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June 18, 2015
Industry support for the broadband access standard G.fast has gathered further momentum as Alcatel-Lucent and industry association the Broadband Forum announce strides in the adoption of the technology being made.
G.fast is an emerging access technology intended to extract the maximum bandwidth potential from existing copper infrastructure. Designed for use within the final 500m between the network distribution point and the customer premises, G.fast-enabled networks and compatible receiving residential technology can theoretically achieve download speeds of between 150Mbps and 1Gbps. Unlike VDSL2, G.fast utilises Time-Division Duplexing (TDD) to transmit and receive signals instead of Frequency-Division Duplexing (FDD). TDD’s ability to vary the throughput of transmit and receive signals lends itself to more dynamic delivery of bandwidth-intensive services of varying upload and download sizes, such as broadcasting or web-browsing.
Alcatel-Lucent announced its residential G.fast compatible gateway, which the vendor claims lends itself to a simplified connection process for the consumer, and removing the need for a technician to attend the premises for installation. It also reckons consumers can then enjoy broadband speeds of more than 750Mbps when connected to a G.fast infrastructure, which BT intends to pilot in the UK this summer, before a 2016/2017 rollout.
The French vendor also reckons the residential gateway will support dual-band wifi, so users benefit from theoretical wireless speeds of up to 1Gbps, and claims all of this can be achieved without the need for fibre to the premises (FTTP).
“Combining the latest WiFi and G.fast technology, operators can now easily deliver fiber-like speeds into the home without ever having to drill a hole or run wires,” said Federico Guillén, president of Alcatel-Lucent’s fixed access business. “The new CPE will provide operators with simply way to help customers maximize the full potential of heir connected home today and for years to come.”
Meanwhile, the Broadband Forum has been making progress on the standardisation of G.fast, having hosted a demonstration vendor-fest this week. 14 companies were involved at the event in the U.S. and gave participants an environment in which to test compatibility and interoperability of potential G.fast-enabled customer premises equipment (CPE) alongside industry peers.
Kevin Foster, chairman of the Broadband Forum, highlighted the growing need for ultra-capacity broadband services, in an era of data intensive consumer services.
“G.fast is a significant answer to a pressing need for faster turnaround, time to market and ROI for vendors,” he said. “It also answers the needs of service providers seeking to quickly meet the demands of their customers for new services such as 4K-TV and the increased use of data and cloud services. The Broadband Forum has been preparing for this for some time with specifications and test plans, and this latest plugfest allows us to support vendors in bringing forward their chipsets and system devices and to support service providers in making informed decisions on the introduction of services.”
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Tim is the features editor at Telecoms.com, focusing on the latest activity within the telecoms and technology industries – delivering dry and irreverent yet informative news and analysis features.
Tim is also host of weekly podcast A Week In Wireless, where the editorial team from Telecoms.com and their industry mates get together every now and then and have a giggle about what’s going on in the industry.
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