By: MarkJ - 22 September, 2011 (8:00 AM)
alcatel lucentGlobal telecommunications firm Alcatel-Lucent has this morning announced the commercial launch of its VDSL2 Vectoring technology, which is expected to be used by some UK internet providers (ISP) to boost the maximum download speed of superfast Fibre-to-the-Cabinet ( FTTC ) broadband services up to and beyond 100Mbps (currently 40Mbps).

FTTC delivers a fast fibre optic cable to street level cabinets, while the remaining connection (between cabinets and homes) is done using VDSL2 via existing copper cable (similar to current ADSL broadband but faster over short distances). BT Group's £2.5bn rollout of superfast broadband, which should reach 66% of UK homes by 2015, is dominated by this method.

At present most UK FTTC solutions claim to offer maximum speeds of between 25Mbps and 40Mbps, although BT has already announced that it will start increasing FTTC's spectrum allocation (does not require new hardware / extra cost) towards the end of the year and thus boost speeds up to 80Mbps in 2012.

vdsl2 vectoring

By contrast VDSL2 Vectoring, which can work on a single pair copper line, is seen as the next evolution beyond 80Mbps FTTC and works in a similar way to the "noise cancellation" technology employed by some headphones. In essence it works to cancel out background noise / interference (crosstalk) and can thus boost performance and reach by between 25% and 100%.

Rob Gallagher, Principal Analyst at Informa, said:

"Alcatel-Lucent's plan to make VDSL2 vectoring commercially available is very timely. Service providers and governments have stated their intent to boost broadband speeds to consumers and businesses alike, but the challenges associated with comprehensive fiber-to-the-home deployments have been a major obstacle.

VDSL2 Vectoring promises to bring speeds of 100Mbps and beyond to advanced copper/fiber hybrid networks and make superfast broadband speeds available to many more people, much faster than many in the industry had thought possible."

Dave Geary, President of Alcatel-Lucent's Wireline Division, said:

"With our enhanced broadband portfolio, including VDSL2 Vectoring and recent innovations in next-generation fiber, operators can deliver new services and generate new revenue, quickly. Our objective is to help operators – and nations - ‘get to fast, faster’. For operators this means shortening the time needed to recoup their investments, and making it easier for them to meet various national broadband goals."

Alcatel-Lucent appears to be the first-to-market with this technology, although others (e.g. Genesis Technical Systems, Huawei etc.) are working with similar solutions. So what of the UK ramifications? BT has already told ISPreview.co.uk that it is exploring the method for a future upgrade (here) to 100Mbps or possibly more.

vdsl2 vectoring speed

Crucially Alcatel-Lucent recently secured a major five-year agreement (here) to create and maintain "an evolution" of BT's next generation UK 21st Century Network ( 21CN ). It should be said that BT also has deals with some other Vectoring developers, such as Huawei. Either way Vectoring will almost certainly be used by BT but probably not before 2013 as it will take most of 2012 to deploy the new 80Mbps upgrade first.
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Comments: 13

asa logoDeduction
Posted: 22 September, 2011 - 4:22 PM
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Unless im reading wrong you have to be within 400m of the cabinet to get that 100Mb? Just as currently you have to be within 400M to as near as guarantee the full 40Mb.

If you cant get the full 40Mb now you aint gonna get the full 100Mb.

It looks as though (roughly speaking) whatever you currently get on a FTTC 40Mb product would double.... IE if you get 25Mb currently the best case scenario is going to be it increases to 50Mb (NOT 100Mb).

Still a good improvement but i do wish things like this, they would make more clear rather than give the theoretical best case scenarios.
asa logoBen
Posted: 22 September, 2011 - 5:06 PM
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No mention of the upload speed, I guess we should assume it is still in the single digit Mbps range?
asa logoDeduction
Posted: 22 September, 2011 - 10:50 PM
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It would also probably roughly double, IE 10Mb becomes 20Mb upload in ideal circumstances.
asa logoMarkJ
Posted: 23 September, 2011 - 5:18 AM
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Well BT is already going to boost FTTC uploads to 20Mbps without Vectoring.
asa logoDeduction
Posted: 23 September, 2011 - 4:44 PM
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Yep but anything beyond that isnt likely to scale.... Example i cant imagine a FTTC product in this country being 100Mb download and 40Mb upload, many FTTH products around the world do not even offer that...... Again this is all theoretical best case scenarios and i think we all know by now UPTO basically equates to if you are the lucky few rather than the majority.

Im also looking forward to see who manages to get the new 60Mb down (or whatever it is now) and 20Mb up from BT based FTTC, or when they even get around to that as the rollout itself still isnt even done.
asa logoDeduction
Posted: 23 September, 2011 - 4:47 PM
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Actually wasnt it 15Mb upload FTTC was planning to be boosted to rather than 20Mb? Or have they altred that again>

Have heard so many figures and claims. At one stage they planned to boost the 40Mb down to 80Mb, then it was 60Mb, then 75Mb then 60Mb again...... SO who knows mixedup
asa logozedebronze
Posted: 25 September, 2011 - 2:39 PM
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I believe that the engineer who originally developed adsl technology has again extended it by providing phantom dsl.

It can be pushed to 800mbps using 4 copper pairs.

I will repeat myself again, Alcatel is just pandering to the main telecom providers and helping them maintain their monopoly on the local loop.

Openreach should be charged with creating a strong national fiber network open to all comers. We are definitely pissing into the wind with copper.

It is not about having a gigabit connection for illegal downloads, it is about having a future proof solid infrastructure which benefits the economy.

BT's network will shortly be superseded by Mobile LTE and then what? Who the hell would want a static Broadband connection when I can have a very fast one from any location?

The only protection against the LTE onslaught is FTTH/P.

Regards to all.
asa logoMark
Posted: 27 September, 2011 - 2:13 AM
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I agree that someone should be charged with developing a nationwide broadband network. I'm just not sure why anyone thinks Openreach should be forced to do it, or indeed would want to do it. If BT wants to morph from a telephone company and pension scheme into a telecommunications company they're quite free to do so, but if they want to remain a phone company dabbling in a bit of narrowband and sometimes broadband, then that's fine. We remain seeking the body that will do it.

FTTC has only come along because of the cancellation of landlines (some going to 3G) and the arrival of 4G/LTE for the very reasons you state.
asa logoSatchell
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