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Gigabit subs projected to be at least 100m by 2020

Many leading markets will adopt G.fast in the next five years, with coverage in some mature countries, potentially approaching 50 per cent.

Speaking with the Broadband Forum, which had G.fast and the development of certification programmes very high on the agenda at its quarterly meeting in Hong Kong, Point Topic CEO Oliver Johnson said G.fast is a vital technology for operators with copper in their networks.

His comments come as a new Point Topic report revealed that at least 100 million people are expected to be subscribed to gigabit labelled services by 2020. Between now and then, the Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of subscribers to gigabit tariffs is projected to be at least 65 per cent. Close to 70 per cent of growth is expected to come from the APAC region. While G.fast is currently only capable of these speeds over short distances, it can already secure speeds to meet the vast majority of operator demand and the technology is continually developing.

“G.fast clearly works best economically in a mature market with copper in the local loop so I expect most of today’s leading markets will have some G.fast in the next five years and some, should see coverage approaching 50 per cent of the market,” said Johnson.

The latest report from Point Topic, the leading fixed broadband analyst firm, shows there are currently less than ten million subscriptions on a gigabit connection but predicts that is set to change with more gigabit tariffs on the market than ever before and the cost of services dropping.

“G.fast is therefore an excellent solution for today,” continued Johnson. “The only doubt there could be is how long it can effectively compete, particularly when it comes to continued OPEX v CAPEX required for end-to-end fiber, and a lot of that depends on the next step of actually delivering it in the real mass market world.  If it’s quick, clean, meets global standards and certifications such as those proposed by the Broadband Forum, and continues to offer significant NFV/SDN and vectoring improvements then it will be strong tomorrow as well as today.”

Broadband Forum CEO Robin Mersh said operators should take the picture painted by Point Topic as a clear call to action to consider G.fast deployments in their networks, and to use Broadband Forum standards and certifications, such as the newly developed YANG management models for FTTdp equipment and the interoperability testing programme for G.fast devices.

“The rate of growth predicted by Point Topic’s latest figures shows the scale of the issue the broadband industry is facing and why adopting key enabling technologies for ultra-fast access is so important,” he said. “The growing trend of gigabit services points to the fact that more and more people want to use next-generation services, like 4K video, location-based services, security, home automation, video sharing, gaming and home office collaboration. G.fast is how operators with copper in their networks can still enable all these things. Furthermore, the Broadband Forum programmes and specifications are how those operators can exploit the promise of G.fast quickly.”

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