An optical fibre connection makes bandwidths in a gigabit range possible. The fastest VDSL2 vectoring option currently available allows data rates of 300Mbps, which is why it's regional network operators above all who are increasingly investing in FTTB infrastructure, enabling bandwidths of up to 1Gbps.
The demand for bandwidth is consistently growing because popular offerings such as cloud services, streaming high-resolution TV content and gaming require exceptional data rates.
VDSL2 vectoring will not be able to cope with rising demand in the long run. There's no other option but to speed up optical fibre expansion if Germany is to have an extensive gigabit network by the middle of the next decade. Many network operators are picking Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) to connect up new industrial parks and housing developments in particular.
At the same time, there is a clear trend towards Fibre-to-the-Building (FTTB), particularly in urban and heavily populated areas. Market figures from IDATE DigiWorld Consulting show that more than half of the optical fibre connections were attributed to FTTB in Germany in September 2017 (1). It's primarily the regional and local network operators that use FTTB to connect a maximum number of subscribers as cost efficiently as possible. In Germany, they provided around three quarters of all optical fibre connections to the home or building.
In the case of FTTB, a network operator terminates the optical fibre with an optical network unit (ONU) in an apartment building's basement or room where technical installations are located. The ONU connects each of the apartments via the existing telephone cable.
With the G.fast-106-MHz, data rates of almost 1Gbps are possible via the house network's existing copper wire pairs. In this case, network operators collaborate with housing associations, real estate companies and owners of apartment blocks that are rented out. The residents benefit from a high bit rate broadband connection, the network operators from a fast return on investment and a solution that's sustainable given the growing demand for bandwidth.
KEYMILE CEO Lothar Schwemm said: "FTTB is a highly interesting alternative to FTTH from a business standpoint. G.fast enables data rates in the gigabit range upstream and downstream on the last metres to the end customer's home.
"With the right connection technology, network operators can create a diverse range of optical fibre scenarios."