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Huawei upgrading Danish cable broadband network to 1Gbps by 2017

Huawei has partnered with TDC to upgrade Denmark's broadband network to reach speeds of up to 1Gbps by the end of next year.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Chinese technology giant Huawei has announced that it will be upgrading Denmark's fixed broadband network to deliver download speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second by the end of 2017 thanks to a deal signed with Tele Danmark Communications (TDC).

Under the deal, Denmark will become the first nation to upgrade a broadband network in its entirety to Giga Coax technology, with the upgrade to begin in June 2016.

Denmark was also the first country in Europe to have a DOCSIS 3.0 network deployed, which was installed by incumbent multi-service operator TDC.

The new DOCSIS 3.1 Giga Coax network implements orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM), which carries data on multiple parallel data streams to increase transmission by 50 percent in comparison to DOCSIS 3.0.

Existing coaxial cables can be upgraded to DOCSIS 3.1 to offer bandwidth of up to 10Gbps down and 2Gbps up.

Huawei is providing its distributed DOCSIS 3.1 Distributed Converged Cable Access Platform (D-CCAP) solution [PDF] in order to digitise and reuse existing optical fibres and analog components in the network, making flexible and reliable capacity expansion possible. D-CCAP can also be used on the same platform as fibre-to-the-premises (FttP) technology.

"It is the most ambitious and comprehensive upgrades we have ever made in our cable network, and at the same time it is one of the largest investments in digital infrastructure we have seen in Denmark," said Pernille Erenbjerg, CEO of TDC.

"We are opening a 'super highway' ... before the end of 2017, half of all Danish households will have access to 1Gbps speeds, 10 times faster than the political objectives for the year 2020."

According to Zha Jun, president of Huawei's Fixed Network Product Line, the Chinese company has been dedicating research and development resources to DOCSIS 3.1 networks since 2012, with the goal of modernising fixed-line networks to compete with FttP networks.

"Huawei's cooperation with TDC and other industry players to build industry-leading Giga Coax networks will greatly promote DOCSIS 3.1 commercialisation worldwide, and help establish a mature industry ecosystem," Zha Jun said.

Upgrading existing infrastructure is crucial in order to be able to deal with the increasing bandwidth requirements that come with the burgeoning use of streaming services, Huawei noted.

Earlier this month, Huawei announced that it attained 1Gbps download/130Mbps upload speeds on the 4G mobile network in Singapore in partnership with Singapore's third-largest telecommunications carrier, M1.

The trial was conducted inside of M1's LTE Advanced test lab, and attained through the combination of four network technologies: 4x4 Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO); two-component carrier (2CC) uplink carrier aggregation; 3CC tri-band downlink carrier aggregation; and Higher Order Modulation 256 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM).

The two companies used commercially available hardware as well as a prototype CAT14 Huawei device for the trial.

"Through technology innovation, we can further stretch the capability of current 4G technology, prior to the advent of 5G technology, to achieve an incredible peak download speed of more than 1Gbps," said M1 CTO Denis Seek.

"With more customers uploading and sharing content on social media and other channels, it is equally important to ensure we can deliver higher upload speeds. For this reason, we are also testing technology to deliver increased mobile upload speeds, to ensure we can meet their expectations."

Wang Jun, president of LTE Networks at Huawei, added that mobile networks are moving from 4G towards "4.5G" before the arrival of 5G in 2020.

"The successful trial marks the beginning of 4.5G era in Singapore, demonstrating Huawei and M1's continual innovation in delivering the benefits of the latest mobile technology advances to Singapore consumers, for instance, in enabling machine-to-machine connections and improving HD video experience," Wang Jun said.

At the beginning of January, Huawei announced that it had shipped 108 million smartphones on revenue of more than $20 billion during 2015, and it also launched its new high-end 6-inch Mate 8 smartphone at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

Australia's own National Broadband Network (NBN) is due to have its cable portions upgraded to DOCSIS 3.1 by 2017, according to a Q&A on DOCSIS 3.1 published on the website of Australian Communications Minister cum Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull a year ago.

"We plan to run DOCSIS 3.1 trials in 2016 and we plan to have DOCSIS 3.1 services commercially available in 2017," Turnbull wrote.

"Bringing DOCSIS 3.1 on board is the cherry on the cake that will give us even more capacity and really make sure that there is plenty of bandwidth for everyone on the network to have a great experience."

The hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) network, acquired from Telstra and Optus under a revised AU$11 billion deal, will be upgraded to DOCSIS 3.1, despite a leaked draft from NBN in November revealing that Optus' HFC network is "not fully fit for purpose".

According to the leaked document, 470,000 premises in the footprint will need to be overbuilt by either Telstra HFC or fibre services.

NBN is currently conducting a 4,500-premises HFC trial in Redcliffe, Queensland, and said it has not found any "unexpected" technical issues with the Optus network.

The HFC network will be launched by June 2016, and completed along with the rest of the NBN -- a so-called multi-technology mix consisting of HFC, FttP, fibre to the node, fibre to the basement, fixed wireless, and satellite -- by 2020.

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