Game On: Ericsson Demonstrates 500 Mbps DSL

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Cable operators like Comcast might be in the process of rolling out 20, 50, and even 100 Mbps services to selected customers via DOCSIS 3.0 technology, but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost for folks unable (or unwilling) to sign on the cable industry’s dotted line. Swedish telecommunications gear-maker Ericsson has just performed its first live demonstration of VDSL2-based technology that enables transfer rates of more than 500 Mbps per second—and that’s over six twisted copper pairs—just like an ordinary phone lines—bonded together into one big pipe.

“This demonstration confirms Ericsson’s leadership in broadband access technology and our commitment to the continued research and development of DSL technology to improve operators’ business with new access solutions,” said Ericsson CTO Håkan Eriksson, in a statement.

At first, of course, the technology will be aimed at communications operators, enabling them to use existing copper networks as network backhaul for radio base stations, which in turn will speed up the deployement of mobile broadband technologies like HSPA and Long-Term Evolution (LTE), which promise high-speed mobile broadband in the next few years. Ericsson envisions operators supplementing existing fiber networks with existing copper links for the last mile, enabling simpler, less-costly broadband rollouts. Ericsson doesn’t see high-bandwidth VDSL2 technology replacing fiber, but instead offering an alternative to running fiber over last-mile deployments where copper pairs are already available and where running fiber all the way to an endpoint isn’t practical.

The new high-bandwidth VDSL-2 reduces noise in a copper pair using cross-talk cancellation, and actually operates at lower power requirements than current DSL technologies. Standards for VDSL2 and line bonding are completed, with standards for vectoring (the process that eliminates cross-talk) should be completed by the end of 2009.