Bruno wanted G.fast but DT chooses cheaper 35b.  February 2014. CTO Bruno Jacobfeuerborn startled the broadband world by suggesting they would deploy 500 megabit G.fast. Kabel Deutschland has been winning customers away by offering twice the speed of DT for the same price. BJ knows gigabit cable is close and he wanted to stay in the game. 25M homes were initially promised the upgrade and that's now been raised to ~30M, or 80% of the country.

A year later, his plans were cut back because of DT's financial problems. DT has lost billions on T-Systems, their computer outsourcing division as well as billions on T-Mobile USA. The losses in Greece and Eastern Europe are also high.  Over the last four years, they've paid more in dividends than their net profits. Debt is up by six billion. 

They decided to save money by keeping in place the 12M homes with earlier (non-vectored) VDSL. G.fast would require upgrading everyone. They will emphasize a somewhat faster form of vectored VDSL using 35 MHz rather than 17-30 MHz. The download speed will mostly be 100-150 megabits, with some homes on longer loops getting lower speeds. Broadband speeds are traditionally measured separately from upstream, but DT is combining them to claim 200-300 megabits. In their current plans, G.fast will be mostly a niche product, perhaps for fiber to the basement. 

In addition, they have fallen far behind the schedule promised to the regulator, Bundesnetzagentur. Their announced homes passed is too few to come even close to the buildout schedule. In addition, they have slowed orders for the necessary equipment, ruining the quarterly sales of a major supplier.

Essentially, they are betting that few Germans will care about the faster speeds of cable. After all, who needs more than 100 megabits? Mike Fries of Liberty Global, a major cable owner in Germany, prefers to come to an accommodation with the telco to both raise prices and both make more money. Wireless in Germany fell from 4 to 3 companies and Fries doesn't want to fight for customers. 

With weaker competition, DT is investing less.

 

Bundesnetzagentur

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