Tuesday, 26 September 2017

G.fast has a perception problem – ADTRAN

By Nick Wood, Total Telecom
Sunday 20 August 17

Broadband access kit maker calls for differentiation between long-loop and short-loop implementations.

G.fast has a perception problem that must be addressed if the copper-upgrade technology is to be taken seriously by telcos, warned Adtran this week. Speaking to Total Telecom on the sidelines of Connected Britain on Thursday, Ronan Kelly…

G.fast has a perception problem that must be addressed if the copper-upgrade technology is to be taken seriously by telcos, warned Adtran this week.

Speaking to Total Telecom on the sidelines of Connected Britain on Thursday, Ronan Kelly, chief technology officer, EMEA and APAC, at Adtran, claimed that G.fast is "the most versatile copper technology we've ever had."

However, "I think there is an unfortunate situation with G.fast at the moment," he said.

G.fast facilitates faster throughput on copper by increasing the frequency range used to carry data over DSL lines. The trade-off though is that the performance degrades quickly on loop lengths longer than 500 metres.

"Unfortunately there's no differentiation from the industry perspective of long-loop G.fast versus short-loop G.fast, it's all just called G.fast," Kelly explained. "So if there's a bad experience on one extreme, it tends to tarnish every use case."

Standard G.fast uses a 106 MHz frequency range, but upcoming iterations of the technology use even larger frequency ranges, promising speeds of multiple Gigabits per second over copper.

"G.fast as a technology has a Hell of a lot more to give, we've got to be careful of the use cases so that we don't damage its reputation," Kelly said.

Kelly has already heard criticisms from operators about G.fast not delivering on its promise, "but when you delve into it, you discover their information is predicated upon extremely long loop lengths."

He said the industry needs to consider differentiating between short-loop and long-loop implementations of G.fast.

"Combining the two use cases together...I think is putting the technology at risk," Kelly warned. "There is definitely an argument for segregating out the two."

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