Taiwan incumbent adds G.fast to tech mix

Could launch as soon as September

Under pressure to accelerate Taiwan's broadband deployment, Chunghwa Telecom has announced it will start rolling out G.fast.

According to Digitimes, the company plans to launch its first commercial services in September 2015.

While sketchy, the report suggests the company would deploy the high-speed technology in multi-dwelling units. That would let it connect apartments to services as fast as 500 Mbps without having to drag fibre to the flat.

At the end of 2014, Chunghwa Telecom's broadband customer base was around 4.5 million, and while FTTx customers numbered 3.1 million (according to its annual report), only 200,000 of those are fibre all the way to the premises, and the company faces competition from HFC competitors.

The move would put Chunghwa Telecom in the lead of G.fast adopters, and would be welcomed by key supplier and G-fast booster Alcatel-Lucent.

According to Australian telecomms newsletter Communications Day, FTTH construction had run into regulatory hurdles at the local level, with the carrier finding negotiating construction permits to be a drawn-out process.

The company has signalled its interest in high-speed copper technologies for some time. In December 2014, president Mu-Piao Shih addressed a Broadband Forum's meeting in Taipei. While he did not identify an interest in particular technologies, the confab was focussed on setting VDSL2 and G.fast activities for the next couple of years. ®

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