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Summary

Alcatel-Lucent announced this week that its G.fast solution is being deployed by Taiwan’s Chunghwa Telecom, allowing the operator to quickly upgrade copper-based bandwidth speeds while it continues to deploy FTTP. We expect further G.fast announcements this year as operators strive to meet subscriber demand for higher speeds using a variety of technologies.

Chunghwa Telecom’s use of G.fast solves many MDU bandwidth upgrade challenges

While Chunghwa Telecom has a strong FTTP strategy, pulling fiber into each home – whether a single-family dwelling or a large multi-dwelling unit (MDU) – is costly and time consuming. G.fast enables Chunghwa to use existing copper cabling where local loops are short. In addition, the use of reverse-powered subscriber modems eliminates the need for Chunghwa to obtain power and cabling from a utility, further supporting fast deployment.

Wireline broadband usage is strong in Taiwan, with household penetration above 70% through a combination of FTTx, xDSL, and cable modem connections. Chunghwa is the market leader in wireline broadband but faces strong competition in the pay-TV market from cable operators. Advancements in broadband speeds will support demand for 4K TV and streaming HD video services. G.fast can be deployed rapidly in neighborhoods where local loops are short or can be shortened quickly, providing an immediate upgrade solution in areas where Chunghwa risks losing subscribers to competitors.

The G.fast ecosystem has developed quickly. In June 2015 the Broadband Forum conducted the industry’s first G.fast equipment plugfest. Participating companies included well-known communications chipset vendors such as Broadcom, Ikanos, Intel (Lantiq), and Realtek and start-up Sckipio. In addition, numerous wireline broadband equipment vendors participated, including Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei, Adtran, and Calix.

We expect to see additional deployment announcements by Alcatel-Lucent before year-end given the 30-plus G.fast trials under way. Alcatel-Lucent has been at the forefront in copper-based broadband technologies, with leadership in VDSL vectoring shipments.

Appendix

Further reading

Market Share Report: 2Q15 FTTx, DSL, and CMTS, TE0006-001119 September 2015

Market Share Spreadsheet: 2Q15 FTTx, DSL, and CMTS (Revenues), TE0006-001113 (August 2015)

Market Share Spreadsheet: 2Q15 FTTx, DSL, and CMTS (Units), TE0006-001112 (August 2015)

G.fast: Gaining Mindshare, TE0006-001091 (July 2015)

Author

Julie Kunstler, Principal Analyst, Intelligent Networks and Components

julie.kunstler@ovum.com

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