Swisscom plans to connect 100,000 premises to G.Fast technology by the end of next year, but the company’s CTIO is more interested in monetisation.

The Switzerland-based operator revealed the target as it claimed to be the first operator in Europe to launch the FTTC-based tech.

The company sent out a press release at Broadband World Forum detailing a network expansion it started last month.

It said only G.fast-compatible 16-port hardware has been used for the upgrade, which will deliver speeds of up to 500MBps.

The release did not reveal the extent of the deployment, but a Swisscom spokesperson told European Communications that 1,000 connections had been made thus far as part of a “technical” launch.

The operator plans to connect 100,000 premises by the end of next year, the spokesperson added, while 85 percent of premises in Switzerland are set to get access to 100MBps broadband by the end of 2020.

Swisscom, which has worked with Huawei to upgrade its broadband network over the last four years, said 2.2 million of the 3.3 million customers currently able to access “ultrafast” speeds – generally regarded as 100MBps – had access to FTTx technology.

In a keynote speech at the annual show in London, the operator’s CTIO talked up a quirk of Switzerland’s infrastructure that enabled it to fast track G.Fast.

Heinz Herren said he was grateful for the 500,000 manholes that previous generations had built across the country because they are “perfect” for deploying G.Fast.

Although the tech promises 500MBps, Herren admitted 80-100MBps was sufficient for the average household today.

Nevertheless, he said the investments Swisscom is making in its infrastructure – CHF1.8 billion this year alone – were definitely worth it.

He cited increasing market share and rising ARPU as evidence.

Herren also said the debate the industry is having about broadband should not be about the tech.

“It’s more about monetisation,” Herren concluded, citing tariffs based on speed not data buckets.
 
Read more

G.fast to serve 29m households by 2021, says report

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