Belgacom introduces 70 Mbps VDSL2, vectored broadband service

Belgacom has unveiled a new VDSL2 vectoring service, offering speeds up to 70 Mbps, more than double the speed of its existing 30 Mbps VDSL2 service.

Initially available to customers in Mechelen, Herstal, Laken, Roeselare and Bergen, the telco plans to bring it to more cities beginning in April. This rollout is part of a broader goal to upgrade its entire copper network, including 22,000 fiber-fed remote terminal (RT) cabinets by 2016 with VDSL2 and vectoring technology.

The service provider is one of the early pioneers in using VSDL2 and vectoring to get more out of its existing copper network.

In 2011, it began deploying Alcatel-Lucent's (NYSE: ALU) VDSL2 vectoring equipment to initially get 50 Mbps speeds and higher over existing copper. The telco also built out a country-wide 16,500 km network in Belgium, part of which extended fiber to 19,000 remote terminal (RT) cabinets to backhaul ADSL and later ADSL2+ and VDSL2 traffic.

After conducting wide-scale subscriber tests throughout 2013, Belgacom finalized the processes necessary to activate vectoring for the first customers using its B-BOX3 next-gen modem.

Besides vectoring, Belgacom was an early adopter of VDSL2. As of the end of 2013, Belgacom said it had over 1 million active VDSL2 lines and VDSL2 coverage for 88.5 percent of its population.  

This deal with Belgacom is significant to Alcatel-Lucent as VDSL2 and vectoring has become a big revenue driver in its Fixed Access unit, which rose 2.4 percent year-over-year to $734 million in the fourth quarter of 2013. During the quarter, the vendor signed 11 new fiber contracts and it has 17 VDSL2 vectoring customers.

Besides Alcatel-Lucent, Belgacom's other VDSL2 partners include home gateway providers Sagemcom and Technicolor and silicon developers Broadcom and Ikanos.

Belgacom is one of several European telcos that have opted to use a mix of VDSL2 with vectoring to bring higher speeds over their existing copper network infrastructure. Other notable deployments of this technology combination include KPN, Deutsche Telekom and Orange France.

For more:
- see the release

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Alcatel-Lucent's VDSL2 vectoring technology is set on wringing more out of copper
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