AdTran upgrades G.fast technology to 2Gbps speeds

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AdTran has announced an expansion of its software-defined access (SD-Access) portfolio, enabling 2Gbps speeds via its second-generation G.fast technology across legacy cabling.

The new solution complies with International Telecommunication Union-Telecommunication (ITU-T) G.fast standard amendment 3, doubling the usable spectrum from 106MHz to 212MHz.

As well as symmetric gigabit speeds, the new capability also enables G.fast to coexist with VDSL2 vectoring technology across fibre-to-the-curb (FttC) and fibre-to-the-basement (FttB) deployments.

“Second-generation G.fast solutions can allow operators, municipalities, and regulatory agencies another delivery path to meeting the goal of delivering gigabit speeds to consumers,” IHS Markit principal analyst of Service Provider Technology John Kendall said.

“The current G.fast market is set for strong growth as leading service providers are ramping deployments as a natural extension of their fibre investment strategies and gigabit service rollout plans.”

According to AdTran, it is deploying its G.fast solutions in tier-1 broadband networks across Australia, North America, Europe, and Asia as a “complement” to fibre-to-the-premises networks.

“AdTran’s broad portfolio of G.fast solutions, ranging from single-port to high-port count DPUs with a wide variety of powering options, including business case streamlining reverse powering, provides a complete toolset of rapidly deployable fibre extension solutions enabling operators to speed up the rollout of gigabit services with minimal resident disruption and at a highly economical cost per subscriber,” AdTran added.

AdTran’s gigabit-to-the-basement (GttB) solution also allows broadband carriers to provide gigabit services without needing to deploy a distribution fibre between the G.fast distribution point unit (DPU) and the feeding cabinet.

Read also: Fibre to the curb: How NBN is delivering its new network

Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) has been conducting G.fast technology testing in partnership with AdTran as well as NetComm Wireless and Nokia, with the upgrade potentially allowing speeds of up to 1Gbps.

NBN had in August revealed that it is close to adding G.fast to its FttC network by the end of 2018.

“We are close to ending the testing phase, and will shortly install our first G.fast-enabled DPU on this FttC network,” former NBN CEO Bill Morrow said during the FY18 financial results call.

“We will be one of the first operators in the world to take this step on FttC. What we are doing here is preloading the NBN network to be able to meet the bandwidth demands of the future with G.fast technology. It will enable gigabit-per-second speeds over copper lines, with the vast majority of the one and a half million premises on the FttC network to be G.fast-enabled by the year 2020.

“However, as with DOCSIS 3.1, we will not be offering those ultra-fast speeds on the FttC network just yet. As I said, the consumer demand just simply is not there at this point in time. But on HFC and FttC, we will have the ability to make those speeds available in the future when the demand does come.”

NBN chief engineering officer Peter Ryan had told ZDNet earlier this year that G.fast would be launching in late 2018, but that it won’t be available at all premises in the footprint.

Across the new FttC network, which will eventually cover 1.5 million premises across the nation, NBN had 174,161 premises ready for service and 75,387 ready to connect as of June 30.

NBN had earlier this year also launched DOCSIS 3.1 across some parts of the hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) network to improve capacity and speeds, although Morrow said the company’s focus is on improving customer experience rather than offering gigabit speeds.

“NBN company is a wholesale operator, and we want to offer products that our retailers will sell to the end users, and while ultra-fast speeds would be great to have on offer, we simply do not see the demand for these services to justify the resources required to make them commercially available, at least right now,” Morrow explained.

“To date, end-user premises on the gigabit-per-second speed tier make up just 150 premises out of the over 4 million that are currently using the network. We have instead decided to funnel our resources towards our key priorities of completing the rollout of the network, and of our continued efforts to improve customer experience.”

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