G.fast will be a significant and important part of service provider portfolios around the world, according to equipment vendor Adtran. The company revealed that it is engaged in G.fast trials with more than 60 operators, including BT’s large scale trials in the UK.
G.fast, as a viable gigabit broadband technology, is allowing carriers to deliver up to five times the broadband speed currently offered by the most progressive cable providers.
This scenario brings fibre closer to the customer, when it is known as fibre-to-the-distribution-point (FTTdp). Ultra-fast broadband speeds can be delivered without requiring entry to the customer’s premises, which enables smoother and lower-cost installation compared to traditional fibre-to-the-home deployments (see our feature Distribution of wealth).
Adtran says it has gained considerable G.fast trial experience since it demonstrated the industry’s first fully sealed product in early 2014. The company says it is now engaged with more than 60 service providers across six continents.
Among that number it can count BT, which is one of the more vocal supporters of G.fast technology (see BT puts G.fast at heart of its broadband strategy).
BT is carrying out G.fast trials to more than 2000 properties in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, using Adtran’s 500G Series G.fast distribution point units.
Adtran says its products have significantly exceeded expectations, with innovative technology that enhances the performance of G.fast both in terms of reach and speed.
As a result of these improvements, operators like BT are considering new deployment models for ultra-fast broadband, moving from more costly FTTP deployment models to the emerging FTTdp model and are considering even higher degrees of port aggregation with G.fast deployed from street cabinets, as VDSL technology is now.
For every additional 50m delivered over copper, service providers could increase aggregation levels at the distribution point or cabinet, allowing them to deploy broadband more cost effectively. Adtran currently offers 8 and 16-port units and plans to increase the port density of its G.fast equipment in the future.
Mike Galvin, BT managing director of service, strategy and operations, explained: “Providing fibre to every home or business in a given community can be a logistical and financial challenge. Rather than relying on fibre for the entire network, G.fast solutions such as Adtran’s utilise existing copper assets for the last step of the journey. This allows us to provide the ultra-fast broadband that customers demand, while reducing the time and cost of running fibre all the way to the premises.”
Dr. Eduard Scheiterer, senior vice president, research and development, Adtran, commented: “Conversations with our customers during these trials are revealing G.fast technology to be a significant and important part of service provider broadband portfolios all around the world. Adtran’s continued investment in G.fast includes end-user service activation through reverse powering capabilities, which we brought to market. We are also working with standards bodies like the Broadband Forum to develop open APIs and interfaces allowing simplified, rapid deployment into any broadband network, regardless of FTTx vendor or OSS incumbency.”