Approximately 3 million premises have been passed with Gfast networks as of early 2018, according to broadband analyst firm Point Topic's estimations. The firm also estimates that about 29,000 households, the majority of which are in Southeast Asia, subscribe to the services.
Based on Point Topic's research on the latest Gfast developments worldwide, 33 telecom operators and ISPs have deployed Gfast or plan to roll out this technology in the near future. Having conducted lab and some field trials, 14 service providers are at the trials stage, while 13 other companies are deploying Gfast on their networks. Commercial launches for these companies are expected over the next year or two. Among global operators, six have live Gfast services, offering maximum download speeds from 300 Mbps to 500 Mbps, says the analyst firm.
In Europe, BT and Swisscom are leading Gfast deployment, reports Point Topic (see "BT connects first G.fast trial customers" and "Swisscom reports G.fast field test"). With 93,000 premises live as of early 2018, BT has committed to covering 10 million premises in the UK by 2020. The operator uses fiber to the cabinet (FTTC) and offers download speeds of up to 330 Mbps. Swisscom has bridged the gap between customers and fiber by deploying fiber to the street (FTTS) based Gfast services to 70,000 premises. The Swiss incumbent provides speeds with a maximum of 500 Mbps. According to Point Topic, German alternative operator M-net has rolled out Gfast in two districts of Munich, and offers maximum theoretical download speeds of as much as 300 Mbps.
The analyst firm says that Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom is currently the largest provider of Gfast-based services, with an estimated 25,000 subscribers. Focusing on areas of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's Oi delivers Gfast-enabled services as well. CenturyLink in the U.S. also offers Gfast services, and launched a pilot in 800 Platteville, WI apartments (see "CenturyLink deploys G.fast to MDUs in Wisconsin").
Other major players, including AT&T in the U.S., NBN in Australia, and PLDT in the Philippines, expect to install G.fast on their networks in 2018. NBN plans to begin by covering 700,000 premises, and AT&T is focusing on 22 metro areas (see "AT&T begins G.fast rollout in 22 metro markets"). Point Topic says that by the end of 2018, an additional 6 to 7 million premises could be covered with Gfast, with a possibility of up to 10 million premises if BT follows through with its rollout plans.
Since Gfast can be deployed with less necessary upgrades to the existing networks, several operators consider Gfast a more efficient option than fiber to the home (FTTH) and other superfast broadband approaches. Many operators regard Gfast as a convenient, temporary solution for deploying high-speed broadband to MDUs, reports Point Topic. Telekom Austria, BT, Swisscom, NBN, and other operators are currently trialing the next generation Gfast, with the potential of speeds up to 11 Gbps.
"It's a rapidly evolving market," said Dr. Jolanta Stanke, Point Topic's research director. "Now that the early implementations and some significant testing and pilot schemes are winding up we'll start to see real acceleration in network footprints and adoption."
Point Topic provides insight, context, sourcing, and transparent reporting by gathering, analyzing, and publishing information sets.
For related articles, visit the Business Topic Center.
For more information on optical modules and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer's Guide.