BT (NYSE: BT) has begun a technical field trial of G.fast with Huawei. G.fast is a new technology that can deliver up to 1 Gbps over existing copper wiring at very short distance from a distribution point and an end-user location.
This trial is taking place near BT's Adastral Park R&D Center in Ipswich and includes multi-port G.fast equipment installed in underground distribution points.
Leveraging a mix of time division duplex (TDD) and vectoring technology, G.fast can theoretically deliver up to 1 Gbps per copper pair over a distance of 100 meters. The selling point of G.fast is that service providers would be able to deliver fiber-like speeds to homes and businesses without having to bring fiber to each premise.
Huawei said that G.fast can work at distances of up to 250 meters, adding that the majority of drop cables in the UK are often much shorter.
Besides using existing copper, Huawei recently developed a G.fast prototype for coax networks. It said the multi-user access prototype is compatible with cable TV signals on existing coaxial networks, which is a modification for a standard built for copper wiring.
Although G.fast is still an emerging concept, the trial could give other service providers looking to test it some guidance on how it can operate in small scale real world conditions.
By the end of 2013, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) expects to release a draft of the G.fast standard.
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