In a blog post, Deutsche Telekom defended its use of vectoring to serve primarily rural customers, striking back at Vodafone's public complaints about its inability to access European incumbents' fiber backhaul networks on competitive terms.
DT -- which has seen strong customer growth in homeland Germany, as well as across the United States and Germany, according to its Aug. 2
second-quarter earnings report -- has deployed more than 455,000 kilometers (about 283,000 miles) of fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP), it said in its post. The operator adds approximately 25,000 km (or 16,000 miles) of fiber annually, DT noted.
That adds up to expenditures of about €4 billion ($5 billion) each year in Germany. It's a lot of money, but DT said installing fiber-to-the-home for every German household would cost between €60 billion ($71 billion) and €80 billion ($95 billion), Light Reading reported.
Fiber is also time-consuming. Individual municipalities plus national authorities typically have their own rules, landlords and pole owners can request exorbitant fees and labor is expensive. In the US, 90% of fiber's cost comes from initial construction or repair. (See Get 'Dig Once' Out of Its Rut.)
Unlike some providers in other countries -- operators such as Altice and Orange -- that have embraced 100% fiber, DT uses a mix of technologies including vectoring to deliver broadband to urban and rural customers. While vectoring does not provide the high speeds guaranteed by FTTH, it does deliver Internet connectivity and offers an alternative to wireless provider services.
It's also the entry to super-vectoring and Gfast, which use existing copper wires to bring faster speeds to users. Indeed, Gfast is expected to reach the gigabit milestone this year, said Kurt Raaflaub, head of global product marketing at ADTRAN earlier this year. (See G.fast to Hit Gigabit Speed in 2017.) Indeed, DT is lab-testing the next-generation G.fast standard 212Mhz and coordinated dynamic time allocation (cDTA) it disclosed in July. (See DT, ADTRAN Lab Test Super-Speedy G.fast .)
Regarding Vodafone's charges that DT prevents it from expanding, DT pointed to cooperation agreements with NetCologne, Innogy and EWE.
"We are open to different types of possible collaboration: we would be prepared to rent infrastructure, or to set up joint ventures. This could include both cooperation models with local carriers and with larger competitors," the article said.
Vodafone did not respond to a late afternoon (German time) request for comment.
— Alison Diana, Editor, UBB2020. Follow us on Twitter @UBB2020 or @alisoncdiana.