4KTV: ITU Enables 1 Gbps Over Copper

G.fast said to match fiber at 400 meters
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GENEVA, SWITZERLAND—The global media technology standards body approved a method for getting data through phone lines at 1 Gbps. The International Telecommunications Union said G.fast accelerates the potential for deploying 4K or even 8KTV streaming, cloud storage, HD video communications and backhaul for small wireless cell sites and Wi-Fi hotspots—and installs pretty much like a DSL modem.

“The time from G.fast’s approval to its implementation looks set to be the fastest of any access technology in recent memory,” said Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, secretary-general of the ITU. “A range of vendors has begun shipping G.fast silicon and equipment, and service providers’ lab and field trials are well underway.”

G.fast over copper nearly matches fiber within 400 meters of a distribution point, the ITU said. It doesn’t require a truck roll, and is compatible with VDSL2, the latest digital subscriber line protocol, which supports 200 Mbps up- and downstream.

The G.fast architecture— fiber to the distribution point, or FTTdp—can support up to 20 lines at the distribution point with target service rates of 500-1,000 Mbps for straight-loop fiber-to-the-building deployments at less than 100 meters; 500 Mbps at 100 meters; 200 Mbps at 200 meters, and 150 Mbps at 250 meters. Aggregate service rates of 500 Mbps can be achieved at a start frequency of 23 MHz and VHF and DAB bands notches. (G.fast uses start frequencies of 2.2, 8.5, 17.664 and 30 MHz. )

Certified G.fast implementations are expected before the end of 2015, the ITU said.

The approval involved the physical-layer protocol aspects of G.fast, defined in Rec. ITU-T G.9701, follows the approval last April of ITU-T G.9700, a companion text specifying methods to ensure that G.fast equipment will not interfere with broadcast services such as FM radio.

The development of G.fast was coordinated with the Broadband Forum’s FTTdp system architecture project.

“The Broadband Forum is working closely with the ITU to ensure compliance with the G.fast standard and certify chipsets and equipment,” said Robin Mersh, CEO of the Broadband Forum. “We have already set our first plugfest for January 2015.”

The Broadband Forum has begun developing a test suite and certification program for G.fast systems. The test suite will provide for interoperability, functional and performance testing. A beta-trial of the certification program is planned for mid-2015, and certified G.fast implementations are expected to appear on the market in 2015.

ITU-T Study Group 15 has initiated work on an extended set of features for G.fast, targeting performance enhancements which will include additions to its range of low-power states. These features are likely to be available for incorporation into service providers’ G.fast deployments as early as 3 July 2015.