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DSL research boosts speeds to 700meg
Wednesday 22 September 2010 14:19:33 by John Hunt

A prototype of 700meg DSL has been demonstrated by Huawei in Hong Kong. The company have shown a prototype of the new technology that boosts broadband speeds to much higher speeds by using bonding technology to connect four phone lines together. Using SuperMIMO (multiple input multiple output) technology, the company has managed to improve on the current maximum data rate of 100Mbps which has been possible with VDSL2. Using four twisted pairs helps address crosstalk problems and in turn, this allows an increase in bandwidth per channel to around 175Mbps, reaching around 700Mbps over 400 metres.

"DSL technologies for broadband access are showing great market potential. As a leader in the development of DSL technologies, our newest DSL prototype demonstrates our commitment to providing customer-centric and groundbreaking solutions and services for operators to enhance their competitiveness and profitability."

You Yiyong, (President Access Network Products) Huawei

Continued research into faster access using copper phone lines is valuable as the copper phone lines that are installed are likely to be around for some time. Although fibre will likely start to make a larger footprint over the next decade, being able to re-utilise existing capacity that has been replaced by fibre could help offer faster broadband speeds to communities where an investment in fibre has not been taken. Whilst 700meg is likely to be a peak speed, this technology will help boost speeds that users see.

Comments

Posted by planetf1 over 6 years ago
This is intriguing - if I'm not mistaken BT will typically run 2,4,6 pairs to a domestic property - though I have no idea if this runs all the way back to a cab or only a local jointing box?

Wondering if FTTC has some mileage yet with these kinds of developments though one wonders at what point fibre is just simpler.
Posted by JohnUK over 6 years ago
bonded vdsl2+ from BeThere would be nice :)
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Oh no, I hope Cyberdoyle doesn't see this she'll do her nut :)

Interesting though
Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
just seen it... ;) say no to BET, what about the DACS, phenomenal cost in rural areas, fibre would be cheaper. light blue touch paper and retire.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Arrrgh she's seen it already, just the mentioned of copper must have activated the alarm ;)

But yeah it sounds like BET for FTTC. If its easy enough in FTTC areas and the cables do go back to the cab not just the junction box it could be attractive, yet another stop gap before fibre of course but still.
Posted by TaRkADaHl over 6 years ago
"But yeah it sounds like BET for FTTC"

BET on crack though :D
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
Up to 700Mb eh, and to think that some regard FTTC as junk! Look forward to reading their views with interest.
Posted by Dixinormous over 6 years ago
300Mbps+ in the lab over 2 pairs has been done, with 100Mbps up to 1km over 2 pairs.

It's interesting that pair bonding seems to raise some derision - in the US the people on AT+T's U-Verse product are begging for it.

Not fussed about metal or fibre, the service is more important than the delivery system.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
^ That true Dixi, if there's no issues with crosstalk and the service degrading as more people join up (leaving actual contention to one side) then it shouldn't matter whether its fibre or copper, if the copper is already there and its more resistant to nature on a pole delivery than fibre well.... there's future in the old dog yet.

I know that will leave a nasty taste in some people's mouths but... there you go.

No idea how long it would take to go from a lab to a product though, could well be years off.
Posted by CaptainHulaHoop over 6 years ago
your lucky if one of the spare pairs goes any further than the pole/joint box that feeds your house.
Posted by WalterWillcox over 6 years ago
Before some hopefuls get too excited may I remind you that we have a miscellany of different twisted pairs including copper down to 0.3 mm dia and higher resistance aluminium alloy which can become quite unreliable especially when BT O have to break the joint open.
Posted by otester over 6 years ago
Surely a solution for the full distance could be found if 700Mb is possible over 400m.

No FTTC needed then :)
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
How do you mean otester? The full distance is BET isn't it?
Posted by Dixinormous over 6 years ago
Laws of physics. VDSL, etc, require higher frequencies to be used, these attenuate at a faster rate as distance rises.

ADSL2+ pushes it about as hard as it'll go, could get some more out of it through the noise cancellation, etc, being used here however returns diminish dramatically.

Alcatel-Lucent can push 100Mbps to a KM over 2 pairs, nothing much better than that at the moment and running this from the exchange isn't wise.
Posted by otester over 6 years ago
@GMAN99

Well BET doesn't currently support high speeds (with a reasonable amount of telephone lines), given research and time, like with this news, could produce 10Mbps over 5km with only a few lines or maybe just one.

Telephone lines currently have 2 per line with one deactivated unless you request it.
Posted by davolente over 6 years ago
Isn't this technique fairly old news?
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
No otester that's the whole point. ADSL just can't get those speeds over that distance, VDSL can but only at much shorter distances
Posted by otester over 6 years ago
@GMAN99

My point was that their must be a way to send data at a fast rate over a distance of 5km via a copper line.

