Celtic-Plus, an industry-driven European research initiative, has introduced a new product looking at how to deliver multiple Gigabit of bandwidth over copper pairs based on G.fast technology.
Dubbed the Gigabits Over the Legacy Drop (GOLD) project, the group plans to initiate the second version of the G.fast standard and increase its usability in dense city areas. It said that the goal of the project is to develop alternative backhaul options based on copper by forgoing fiber access.
By leveraging the existing copper network for backhaul, the group said it could help telcos realize "significant" cost reductions, particularly within dense urban areas in Europe.
GOLD is building on the HFCC/G.fast project, which demonstrated throughput of nearly 1 Gbps per copper pair at 100 meters, and up to 170 Mbps per copper pair at 480 meters, on a 16-pair standard cable.
By exploring a second version of the G.fast standard working at higher frequencies, the group said GOLD will drive G.fast into multiple-gigabit copper access rates.
The GOLD consortium has already had input from a number of major European telcos, including BT, Orange, Telefonica and TNO, all of which conducted lab trials of the technology.
Beginning this summer, BT will begin G.fast pilots in two UK cities, Huntingdon and Gosforth, with around 4,000 business and home connections. During an earlier trial it conducted in September, BT said it achieved downstream speeds of about 800 Mbps and upstream speeds of over 200 Mbps. On longer lines of 66 meters, a distance that it says encompasses about 80 percent of such connections, the telco reported speeds of around 700/200 Mbps.
The GOLD consortium consists of 12 companies from eight countries including service providers BT, Orange SA; equipment vendors ADTRAN GmbH, Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson AB, Sagemcom and Telnet Redes Inteligentes SA; chip vendors Marvell Semiconductors and Sckipio Technologies; and researchers at Lund University and TNO. The project is being coordinated by Lund University.
GOLD said that the 3-year project began in January 2015 and will run until December 2017.
G.fast itself has been gaining a lot of attention and momentum over the past year. In December, the G.fast standard gained final approval from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
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