Swisscom in first commercial launch of G.fast in Europe

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Swisscom believes it has become the first European service provider to launch commercial services based on G.fast technology.

Since September 2016, only G.fast-compatible 16-port hardware has been used for the operator’s Switzerland-wide fibre-to-the-street (FTTS) expansion. With FTTS, fibre-optic cables are laid up to a distance of around 200 metres from homes, and then the existing copper infrastructure is used to cover the remaining distance.

The technology will allow Swisscom to quickly and cost-effectively provide aggregate transmission speeds of up to 500Mb/s. This is made possible through the use of higher frequencies on copper cables. Swisscom says it worked together with its technology partner Huawei to develop specific solutions for the Swiss market.

Swisscom had already successfully provided the first pilot customers in the world with broadband using the final standard of G.fast, which was approved in December 2014. The operator moved quickly to a field trial in spring 2015, which provided valuable insights in preparation for a full-scale deployment.

Four years after the project began, the new transmission standard will now be applied across Switzerland as part of its standard network expansion, the operator says. In 2017, 48-port hardware will become available, which will enable Swisscom to start using G.fast in its fibre-to-the building (FTTB) roll-out as well.

The G.fast roll-out is part of Swisscom’s strategy to modernise its fixed broadband network in all Swiss municipalities with the aim of providing connections of at least 100Mp/s to 85 per cent of all Swiss households and businesses by the end of 2020. The service provider is investing around CHF 1.8 billion in its IT and infrastructure in 2016.

In total, Swisscom connected more than 3.3. million homes and offices with ultra-fast broadband by the end of June 2016 – of which more than 2.2 million were with more advanced technologies, which includes fibre to the curb (FTTC) with vectoring, fibre to the street (FTTS), fibre to the building (FTTB) and fibre to the home (FTTH).

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