BT has successfully delivered the world's first successful trial using G.fast technology.
The trial saw the communications provider use G.fast technology to deliver a 'Cloud Radio Access Network' (C-RAN) cellular network service over copper.
C-RAN is a new network architecture which connects cellular base-stations to mobile operators' core networks. Currently, C-RAN services require a dedicated fibre link to connect transmitters at the top of a cell tower to complex signal-processing equipment deeper in the network. This can involve complex and costly engineering work if no fibre is present in the ground to carry the signal.
However, the new research conducted by BT, in collaboration with US-based semiconductor manufacturer Cavium, demonstrates how G.fast technology can deliver cellular data over copper lines at speeds of 150-200Mb.
This means that mobile operators will no longer need to invest in costly, high capacity backhaul links over dedicated fibre connections. A C-RAN service that is delivered using G.fast technology would significantly lower the cost of deployment for mobile operators building 4G networks and, in the future, also 5G.
Dr Tim Whitley, managing director for Research & Innovation at BT said: "Using G.fast to deliver a cellular network is an exciting breakthrough for C-RAN and yet another world first for our team of researchers.
"These technologies will play a key role in 4G networks and will be fundamental to 5G architectures. The trials are another step towards a fixed and mobile network which will support customers' increasing demands for data."
If the trials prove successful - and if UK regulation continues to encourage investment - BT has pledged to provide ultra-fast speeds to 10 million homes by 2020 and to the majority of the UK within a decade.
The company enjoyed a strong end to 2015, [capturing almost 75 per cent of new broadband customers in the final three months of the year.] (http://kamino.axonn.co.uk/Article/ArticlePreview?articleId=801811506)