KT’s GiGa Wire technology delivers super-fast broadband to Korean MDU’s

Korean broadband leader KT has launched its new GiGa Wire services that deliver super-fast broadband to apartment buildings on existing wiring.

Re-wiring an entire Multi-Dwelling Unit (MDU) block for a Fibre-to-the-Premise (FTTP) deployment is an expensive and time-consuming process. That’s one of the key reasons why NBN Co trialled and plans to launch Fibre-to-the-Basement (FTTB) services for MDUs in Q1 2015, with the goal of delivering fast broadband speeds to Australian homes and businesses quicker and more cost effectively.

NBN Co is not alone in facing substantial challenges in delivering fast broadband services to MDUs – even in broadband flagship markets like South Korea, operators are wrestling with how they can deliver improved speeds in an affordable and timely manner.

To that end, Korean broadband market leader Korea Telecom (KT) has looked for new ways to deliver ultra-fast broadband services without having to install new fibre connections all the way into several million MDU dwellings – and bear the significant costs of “building out” to individual premises.

KT has also come under pressure to upgrade services because of competition from cable network operators offering Docsis 3.0 services – with Gigabit services already being trialled. Adding to that pressure is the Korean Government’s objective of maintaining its position as a ‘flagship’ operator in the global broadband market with world-class speeds.

KT’s solution is the GiGa Wire platform, which uses the Gigabit Home Networking (G.hn) technology to deliver total bandwidth of approximately 500Mbps to MDU dwellings over existing in-building copper wiring. This allows KT to offer symmetrical 250Mbps services, i.e. 250 Mbps in both directions, and even 400/100Mbps services.

The GiGa Wire platform will enable KT to upgrade millions of subscribers to ultra-fast broadband at a fraction of the cost. GiGa Wire also radically reduces deployment time for new individual fibre connections because end users will only need a new G.hn modem and there’s no requirement for a home visit from an engineer.

On the back of the GiGa Wire platform launch, KT has also gone to market with a GiGa Wi-Fi product. With Wi-Fi download speeds of 275Mbps and upload speeds of 150Mbps, KT’s GiGa Wi-Fi gives subscribers a massive increase on Wi-Fi speeds previously delivered.

While Korea’s broadband market is vastly different from that in Australia, KT’s approach shows that global broadband operators are embracing the pragmatic ‘hybrid broadband’ approach to deliver ultra-fast broadband services. This approach is seeing global giants like KT make use of both existing network assets and new acceleration technologies to bring faster speeds more cost effectively and much sooner than with full FTTP rollouts.