Swisscom FTTx plans include 1-Gbps services

Swisscom says it plans to offer 1-Gbps services as part of an FTTx broadband access network expansion plan. The plan includes increasing its customer reach and testing fiber to the building (FTTB) to complement its existing fiber to the home (FTTH) and “fiber to the street” initiatives.

Sep 13th, 2013

Swisscom says it plans to offer 1-Gbps services as part of an FTTx broadband access network expansion plan. The plan includes increasing its customer reach and testing fiber to the building (FTTB) to complement its existing fiber to the home (FTTH) and “fiber to the street” initiatives.

Fiber to the street is Swisscom’s variation on fiber to the cabinet (FTTC) that places fiber to within about 200 m of the subscriber (see "Swisscom plans fiber to the street expansion"). The service provider selected Huawei to supply equipment for this infrastructure earlier this year (see "Swisscom chooses Huawei as supplier for its FTTS expansion").

Swizerland’s national carrier will offer the 1-Gbps services this year to the approximately 700,000 subscribers it supports via FTTH. A pilot trial of 1 Gbps to more than 100 subscribers is slated for this month.

Swisscom says it currently serves about 1.8 million broadband customers overall. "We are stepping up our network expansion activities, with the aim of providing superfast broadband to over 2.3 million households and businesses – including in locations outside the main conurbations – by 2015," says Urs Schaeppi, acting CEO at Swisscom. That figure would represent about 80% of Swiss households and businesses, who would have access to at least 100 Mbps downstream.

To achieve this goal, Swisscom says it will invest CHF 1.75 billion this year in new infrastructure. This investment will include the first trials of FTTB, which will leverage existing copper cabling within each building to connect individual tenants. Swisscom says it also will begin to roll out vectoring on its VDSL infrastructure next year. Both the FTTB and vectoring initiatives should support 100-Mbps services initially, the carrier says. However lab tests of the two technologies have shown the ability to support 1 Gbps as well, Swisscom adds.

Along with FTTH, Swisscom says it will use this blended portfolio of FTTx technologies to meet its broadband access network goals. It expects that by 2015, its 2.3 million household footprint will comprise 800,000 households and businesses served via vectoring, 500,000 properties connected with fiber to the street and FTTB, and 1 million enjoying FTTH.

In addition to the outside plant advances, Swisscom plans to roll out a new “Internet-Box” that will support higher in-building access speeds via WLAN-ac technology. As with the 1-Gbps service, FTTH subscribers will be the first to benefit.

For more information on FTTx systems and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer’s Guide.

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