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ADTRAN to launch commercial G.fast in Q2 2015

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Broadband access specialist ADTRAN has revealed it will launch its G.fast product by the end of the second quarter of 2015. The company said it is moving from a technology concept to commercial reality, helping service providers take advantage of existing networks and bypass cost restrictions posed by fibre-to-the-home ((FTTH) implementations.

ADTRAN claims G.fast fibre-to-the-distribution-point (FTTdp) provides an economically feasible solution, enabling providers to maximise bandwidth from infrastructure already in place. The company recently commenced field trials of the technology with European telcos, including Telecom Italia.

Speaking to Telecoms.com, ADTRAN CTO for EMEA and APAC Ronan Kelly said operators across Europe are keen to get started with the new solution. “There’s been an unprecedented amount of interest for G.fast technology across the board from some of the largest service providers to some of the smallest in Europe,” he said.

“Particularly those who are operating in markets where there’s strong competition with cable operators…. Those who are trying to maximise what they can get out of their copper networks to compete with other competing solutions, G.fast is extremely important as part of their strategy.”

According to Kelly, G.fast is an ideal technology for densely populated urban areas as it only works over very short loops. “G.fast is really targeted towards urban areas where you have a lot of competition from cable guys and other fibre guys, and even competition from the 4G players who are competing for very high headline speeds.”

Although G.fast has recently been trialled by a number of industry players, including Alctael-Lucent and BT, Kelly claims that ADTRAN has a leading edge having trialled it on numerous occasions. He said through the trials the firm has concluded G.fast without frequency division vectoring (FDV) is redundant as the service from the technology alone is just too unstable.

“In the world of VDSL2, vectoring is nice to have as in some scenarios it can give an additional gain in performance of 25 to 30%, depending on the conditions. But it [vectoring with VDSL2] is not absolutely critical. However, because with G.fast the frequency is so high, the volume of core-stock is so significant that we’ve clearly come to the conclusion that in reality G.fast without vectoring is a non-starter. It simply will not be able to deliver a stable service.”

FDV works by enabling G.fast and VDSL2 to better coexist in the same network subscriber line without interference . “Typically what they (service providers) have to do is that they have to stop G.fast using the same frequency as VDSL, and once they do that the performance of G.fast is degraded. With our FDV approach we help G.fast recover that lost performance.”

ADTRAN sees Europe as the region at the forefront of launching G.fast commercially, but said other markets have also shown interest and potential. “The breadth and geographical reach of our G.fast trials demonstrates the market’s appetite for this technology, as operators look to push toward Gigabit speeds in evolutionary steps with rapid ROI,” SVP and Managing Director of international markets at ADTRAN Eduard Scheiterer said. “We expect many of these progressive operators to begin finalising their G.fast rollout strategies and procedures in readiness for the general availability of commercial G.fast solutions in 2015.”


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