First Ultra-Broadband Customer in the World with G.fast

Vienna, 15 October 2014
  • Together with its technology partner Alcatel-Lucent, Telekom Austria Group's domestic subsidiary A1 has successfully demonstrated data rates up to several 100 Mbit/s per household via existing copper lines with G.fast
  • G.fast is a new copper-line based transmission technology that enables a considerably faster roll-out of ultra-broadband services and supports fiber-to-the-building (FTTB) solutions with no need for costly rewiring at the customer premises
  • Announced with a long-term vision for fiber to reach the individual living space

The Telekom Austria Group today announced that its domestic subsidiary A1, together with its technology partner Alcatel-Lucent, has successfully demonstrated G.fast, a copper-line based ultra-broadband transmission technology. G.fast enables the rapid roll-out of ultra-fast broadband services in urban areas that are mainly characterized by pre-existing multi-storey buildings.

Hannes Ametsreiter, CEO Telekom Austria Group and A1 said: "We're proud to have succeeded in connecting the first customer in the world to our domestic A1 network with G.fast. This technology will enable us to offer urban areas data rates ten, even up to twenty, times higher than ever before. Fiber to the home remains our long term vision, but we consider G.fast as an intelligent interim solution until fiber will have a similar coverage as we have with copper now".

Data rates of up to several 100 Mbit/s via existing copper lines
G.fast enables ultra-broadband services with data rates of up to several 100 Mbit/s via existing copper lines. Since the length of the copper lines should not exceed 250m, this technology is particularly best suited for multi-storey buildings in cities, ascopper lines are very efficient over short distances. Potential interferences at high data transmission speeds can be eliminated with G.fast by creating a compensating signal. The main challenges posed by G.fast, however, are in terms of high data rates, as they require an increased use of computing power.

Reduction of expenses enables fast roll-out of ultra-broadband
"With G.fast, fiber is deployed all the way to the basement of a building, with the final connection to the single living spaces being made with existing copper lines. This allows for a considerable reduction of expenses, as no costly rewiring at the customer premises is required. The data rates reached with G.fast will meet the needs of even the most demanding households over the next 10-20 years. If, in the meantime, extensive renovation works for the staircase of the buildings are planned, it will be up to the tenants to decide whether to install a fiber connection all the way to their living spaces", Ametsreiter continued.

Thus, the decisive advantage offered by G.fast is that it allows customers to postpone on-premises wiring to a more favorable time without having to miss out on ultra-broadband services.

"As a leader in IP networking and ultra-broadband access solutions, Alcatel-Lucent is committed to bringing innovations to market that help operators provide better services and better connectivity to their customers. We are delighted to continue our strong relationship with Telekom Austria by trialing G.fast, a technology that promises to dramatically accelerate the worldwide availability of ultra-broadband solutions," explained Federico Guillén, President of Alcatel-Lucent's Fixed Networks business.

Potential for Roughly 400,000 Households in Vienna Alone
In the future, the need for ultra-fast broadband services with data rates beyond 100 Mbit/s is expected to further increase, especially in urban areas and at a faster pace than the ability of network providers to roll-out a full-coverage and high-performance fiber optic infrastructure. This trend towards higher data rates is mainly driven by the constantly rising demand for high-resolution TV, video-on-demand and other complex Internet services.

New buildings are being equipped with future-proof fiber optic cables but, in Vienna alone, there are ten thousands of old buildings, where customer premises wiring would only make sense within the framework a more comprehensive renovation. Against this backdrop, G.fast proves to be the ideal solution for such premises as it allows customers to profit from ultra-broadband services with no need for costly rewiring.

Widespread Availability Starting from 2016
Currently, G.fast is still in a testing phase at A1 and the launch of commercial operations is expected in 2016. However, preparatory work for ultra-broadband services is in full swing to allow for a possibly widespread availability of fiber optic lines in urban areas with old multi-storey buildings.

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Barbara Grohs

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Telekom Austria Group

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