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Deutsche Telekom submits VDSL2 vectoring application to German regulator

Includes provision to provide wholesale access to competitors
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Deutsche Telekom (DTE.DE) on Wednesday said it submitted an application to Germany's Federal Network Agency (FNA) to get permission to use vectoring technology as it gets ready to offer VDSL2 services to consumers and businesses.

In the application, the telco wrote that it is wants to establish legal certainty for all market participants quickly, so it can start rolling out the technology.  

"Only with vectoring can millions of households be provided with fast and efficient high-performance connections in the fixed network," Niek Jan van Damme, member of the DT Board of Management for Germany, in a release announcing the application. "We must take this opportunity for better networking of society in Germany, and that's why we have now seized the initiative with our application."

One of the key provisions of the application is to provide an open access environment where competitive providers that want to offer vectored VDSL2 service will be able to deploy vectoring at the cable distribution boxes, including Remote Terminal (RT) cabinets they have already connected to its fiber network. This program includes a prerequisite that competitors will also allow other providers to use the new connections.

The service provider plans to offer a bitstream connection for vectoring as a wholesale product so competitive providers can offer their customers up to 100/40 Mbps speeds over existing copper lines.  

"However, we also expect such an offer from alternative network operators. Otherwise there is a real threat of a monopoly--albeit a regional monopoly by competitors," said van Damme.

Vectoring can achieve these higher bandwidth rates by mitigating cross talk and interference between copper lines. To overcome noise and crosstalk issues inherent in copper cable, the service provider has to have control over all lines at the distribution box, meaning that other service providers can't install their own technology at that point.

DT owns about 330,000 cable distribution boxes and competitors have connected to about 8,200 of them with their own lines.

Earlier this month, DT announced that it would invest up to €6 billion ($7.9 billion) in building out a FTTC network to expand download speeds on its copper lines from 50 to 100 Mbps. By making this investment, DT said it will be able more effectively compete with other CLECs and cable operators.

The FTTC and vectoring deployments are part of a broader €30 billion ($39 billion) plan that will also include expanding wireless LTE services as a way to offset growing competition from cable operators.

Germany is not the only country where the incumbent providers are looking to use vectoring to enhance their VDSL2 deployments. Regulators in both Austria and Belgium have approved Telekom Austria and Belgacom's use of vectoring to deliver higher speed broadband services over their respective copper networks.

For more:
- see the release

Special report: Bonding telcos' love affair with copper through VDSL2

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