The Broadband Forum has announced that the first five devices have completed certification of a new G.fast standard that will operate in the 212MHz spectrum, which should provide more options for deployers looking to offer fast connectivity services via copper wire.
Currently, most G.fast hardware in use, including those deployed in the UK by Openreach, operates on the 106MHz frequency, which ISPReview.co.uk notes works best at distances of between to 200 to 300 metres, before the signal starts to degrade to an extent that performance is affected.
The new 212MHz technology should provide a slightly longer range, as it has been tested at ranges of 400 metres. However, its main benefit may be the ability to deliver faster speeds than existing G.fast solutions, with bitrates of up to 1.45Gbps achieved in testing.
These tests were carried out at the Broadband Forum’s approved G.fast test laboratory, the UNH-IOL, and demonstrated interoperability between 212 MHz G.fast products. This indicates market readiness for multi-vendor deployment - a primary factor for mass market use.
Geoff Burke, chief marketing officer at the Broadband Forum, said: "Delivering higher performance and gigabit speeds over a wider range of deployment scenarios, 212MHz G.fast holds huge potential for operators. Demonstrating interoperability through Broadband Forum’s certification programme gives operators confidence that the technology can be delivered at scale, reducing test time and accelerating mass deployment."
He added the addition of 212MHz technology is expected to ramp up significantly throughout 2019, as operators look to deliver better connectivity solutions.
"Our membership has been very vocal about their desire to take advantage of this powerful new technology as it becomes available, and we are proud that Broadband Forum and UNH-IOL have been able to efficiently respond to this demand," Mr Burke said.
While UK operators may be focused more closely on delivering full fibre networks, G.fast could still have a key role to play in the meantime, at they are usually faster and cheaper to deploy. Openreach plans to connect some 5.7 million premises to this technology by the end of 2020.