500M bps soon in a copper line near you, Ericsson says

Next generation DSL systems will enable bandwidths of more than 500M bps by bonding many copper lines and using advanced noise cancellation, Ericsson said.

Next-generation DSL systems will enable bandwidths of more than 500M bits per second by bonding many copper lines and using advanced noise cancellation, Ericsson said on Monday.

The company has performed the world's first live demonstration, at least according to Ericsson, of vectorized very high bit rate DSL2 at speeds of more than 500M bps. Products using the technology will likely be available by the end of the year, according to Don McCullough, head of product marketing at Ericsson Broadband Networks, who came to Ericsson when it acquired Entrisphere in February 2007.

The key to getting more capacity is having many copper lines at your disposal instead of just one, which traditional DSL has to make due with. The Ericsson demonstration used six copper lines over 500 meters. Vectoring technology is used to cancel out the noise among them by being able to predict where it will occur, allowing for higher rates than what would be naturally possible.

"We have found many places where six copper pairs make a difference, and they are available. On the other hand; in some buildings they aren't, and in those buildings you have to go with fiber all the way to the resident if you want to provide these applications," McCullough said.

Vectorized very high bit rate DSL2 will be used for enterprise and residential broadband, as well as backhaul for mobile base stations, according to McCullough.

The introduction of vectoring, and the capacity improvements that comes with it, will help copper stay a viable option to fiber for broadband networks. The question when that will no longer be the case always gets the same answer: a couple of years from now, according to McCullough. Then stuff like this comes along, he said.

But in the end fiber is the option to go with if it's economically feasible. "Of course, if you can get fiber; you should get fiber," said McCullough.

The Swedish telecom company is far from the only company working on vectorized VDSL2. The technology is being standardized, and a standard is expected by the end of 2009, Ericsson said.

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Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
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