Swisscom First to Deploy Gear with ‘Standardized’ G.fast Chips

– Speeds up to 500 Mbps
– Using Huawei’s G.fast Gear but G.fast Chipmaker Is Not Known, Yet
– Will Use G.fast Gear in Future Copper Wire Upgrades

Swisscom is using Huawei gear to start upgrading a small number of its subscribers to a G.fast broadband service after trialing the technology in April.

G.fast is the fastest broadband technology for use on copper phone lines.

As it is currently designed, G.fast is said to be capable of speeds up to 500 Mbps although it requires a connection within two hundred or so meters of the residence or MDU to a fiber wire from the central office.

A G.fast capable modems, routers or gateway must also be in the residence.

G.fast proponents say that in time, G. fast will be capable of fiber-like speeds up to 1 Gbps and not require telcos to deploy fiber all the way to the home. Short of all fiber networks, G.fast is the telcos’ best hope to compete against cablecos and against third-party all-fiber (FTTH) networks such as Google Fiber.

Swisscom says it’s the first telco to use G.fast gear that has “”the standardized G.fast chipset.” It did not say whose G.fast chipsets are in the Huawei gear but the guess here is they are either Broadcom’s or Sckipio’s because Ikanos is not believed to be shipping its G.fast chips yet. There is the very real possibility they could be Huawei’s G.fast chips. It might also be that Swisscom and Huawei have not selected the G.fast chips they will use when G.fast deployments begin in 2016.

The first upgrades took place in the village of Bibern – population 250. Swisscom said in a statement, “Since the end of April 2015, the first customers have been able to surf at speeds of up to 500 Mbps even if they do not have an FTTH connection.”

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Swisscom customers: 500 Mbps broadband speeds, FTTH or not

 

Swisscom is in the midst of €1.6 billion upgrade of its broadband network. It had 1.4 million premises connected to its upgraded network (speeds of at least 50 Mbps) at the end of 2014 and hopes to have 2.3 million by the end of 2015. It has been using Alcatel-Lucent’s VDSL2 Vectoring and all-fiber technology for its broadband upgrades. G.fast appears to be its third broadband technology and may even replace the Vectoring deployments because of G.fast’s higher speeds. Both Vectoring and G.fast require deploying fiber closer to but not all the way to the home. Both are dependent on the length of the copper wires to the residence for their actual speeds.

Swisscom said Switzerland is ranked first in Europe and third globally for high bandwidth coverage, defined as greater than 10 Mbps.

Val_Trupchun

Switzerland: high hills; high bandwidth

 

Swisscom told The Online Reporter in August 2014 that it had a two technology approach to its broadband upgrades:
– Vectoring from a fiber-connected cabinet near the residence or an MDU, which it said was capable of up to 100 Mbps
– Fiber-to-the-home (FTTH), which it said could provide about 1 Gbps

Swisscom now says it intends to start using G.fast gear to upgrade all of its fiber-to-the-building (MDUs) and fiber-to-the-street deployments in early 2016. During the interim period, Swisscom said, it will work with Huawei, whom it called its technology partner, to optimize its network for G.fast.

If it has indeed stopped using Alcatel-Lucent’s vectoring gear, it will be a blow to AlcaLu and a boost for Huawei – and also for whoever’s G.fast chips are in those Huawei boxes.

Until deployments begin, the Swisscom network will be optimized for

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