The Telekom Austria Group is also continuously adapting its fixed network infrastructure to meet the growing demand for fixed high-bandwidth broadband solutions. While the current standard product offers data speeds of 8 or 16 Mbps, the standard product in Austria is set to be several times higher by 2018. The Telekom Austria Group intends to achieve this target through the systematic expansion of its fibre network and by using state-of-the-art technologies as efficiently as possible.
The Group’s overarching strategy is to bring the fibre network ever closer to the customer while continuing to use existing copper wires in the access network. Reducing the distance between the fibre infrastructure and the customer and harnessing the possibilities offered by efficient high-speed copper technology means that the achievable data speeds can be increased significantly.
To ensure that the existing copper infrastructure can still be used efficiently in future as part of the fibre expansion, the Telekom Austria Group is adopting a targeted approach to innovative technologies in this area: A1 became the world’s first telecommunication service provider to test the ultra-broadband technology G.fast together with its technology partner Alcatel-Lucent. G.fast allows data to be transmitted over short distances at speeds of several hundred Mbps using copper cables. This is particularly suitable for multistorey buildings in urban areas. In October 2014, A1 was able to conduct the world’s first live demonstration of this promising new concept together with a customer. Data speeds of more than 500 Mbps were achieved using existing copper wires. Following the successful completion of the current test phase and the adoption of the international standard by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in December 2014, G.fast is currently expected to be commercially available from 2016.
The acceleration of copper wires using G.fast is largely based on the Telekom Austria Group’s experience with vectoring. In 2012 A1 became the first network operator in the world to use this technology to reduce interference on existing copper wires, thereby significantly increasing their transmission capacity.
400 Gbps using existing backbone fibre cables
Above and beyond NFV and G.fast, the Telekom Austria Group regularly conducts field trials of new technologies in order to enable it to take the right decisions when it comes to planning the networks of the future. In spring 2014, for example, the Group again demonstrated its position as the leading backbone operator in CEE with a successful field trial of 400 Gbps high-speed technology between Zagreb and Ljubljana. The trial verified the potential for quadrupling the current data speeds of 100 Gbps to 400 Gbps using the existing fibre-optic cables.