CEO of BT Group confirms commitment to deliver on ultrafast broadband vision and announces new technology at global telecoms conference
This year’s Broadband World Forum event was central to setting the future agenda on the industry with a number of high profile announcements and previews of the latest technologies. BT confirmed its commitment to delivering ultrafast broadband speeds to 10 million properties by 2020 in a keynote speech delivered by Gavin Patterson, Group CEO of BT. The operator confirmed that premises on the Openreach G.fast trial are now reaching download speeds of up to 330Mbps, more than 10 times the UK average. Provided the trials prove successful and UK regulation continues to encourage investment BT is set to launch wide-scale commercial availability of G.fast next year.
BT also demonstrated their latest G.fast technology during the exhibition, giving attendees an exclusive look at a key part of BT’s ultrafast vision for the decade ahead.
Patterson went on to announce that the company had been testing a new technology entitled XG.Fast with Alcatel-Lucent, at BT’s research and development facility at Adastral Park in Suffolk, with a record speed of 5Gbps achieved in early lab trials.
Speaking on building a fixed-mobile hybrid Patterson confirmed that BT will look to Europe for guidance if the proposed acquisition of EE is approved by the Competition and Markets Authority.
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Virgin Media’s CEO, Tom Mockridge, called for a level playing field from UK policy makers during his keynote speech, but added that he did not agree with the forced divestment of Openview.
The show’s opening speakers from Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei and ZTE, all voiced the expectation that fixed networks will shortly be offering data speeds in excess of 1Gbps.
Meanwhile on the show floor, providers such as Huawei, Ericsson and Overture demonstrated NFV Proofs of Concept to the crowds, and it was a full-house at the Internet of Things Partners Pavilion where the latest ground-breaking technologies were demonstrated. Of particular interest in the exhibition was the smart home with solutions from D-Link, Huawei and devolo in live demonstrations of the fully networked home – with the latest innovations on display.
Also well attended was The Road to 2025 Theatre, hosted by industry analysts, Ovum. Named after the upcoming report Digital Economy 2025: The Future of Broadband, the theatre hosted talks on the changing role of the service provider, consumer services, device evolution and the impact of regulation and policy. With Ovum having forecast the digital economy would hit $4.8 trillion by 2025, a significant finding was that the enterprise technology sector would account for an increasingly large proportion of this figure, with spending on that sector to reach $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years.
Ben Agnew, Director, Broadband World Forum said: “We are delighted with levels of attendance and engagement at this year’s Broadband World Forum. The show saw the world’s largest players in the broadband & services markets come together and host pioneering technologies which are set to drive the global connected society and the digital economy. The event was attended by more visitors than ever before and was a great success.”
Broadband World Forum 2016 will again be held at ExCeL, London on 18-20 October.