North America leads worldwide gigabit deployments, Viavi database reveals

two utility workers setting up a fiber cabinet on a sidewalk

Viavi Solutions’ new Gigabit Monitor database revealed that there are over 500 operational or planned 1 Gbps deployments globally from a host of traditional telcos, cable operators and wireless operators.

Gigabit Monitor is a web-based tool that illustrates gigabit internet deployments worldwide, while letting users zoom in for detail on announced and available services. Users can split the data by geography or technology.

The database also shows the various stages of a service provider's gigabit roll out: Announced (service provider has publicly announced deployment plans in a given market), Under Construction (network build is underway), Trial (a limited live network is in operation) or Commercial (service is currently available to consumers). Since the Gigabit Monitor is a living database to be updated regularly, users can submit new or corrected information via a form on the site.

Within this group of 500 providers, Viavi said there are at least 350 live gigabit deployments globally, with a further 164 announced or under construction, over wireline and wireless technologies including GPON, DOCSIS 3.1, G.fast, LTE-A, 5G and 802.11ac.

Driven by large deployments from traditional telcos and increasingly cable operators such as Comcast and Cox, Viavi said that North America has the largest share of gigabit deployments, with 61 percent of all deployments. Following North America is Europe with 24 percent while the remaining 15 percent of deployments are in Asia, Australasia, Middle East, Africa and South America.

Interestingly, new gigabit deployments have continued to rise with 70 percent of the live gigabit deployments tracked have been launched since the start of 2015.

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Perhaps not surprisingly, fiber remains the dominant technology with 85 percent of currently known gigabit deployments leveraging a FTTH network architecture. Viavi noted that 11 percent are based on hybrid-fiber coax (HFC), a number that will likely rise as cable operators leverage standards-based DOCSIS 3.1 equipment.

Another factor will be wireless, particularly 5G, which will leverage higher speed millimeter wave wireless. Over 37 wireless carriers have announced plans for 5G networks with five of them plan to have 5G networks built as early as 2017.

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