Gfast: Turning CES 2018 Dreams Into Reality
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CES, CES 2018, consumer electronics, Sckipio, broadband

Gfast: Turning CES 2018 Dreams Into Reality

Last week, a lot of exciting products were announced in Las Vegas at CES 2018. We saw breakthrough new products in the Internet of Things, new cloud applications, cord-cutting video services, virtual reality, amazing new TVs, and connected cars. All of these exciting products and applications will require a new level of ultrafast broadband connectivity to make them a reality. Here are a few examples of what we’ve seen at CES:

  • Nvidia rolled out Big Format Gaming Displays (BFG-D) screens (not TVs since they don’t include a tuner) that offer 4K resolution at 120Hz and HDR color with a brightness of 1,000 nits. The company also announced GeForce Now – its “holy grail” cloud gaming platform – will be available for PCs. No timeline was included for this data-intensive gaming, but GeForce Now and the BFG-D screens are both likely to be broadband hogs.
  • Intel’s Sansar team announced a new Ready Player One VR experience is in development in collaboration with Warner Bros. as a direct tie-in for the feature film by the same name, soon to be released. According to a OnlineReporter article, 720p VR video stream needs a minimum of 50Mbps connection, and a 4K VR game would need a whopping 500Mbps.
  • Samsung announced a new high-def TV: an 8K quantum-dot TV due to be released later in 2018. It’s a massive 85-inch Q93 8K TV that features QLED quantum-dot display. It uses AI and significant processing power to upscale video to 8K, including broadcast TV. 8K TV is four times the resolution of 4K TV and will require up 100 Mbps for each channel or stream – and most homes would have multiple streams running simultaneously.
  • Ford and Autonomic introduced the Transportation Mobility Cloud, which will help cities connect smart transportation services. Transportation Mobility Cloud would unite infrastructure communications with a common language and coordinate everything in real-time. That is, personal cars would have vehicle-to-everything communications built in, and would then have the ability to communicate with things like bike sharing networks, public and private transportation services, such as buses, trains, and more. This type of cloud application requires very low-latency, high-speed communications to work reliably and safely.

Behind these announcements is an underlying technology revolution that’s going to make all these breakthroughs a reality ultrafast broadband access. You see, to benefit from these exciting new products, there’s a need for large data pipes from the Internet to your home. Traditionally, we all believed that the only way to achieve ultrafast broadband access was to wait patiently for fiber optics. However, we have learned the tragic reality that bringing fiber into every household is not feasible for the next 5-10 years. Google has given up on this vision and even countries such as Australia (which mandated fiber) have too.

But an exciting new technology Gfast is emerging that will enable all these fantastic new products by delivering 500Mbps or more of broadband speed and amazing upload speeds of between 100-500 Mbps or more. This technology works by bringing fiber close to the residence, but then connects to existing wires for the rest of the distance. This cuts the time and the costs to deploy by 75%. For example, in the UK, British Telecom will make it possible to deliver a 330Mbps services to over 1 million subscribers in one year where it took 5 years for Google to support 200K customers.

This technology is coming in 2018. In the US already, AT&T, CenturyLink, Windstream, Frontier and many smaller operators have started to deploy Gfast. In fact, AT&T is so aggressive in Gfast, they intend to bring Gfast into 22 markets where they haven’t historically operated as a broadband supplier. This should speed up the market and make it much more possible for the amazing innovations of CES 2018 to become a reality.