 2017 to nearly 11.5 million in 2021.” Mistakes in the rest of the article are mine. Petroc is one of the few reporters I'm willing to pick up without checking quotes. He and COMMSDay colleagues are exceptional. Their newsletter requires a professionally priced subscription but is read by everyone interested in Australia and New Zealand telecom. Update 10/17 - the report is out and the summary below.

I'm 12,000 miles away so can't be sure of the reason nbn is placing cabinets close to homes (FTTdp) and then filling them with second-rate VDSL DSLAMs. It's an obvious mistake. Everything about the nbn is very political. My best guess is that they are looking for the government to increase their subsidies and are holding back on for political reasons.


G.Fast set for nearly 30 million end users by 2021

New nbn-BT report ‘Gigabit Networks’ predicts bright future for G.Fast and XG.Fast

A new Ovum report jointly commissioned by nbn and BT has predicted that new ultra-fast copper technology will be serving nearly 30 million subscriber homes and businesses around the world by 2021. This is just four years after the first commercial services are due to launch in 2017.

“In 2021, Ovum expects to be supporting nearly 29 million subscribers, representing 3% of the global fixed broadband market,” the Gigabit Networks report says.

“As an emerging technology, the growth in new subscribers is expected to accelerate in each year, rising from 330,000 in 2017 to nearly 11.5 million in 2021.”

nbn held its first trial in October 2015 and has been conducting additional lab trials of XG.FAST in recent weeks.

nbn recently announced its intention to deploy Fibre-to-the-Curb (FTTC) technology to approximately 700,000 premises – giving an ideal platform for potentially deploying both future and XG.FAST services.

Ovum is forecasting particularly strong take-up of in Europe, with operators including BT, Swisscom, Deutsche Telekom, Telekom Austria and Proximus (Belgium) all planning to deploy technology to deliver affordable ultrafast connectivity quickly and cost-effectively.

“About 11% of broadband services in Western Europe may be delivered via within five years, with a number of major markets already including the technology in their upgrade plans,” the Gigabit Networks report says.

Openreach, BT’s local network division, is expected to be one of the first operators in the world to launch commercial services with a launch expected during 2017.

It is aiming to make ultrafast speeds available to 12 million premises in the UK by the end of 2020 – using a mix of and Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) technologies.

Openreach is already working to conduct the largest field trials in the world, delivering speeds of up to 330Mbps. The company recently announced an extension to its pilot which will see around 140,000 homes and businesses across the country given access to by March 2017.


Gigabit Networks points out that XG.FAST will enable service providers to take DSL-based broadband to an entirely new level.

“Developed by Nokia Bell Labs, XG-FAST is targeting throughput of up to 10Gbps over very short bonded copper lines,” the report says.

“This effectively positions XG-FAST as a fibre extension solution that avoids the cost, and often logistical challenges, of accessing the premises.”

Dennis Steiger, nbn's Chief Technology Officer, said:

“This report shows the potential that has for delivering ultra-fast broadband services in the global market.

“It is very challenging to deliver fibre into every home. Having the option to use in a Fibre-to-the-Building or Fibre-to-the-Curb setting is a great option for any operator.

“With able to deliver fibre-like speeds at a lower cost and time to deploy, it’s little surprise the technology is attracting strong global interest," said Steiger.

Clive Selley, CEO of Openreach, said:

“Our aim is to make ultrafast broadband available to 12 million homes and businesses in the UK by the end of 2020, and we’re embracing a mix of technologies with and FTTP to achieve that.

“We have pioneered in our labs, driven the global standards, and have been working closely with our communications provider customers on the trials, so we’re very excited that it’s time to start rolling this technology out nationwide.

“The great thing about is that allows us to deliver affordable ultrafast speeds to customers quickly and at scale.”

Matthew Howett, Practice Leader, Regulation & Policy, Ovum said:

“ is a progressive and logical step for any network operator looking to deliver ultrafast speeds through incremental enhancements to existing infrastructure. It allows them to radically improve the available speeds for large numbers of subscribers in a much shorter timeframe than other fibre based solutions.”

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