As the demand for faster bandwidth continues to increase, Telecoms will now have the opportunity to offer broadband at fiber-like speeds and forego the expensive costs associated with deploying fiber-to-the-home (FTTH). G. Fast chipsets will allow Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to utilize their existing telephone copper lines to provide high-speed broadband services with speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s.
As 4k displays begin to percolate into homes and internet users adopt more digital devices, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are seeking to deliver high-speed bandwidth via their existing infrastructures to minimize investment costs.
Cable operators now have the option of utilizing their hybrid-fiber-coaxial infrastructures with Docsis 3.1 to deliver speeds of D 10 Gbps/ U 1 Gbps through their existing co-axial cable-based modem services. G.Fast chipsets on the other hand, will enable Telecoms to offer up to 1 Gbit/s through their existing copper lines.
According to Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG), approximately “25 billion devices will be connected [to the internet] by 2015 and 50 billion by 2020”. Deploying FTTH networks has proven an inconvenient and expensive investment for Telecoms. G. Fast will enable Telecoms to keep up with the demand for high-speed bandwidth and compete with cable operators incorporating newer technologies such as Docsis 3.1.
G. Fast chipsets however, will require some service providers to reconfigure their network architectures. In order to receive G.Fast speeds, customer premises need to be located no more than 200 meters in proximity to the fiber-to-the-distribution-point (FTTdp). Nonetheless, if service providers can meet these requirements, the new technology will allow them to increase bandwidth at a relative low cost using their traditional phone lines.
Market Watch: Not All G.Fast Chipsets Are Created Equal
Broadcom, Ikanos, Lantiq and Sckipio are among the first G.Fast distributors beginning to experiment with chipsets offering different features, some of which hint at their different marketing positioning strategies.
Broadcam, Ikanos and Lantiq have incorporated a gateway processor, a feature that indicates that the companies will “support a range of applications, including residential and small-office routers and voice/wireless gateways”. Intel’s planned acquisition of Lantiq points to the company’s growing interest “in the broadband and smart home market”.
These vendors are manufacturing a flexible array of networking solutions to suit the specific needs of service providers. Some of the vendors are planning to offer a full suite of features such as “integrat[ing] full G.Fast, VDSL2 and/or ADSL2+ transceivers” while others will only offer “the data pump”. LightReading highlights that the first chipsets support anywhere from “four to 36 ports and consist of separate digital front-end, analog front-end and line driver devices.”
G.Fast will give service providers a mid-term solution that will allow them to compete in the race for high-speed broadband. Service providers will find G.Fast an appealing alternative to FTTH taking into account that Skipio reports that FTTH deployment averages about $1200 per customer while G.Fast deployment amounts to approximately $300 per customer.
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