Alcatel-Lucent has upgraded its implementation of the VDSL2 vectoring noise cancellation technology in order to make it easier to implement, and as a result let operators offer higher broadband speeds over phone lines to more users.
While fibre is the ultimate broadband bearer for high speeds, copper and old telephony lines still dominate with over 60 percent of the market, according to ABI Research. Fibre will have about 13 percent of the market by the end of the year, it said.
To help keep DSL relevant, vendors are working on a number of technologies, including vectoring, which improves VDSL performance by removing crosstalk interference.
The end result is download speeds of up to 130M bits per second over a distance of 400 metres. But Alcatel-Lucent prefers to say it can offer 100M bps over the same distance.
Early next year, operators will be able to combine two lines with vectoring to double the speeds, according to Alcatel-Lucent.
It has been about a year since Alcatel-Lucent introduced vectoring. At that time operators needed to make all modems compatible with the technology to implement it, even those that didn't subscribe to the faster speeds. But that hurdle is now removed with the introduction of "Zero Touch Vectoring".
"The feature makes it easier for operators to deploy vectoring in the field. They no longer have to take care of every modem before upgrading," said Stefaan Vanhastel, director of fixed access marketing at Alcatel-Lucent.
Vectoring works by continuously analysing the noise conditions on copper lines, and then creates a new anti-noise signal to cancel it out, much like noise cancelling head sets, according to Vanhastel.
So far, Alcatel-Lucent has six customers for its vectoring products, compared to more than 90 for its regular VDSL equipment. But there is a strong interest in the technology, according to Vanhastel.
That statement is backed up by a survey conducted by Infonetics Research. The survey states that around 40 percent of service providers plan to deploy VDSL2 with system-level vectoring.
Currently, operators are conflicted over how much to eventually invest in fixed broadband networks and services, according to Jeff Heynen, directing analyst for broadband access and pay TV at Infonetics. The transition to next-generation fibre-based fixed access technologies - including 10G EPON (Ethernet passive optical network) and variants of WDM-PON - will take longer than many in the industry had hoped, he said in a recent statement.
More than one-third of the world's total households are expected have a fixed broadband connection at the end of 2012, according to ABI.