Belgacom to conduct large-scale VDSL2 vectoring trials

Belgacom on Wednesday confirmed that it will begin a broad customer trial of Alcatel-Lucent's (NYSE: ALU) VDSL2 with vectoring technology before the end of 2012.

Having already chosen Alcatel-Lucent as its VDSL2/vectoring supplier, Belgacom said it is "on track to deliver the next generation VDSL2 broadband network to a large majority of Belgian households."

During a recent trial of the Franco-American company's vectoring technology, Belgacom said it can provide up to 50 Mbps download speeds, and that its VDSL2 network can currently deliver up to 30 Mbps to the "vast majority of its customers," adding that it has over one million active VDSL2 customers running on Alcatel-Lucent's equipment.

In order to create what they call "operationally ready" end-to-end solution, Belgacom and Alcatel-Lucent have been working with other industry partners, including home gateway manufacturers Sagemcom and Technicolor, and silicon developers Broadcom and Ikanos.

Last September, Belgacom began a trial with Alcatel-Lucent for its VDSL/vectoring technology coupled with plans to upgrade its VDSL2 network.

To prepare its hybrid copper/fiber Fiber to the Cabinet (FTTC) network to support ADSL2+ and VDSL2, Belgacom in 2003 began building out a country-wide 16,500 km network in Belgium part of which extended fiber to 19,000 remote terminal (RT) cabinets.

Geert Standaert, Executive Vice President Service Delivery Engine at Belgacom, said the new agreement with Alcatel-Lucent is another piece of its ongoing next-gen last mile broadband strategy.

"Since 2003, we have pursued a comprehensive fibre-to-the-cabinet and VDSL strategy, with currently tens of thousands of optical street cabinets bringing high speed broadband to our customers," he said. "One year ago, we were the first to announce our VDSL2 Vectoring plans as an extension to this strategy; today, we can proudly confirm that we are well on track to engage in a mass rollout of VDSL2 Vectoring throughout the country."

Belgacom's VDSL2 network is finding dual utility not only for its consumer customers, but also as a wholesale vehicle as seen with its recent agreement with KPN Group Belgium.

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