First commercial G.fast launch in Europe

Swisscom announced that it has launched Europe’s first commercial G.fast service in Switzerland.

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G.fast provides fibre-like speeds matched with the customer self-installation of DSL.

Today, 1,000 customers are using a G.fast connection, which can reach speeds of 500Mbps. “According to our current planning there will be about 100,000 G.fast connections [by] end of 2017,” Armin Schädeli, a spokesman for Swisscom, told ITU News.

RELATED: G.fast: providers worldwide step up trials to meet broadband demand

What is G. fast?

G.fast combines the best aspects of fibre and DSL to offer ultrafast broadband over traditional copper infrastructure, operating within the fibre to the distribution point (FTTdp) architecture, resulting in cost-savings for service providers and improved customer experience.

It is designed to deliver access speeds of up to 1Gbit/s over existing telephone wires – these speeds are possible within 400 metres of a distribution point, which can be installed on telegraph poles or in manholes for example.

RELATED: G.fast broadband doubles in speed with ITU standard, raising the bar to 2 Gbit/s

Swisscom hopes to install distribution points within 200m of homes.

“The layout of the existing Swisscom network makes it a little easier to launch. With existing manholes in streets, which are ideally suited for the deployment of these weather-proof units, roll-out should be swift,” thinkbroadband.com’s Andrew Ferguson told the BBC.

Partnership

The deployment comes 4 years after Swisscom partnered with Huawei.

“The partnership with Huawei played an important role,” Schädeli said to ITU News. “In the course of the more than four-year project phase, Swisscom and its technology partner Huawei worked together to develop specific solutions for the Swiss market. Swisscom had already successfully provided the first pilot customers worldwide with the final standard of G.fast and thereby gathered key insights for its further development in spring 2015.”

The service is available for CHF 149 (Euro 137) and CHF 169 per month, with Swisscom’s Vivo L and Vivo XL broadband tariffs respectively.

MORE FROM ITU: Learn more about ITU-T Study Group 15: Networks, Technologies and Infrastructures for Transport, Access and Home, here. ITU’s World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly 2016 (#ITUWTSA) will take place in Yasmine Hammamet, Tunisia, from 25 October to 3 November 2016 – learn more here.

Lucy Spencer (@L_M_Spencer)

 

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