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

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.