While not specific to the Fibre to the Home, the progress on LTE (the next generation of 3G data access) had been gathering pace in the past few months. I've included it as an article, because as part of my strategy for the National Broadband Network, 15% of dwellings in Australia (predominately the area outside the top 30 cities) would best be serviced by a wireless technology or community FTTH.

The growth of the LTE technology is most relevant because in Sydney recently, 3G and LTE vendor Ericsson showed off a prototype wireless base station and user terminal delivering throughput up at 160Mbps downstream and 40Mbps upstream. Colin Goodwin, strategic marketing manager for Ericsson did point out that it was “cheating gloriously” in the demonstration, with the notebook having a dedicated connection to the base station. However, in the real world, where the cell is shared, speeds would be significantly less which the company also demonstrated.

Even shared, this is more than adequate access bandwidth for regional communities - most of which would not have more than a single 155Mbps (data) backhaul to service the whole town. Many of our ADSL connections today have an extremely high contention ratio (over 100:1) for the backhaul, making the access speed somewhat irrelevant. So it would be quite reasonable to have a single base station with two or three cells serving a community of 1000 homes.

By 2013 Ericsson are suggesting bandwidth speeds of 1Gbps.

There are issues of course, such as spectrum width and availability, but the ITU is working on setting a global standard of 2.50-2.69GHz. At a local level, that spectrum has not be allocated in Australia.



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