P&T Luxembourg test drives Alcatel-Lucent's vectoring solution

P&T Luxembourg on Wednesday became the latest European telco to begin testing Alcatel-Lucent's (NYSE: ALU) vectoring technology in combination with VDSL2 bonding as a way to deliver higher speed data services to comply with the government's Ultra High BroadBand plan.

Under Luxembourg's ambitious Ultra High BroadBand program, the government has set a goal of delivering 100 Mbps by 2015 for 100 percent of the country's households.

Although it is already deploying a GPON and point-to-point active fiber solution for a separate FTTH network, the telco wants to see how it can use VDSL2 bonding and vectoring to improve the rate and reach of its existing copper plant.

"Our national government wants to position Luxembourg as Europe's premier digital hub--and has therefore set some very aggressive broadband targets: 100 Mbps for all by 2015 and even 1 Gbps for all by 2020," said Serge Eiffes, head of Fixed Access & Home-Office Ecosystem, P&T Luxembourg, in a release. "To help to reach these targets, we have been investing heavily in our FTTH infrastructure--and now want to trial Alcatel-Lucent's VDSL2 Bonding and Vectoring technologies to get to fast faster, and this in priority in regions where the fiber deployment will come at the second half of the decade."

By removing the interference between multiple VDSL2 lines, vectoring enables each VDSL2 line to deliver higher data speeds. When used in combination with VDSL2 bonding, a service provider could theoretically deliver speeds up to 100 Mbps at distance of up to 800 meters. Of course, the actual data speed delivered in a real-world environment depends on the condition of the existing copper plant.

For P&T Luxembourg, a key issue was what impact that its customers' existing VDSL2 modems would have on the gains it could get from vectoring. Alcatel-Lucent claims that it can help the telco overcome this problem with its Zero-Touch Vectoring approach, which can handle existing VDSL2 CPE (customer premises equipment). The only CPE that would need to be upgraded are those that are being used to provide higher bandwidth vectoring services.  

P&T is one of several traditional telcos that are either trialing or deploying VDSL2 bonding with vectoring.

The majority of the VDSL2 vectoring activity has been taking place in the United States and in Europe. A recent Broadband Trends forecast said that even though EMEA represents the largest opportunity, North America has the highest penetration of VDSL2 vectoring at 42 percent of total VDSL ports.

Besides P&T, a number of other high profile VDSL2 vectoring deployments and trials include Belgacom, TDC Denmark, Telekom Austria, and Türk Telekom. One of the most anticipated deployments of VDSL2 bonding and vectoring in 2013 will come from Deutsche Telekom (DTE.DE), which announced in December that it would spend €6 billion ($7.9 billion) to build out a FTTC network to expand download speeds on its copper lines from 50 to 100 Mbps.

For more:
- see the release

Special report: The 10 hottest wireline technologies in 2013 - VDSL2 with bonding or vectoring

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