Trials indicate potential of copper networks for delivering ultra-fast broadband

02 July 2013 |


Alcatel-Lucent and Telekom Austria Group claim to have completed short distance trials of delivering ultra-fast broadband over existing copper networks.

The trials were said to have successfully delivered speeds of faster than 1Gbps over 70 metres, demonstrating the potential of using copper networks for next-generation broadband access.

During the trials, Alcatel-Lucent’s Bell Labs used a combination of vectoring techniques and a transmission technology called G.fast, which uses a wide frequency band to achieve high speeds on copper lines over very short distances.

The technology could be a natural fit for FTTH projects, where a substantial part of the cost-per-subscribers is deploying the last few metres between the nearest network cabinet and the home. G.fast is described as the “natural evolution” of VDSL2, but is not yet standardised and is not expected to become commercially available for several years.

Telekom Austria has been an early adopter of vectoring technology, working alongside Alcatel-Lucent early last year to upgrade its existing copper network to be able to achieve data transmission speeds of 100Mbps at distances of up to 300m, and speeds of 50Mbps at distances of up to 800m.