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Ericsson claims 500Mbps speeds over copper

The data-transfer rates were achieved using a version of digital subscriber line technology called "vectorized" VDSL2, the company says.

Ericsson has successfully demonstrated data-transfer speeds of more than 500 megabits per second over copper, the communications company said Monday.

The data-transfer rates were achieved using a version of digital subscriber line (DSL) technology called "vectorized" VDSL2, Ericsson said in a statement. The technology, also called "crosstalk cancellation," provides the high transmission rates through a twisted pair of copper cables by reducing the noise coming from other pairs in the same cable bundle. VDSL2 has traditionally offered speeds of around 100Mbps.

Ericsson CTO Håkan Eriksson
Ericsson CTO Håkan Eriksson Ericsson

According to Ericsson, a benefit of vectorized VDSL2 lies in improved power management and lower power consumption, as the lines in a cable are decoupled in terms of interference. Claiming that the technology can work on existing copper lines, the company is pitching it at enterprise users and residential ISPs, as well as telecommunications companies building backhaul for mobile networks.

VDSL2 is a technology that some, such as BT, have mooted as a part of a nationwide, fiber-to-the-cabinet, next-generation access rollout. In this scenario, fiber connectivity would go as far as the street cabinet, while VDSL2 would then provide a high-speed connection between the cabinet and the customer premises. In August 2008, U.K. telecoms regulator Ofcom said this approach could make 50Mbps connections a reality for the majority of the country.

Ericsson's vectorized VDSL2 tests produced aggregated rates of more than 500Mbps over a distance of 500 meters, with six lines bonded into one cable bundle.

"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's chief technology officer, Håkan Eriksson, in the statement. "It also proves Ericsson's abilities to provide future mobile backhauling, which will enable quick and cost-effective introduction of long-term evolution (LTE) solutions."

Ericsson also said in its statement that vectorized VDSL2 could be used by operators to "enhance fiber-access deployments with copper access in the last mile and thereby maximize the reuse of existing infrastructure."

While standards for VDSL2 and line bonding have already been established, vectoring will be standardized by the end of this year, Ericsson claimed in its statement.

David Meyer of ZDNet UK reported from London.