Never mind fibre, there's a future in copper

While many telcos are investing shedloads of cash into fibre based broadband, Alcatel-Lucent thinks that there is more mileage to be squeezed from existing copper connections.

According to Physorgthe outfit is about to release some new gear which will deliver better broadband speeds with standard VDSL2 (stands for Very-high-speed Digital Subscriber Line 2) plus vectoring. Alcatel-Lucent vectoring boosts speeds significantly and can push .broadband speeds of 100 Mbps and beyond.

An article published in Alcatel-Lucent’s TechZine, with the catchy headline “Boosting VDSL2 Bit Rates with Vectoring” by Paul Spruyt and Dr.Stefaan Vanhastel, says a shift to fibre will take years to complete while copper is already in the ground.

Dr Vanhastel said that existing resources can be leveraged to help many countries meet their timelines for universal broadband, and service providers can use the copper infrastructure to deliver higher speeds, in less time, with faster return on investment.

Vectoring is “noise-cancellation technology” and this reduces interference between copper lines. It means that VDSL2 lines can approximate their theoretical maximum speed in real-world conditions by eliminating cross talk.

The technology has been in development since 2001, and Alcatel-Lucent has started testing its vectoring technology with carriers already using VDSL2.

Last year it was tested in field trials with service providers including Belgacom, A1 Telekom Austria, Swisscom, Orange, P&T Luxemburg and Türk Telekom. It managed to improve downstream bit rates by 90 percent to 150 percent.