If you missed last week’s Broadband World Forum event in London, there is one technology that stole the show: G.fast. No matter where you turned, what news you read or which conversation you had, BBWF 2015 was all about G.fast. There were real products, real customer performance stories and numerous operators demonstrating the real services that they plan to deliver thanks to this game changing technology.
We have all quickly become accustomed to enjoying and relying on the conveniences of technology. My smart phone tells me the weather and the news, keeps me current on email, connected with my friends on social media, and can summon an Uber ride at the click of a button. How did we ever live without being connected 24/7? I was at a dinner over the weekend and a debate ensued over the name of the plant in the table arrangement. My wife whipped out her smartphone, clicked open an App called “Leafsnap” and instantly settled the debate.
While it’s handy to be able to lock my home remotely and view my property remotely from a webcam, broadband connectivity also promises to solve some serious macro issues such as the environmental challenges of urbanization. “Smart Cities” are at the forefront of this evolution. By leveraging emerging information and communications technology (ICT), these cities are seeing population growth attributed to the resulting increase in economic activity, improved transportation efficiency and an overall enhanced quality of life for its citizens.
The demand for faster Internet connectivity is expanding at a staggering rate. Many industry analysts predict that Internet traffic will increase between 20 and 30 percent each year, and Cisco Visual Networking Index predicts that video traffic will increate to 80% of all IP traffic. Trends contributing to increased bandwidth demand include an increase in the number of connected devices per person and record growth in subscriptions to over-the-top video services, such as Netflix. In addition, the NCTA reports that the cable industry now has more broadband subscribers than video subscribers. With an ever-increasing bandwidth demand, 50 gigabit cities in the US and counting, and tremendous growth in the consumption of over the top video, many operators are looking for ways to reduce OpEx and build an all-fiber, flexible network that will satisfy the growing demand for many years to come.
Make no mistake, if you offer a 1 Gigabit-per-second symmetric broadband service you had better be able to deliver the goods. Even when you consider that the average peak time usage per broadband* user today is only around 2Mbps levels, that Gigabit Broadband ‘Killer app” still exists – the broadband speed test! – which needs to be supported. Most new Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) networks can handle this widely used application, having the available access capacity to both support the full Gigabit per second burst satisfying the network speed test while still supporting peak time applications.
Many industry analysts are surprised to hear that most Gigabit Broadband players are using the fiber sharing GPON technology, and not point to point (P2P) Ethernet, FTTH technology.
With the current surge of Gigabit Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) deployments happening in the United States, and the resulting 1 Gigabit-per-second broadband services being offered, a lot of service providers are watching intently as they work through their own Gigabit plans. They are waiting for more data points regarding the tangible benefits being bestowed upon these broadband trail blazers. As they take stock of their current network capabilities, they are also wishing they could limit the inevitable network impacts and deployment costs tied to rolling out a wide-area Gigabit service to their subscriber base. FTTH Broadband, and more so Gigabit Broadband, comes with a cost. That said, not offering Gigabit Broadband comes with a cost as well.
This is the third and final installment to my blog series regarding an enhanced DSL technology known as Frequency Division Vectoring (FDV). This technology and other super-vectoring technologies are being looked at by operators to once again allow them to leverage billions of dollars (or euros) of investment in their Fiber-to-the-Cabinet, -Node and -Curb deployments.
These super-vectoring technologies can double the performance of today’s vectored VDSL2 supplying up to 300Mbps of broadband service. This allows operators to stave off both the Cable/MSO competition as well as the high cost associated with full blown Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) deployments.