Alcatel-Lucent reaches 10Gbps over copper network

French vendor Alcatel-Lucent claims to have set a world record for broadband speed over traditional copper telephone lines; reaching 10Gbps for data transmission.

Alcatel’s research arm, Bell Labs, used prototype technology called XG-FAST to demonstrate how existing copper networks can be used to deliver ultra-broadband services, as well as 1Gbps symmetrical services.

“Our constant aim is to push the limits of what is possible to ‘invent the future’, with breakthroughs that are 10 times better than are possible today,” said Marcus Weldon, president of Bell Labs.

“The demonstration of 10Gbps over copper is a prime example: by pushing broadband technology to its limits, operators can determine how they could deliver gigabit services over their existing networks, ensuring the availability of ultra-broadband access as widely and as economically as possible.”

The 1Gbps symmetrical services achieved involved splitting bandwidth to provide simultaneous upload and download speeds of 1Gbps; a breakthrough for copper broadband.

It is expected to enable operators to deliver internet connectivity speeds over copper, that appear identical to fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) services; benefitting homes and businesses in locations that cannot lay new fibre. Fibre will instead be brought into the pavement nearby, or basement of, a building, and copper used for the final few metres.

“XG-FAST can help operators accelerate FTTH developments, taking fibre very close to customers without the major expense and delays associated with entering every home,” said Federico Guillén president of Alcatel-Lucent’s fixed-networks business.

“By making 1 gigabit symmetrical services over copper a real possibility, Bell Labs is offering the telecommunications industry a new way to ensure no customer is left behind when it comes to ultra-broadband access.”

Alcatel-Lucent initially announced the potential still left in copper networks in July 2013, having completed a number of trials with Telekom Austria.