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Broadband tech boasts 5x faster data rate

Posted: 20 Mar 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:broadband? technology communications? 500Mbit/s copper?

Ericsson is claiming a major breakthrough in broadband communications after the Swedish comms equipment group demonstrated VDSL2-based technology that it says can achieve data rates of 500Mbit/s over multiple copper lines, five times faster than is theoretically possible with existing VDSL2.

This is also about 30 or 40 times faster than the actual data rate achieved by most users in Europe using copper-based technologies such as the existing prevalent ADSL2.

Ericsson said the new technology is suitable for fibre extensions, combining fibre and last-mile copper for backhauling. It opens up new possibilities for the delivery of HDTV and video-on-demand over IPTV networks.

The new crosstalk cancellation or "vectorized" VDSL2 technique improves performance by reducing the noise coming from other copper pairs in the same bundle. This increases both capacity and reach, meaning that more customers would be served.

The company said that the products based on the technology could be made available by the end of this year, coinciding with industry efforts to standardize the technology. Standards for VDSL2 and line bonding are already available.

Initial applications would be multidwelling units or other areas where there is both a proliferation of copper lines and a short reach for the DSL line. The resulting bandwidth, however, could support IPTV and many other video applications, in addition to broadband Internet access and telephone service.

Ericsson's lab demonstration of the 0.5Gbit/s technology was only over a relatively short distance of 500m and was achieved by bundling six lines (twisted pairs) into one.

Of course it will be difficult to achieve these data rates in the real world because, for instance, few existing homes have six lines. However, H�kan Eriksson, chief technology officer at Ericsson, said the demonstration "confirms Ericsson's leadership in broadband access technology and our commitment to the continued R&D of DSL technology to improve operators' business with new access solutions."

The company added that the vectorized VDSL 2 technology also makes it possible to use existing copper networks as a backhaul for radio base stations, accelerating future rollout of HSPA and LTE-based wireless broadband.

The new technology works by reducing noise originating from the other copper pairs in the same cable bundle. This increases capacity and reach, boosting the number of customers that can be connected.

Vectoring technology also decouples the lines in a cable (from an interference point of view), substantially improving power management, which can reduce power consumption.

- John Walko
EE Times Europe

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