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ZyXEL Predicts Big Demand for Broadband FTTC and VDSL Vectoring Kit

Thursday, Jan 9th, 2014 (2:03 pm) - Score 1,560

Telecoms and networking kit manufacturer ZyXEL has predicted a “steep rise” in demand for superfast broadband FTTC (VDSL) based Vectoring (ITU-T G.993.5 / G.vector) services and hardware across Europe during 2014 as network operators, such as BT, move out of the pilot phase and seek to improve Internet speeds.

At present existing up to 80Mbps capable FTTC lines in the United Kingdom and other countries are still susceptible to interference (e.g. crosstalk [XT] or far-end crosstalk [self-FEXT]), especially the signal degradation that occurs over longer distances and reduces your lines speed (created when several lines effectively cause interference for one another).

The solution to this is Vectoring technology, which works a bit like noise cancelling headphones to remove the interference and thus improve your Internet speeds. BTOpenreach has been running trials of this technology since late last year (here) and the results of that are currently being analysed (note: Openreach recently told ISPreview.co.uk that they’re not currently in a position to say anything further about the trials).

James Harris, ZyXEL’s EU Market Development Manager, said:

With the roll-out of fibre networks now gathering pace in many countries across Europe, service providers are starting to look at how the can get ahead of the competition. During the last few weeks of 2013, we were approached by an increasing number of ISPs who were interested in our VDSL2 vectoring solutions.

Some are already in an advanced stage with their evaluations and we’d expect to see more services being launched over the next six months. By the end of 2014, we’d be surprised if vectoring services were not available in most major countries.

VDSL2 vectoring gives an ISP real versatility and extends their reach, both in physical terms and in terms of the potential available customer base. With the use of high-definition TV and video streaming and 3D interactive gaming on the rise everywhere, there is going to be strong demand for premium services from home users. The providers who get to market first with reliable and affordable services are going to have a real differentiator and a distinct competitive advantage.”

BT has yet to officially announce a commercial deployment strategy for Vectoring but it does appear on their road-map and some of their plans for future services, such as G.fast (aka – FTTC2) technology, will need the enhancement in order to function properly.

However, while some countries and operators might see Vectoring as a means to improve their headline speeds, BT has previously said that it views the upgrade as more of a “speed enabler rather than a speed booster” (i.e. improving existing connections without lifting the headline speed); but that could easily change later as the desire to market a 100Mbps+ service grows in the face of competition from Virgin Media.

The downside is that Vectoring still carries a cost, both to upgrade the underlying network itself and also because some consumers own CPE hardware (router / modems) that don’t provide full support for the related G.vector standard. In many cases this can be fixed via a simple Firmware upgrade but others might need to replace their hardware in order to benefit.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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