Surely enough time/cash/boffins would do it, whether it's worth it or not I don't know.
Posted by TheGuv over 6 years ago
Whilst this sounds great - would the requirement be to charge for the bonding of 4 lines to make this happen ?

2nd point - whilst most houses have 3-4 pairs entering the premises - those wires regularly go to an intermediate joint which connects onward to the cabinet. Would there be the cabling capacity from junction points before going to the cabinet? I'd suspect not.

This is a nice idea but if there aren't the cables to support it then fibre makes more sense.
Posted by MarkHampshire over 6 years ago
I can confidently predict BT will have no interest in this whatsoever. There's no reason to. FTTC for the cables areas to compete, yes, but no point in improving non cabled areas - there's no incentive, because there's no competition, people can just lump whatever drivel BT dishes out and the line rental and broadband fees will keep rolling in anyway: that being the reason why progress is slow to non-existent.
Posted by MarkHampshire over 6 years ago
The article is also based on the supposition that we have good quality copper lines, as WalterWillcox points out, and we don't even have that consistently.
Posted by otester over 6 years ago
LTE would be competition, but that's about 2 years away.
Posted by Legolash2o over 6 years ago
I don't think wireless is the solution though, wish people would stop trying to make copper last longer :'(
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
If the ISPs see a market for it then BT will use it.
Posted by TaRkADaHl over 6 years ago
@Legolash2o - It all depends on what ROI is calculated at, if something like this cost less to implement and would give similar/better returns, of course they would go for it.

Business isn't about the 'greater good', its about return on investment.

It all comes down to the numbers we don't get to see.
Posted by Dixinormous over 6 years ago
I can confidently predict that if the ISPs ask for it and it's commercially viable BT will use it. As a reminder it's Huawei equipment going into the cabinets and Huawei doing these trials.
Posted by MarkHampshire over 6 years ago
The "commercially viable" thing goes out of the window when you have a monopoly. FTTC isn't really commercially viable either because were it not for VM, there would be no need. It's necessary to compete and provide a future for BT in the cabled half of the country. If the whole country were cabled, FTTC nationwide would suddenly become commercially viable: witness, even on a small scale, BT's response to Rutland in that village... "we'll re-route the lines to another exchange". Took a sniff of competition to make that commercially viable, too.
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
Monopoly for what? You confuse infrastructure (Openreach) with retail (Talktalk, O2, Sky, BT Retail etc.).

So why is FTTC appearing in VM areas. Why not let VM continue their monopoly?
Posted by MarkHampshire over 6 years ago
Because in ten years from now, if and when people need 20Mbps connectivity and landlines become a poorly subscribed anachronistic concept, BT won't have any broadband products to offer anybody, so anyone faintly interested in using the internet will have a choice of Virgin Media or nothing.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
I don't see your point Mark? Some areas are not commercially viable for FTTC because of the low amount of subscribers and extra cost to deploy, its the same with Virgin, they have the same stance they won't go where they can't make money in fact Virgin's stance is even more strict, FTTC will eventually be more available than cable from Virgin. Its not just one provider that won't go where there's no money its any provider with business sense.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
Totally agree with you Mark :)
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
At some point FTTC cabinets will provide voice as well which means BT will be able to close many exchanges.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
^^^ bwahaha oh im not even gonna justify that with a constructive reply as to why that fails! bwahaha
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
So that's how Talktalk, O2, Sky etc. will provide service to their customers.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Really somerset? The voice element of FTTC is still copper back to the exchange so I'm not sure how they can get rid of exchanges
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 6 years ago
The voice element of FTTC is currently copper based, but there is potential to terminate the voice at the FTTC cabinet.

It is this potential that Somerset was probably referring to.
Posted by danielpercy over 6 years ago
There is some mention in the GEA-FTTC/FTTP documentation on the Openreach site about using ATA ports on the NTE to provide voice service (initially on FTTP only, but with the option of FTTC later) - this could free up chunks of the frequency plan for increased data rates.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Got ya andrew, yeah long term that would make sense, super-exchanges but I reckon we are some way off that yet.
Posted by SheepFarmer over 6 years ago
Could this be of benefit to small communities who struggle to get decent speeds or any broadband at all? As I understand it the bonding of the lines gives much greater capacity than the sum of the parts. So if four households combined their lines they could perhaps get 100Mb shared between them. Dedicate enough to VoIP and no new expensive copper, or fibre, is required. Sounds great.
Posted by Dixinormous over 6 years ago
I'm afraid not, this wouldn't do anything for bringing service to currently unserviceable areas. There are massively diminishing returns on this and every other DSL technology.
Posted by SheepFarmer over 6 years ago
Are you sure about that? If it can bring about ten times the current throughput per channel I'm sure it can help those with weak signals too. It must be improving the signal to get 175Mb out of a typical line.

If a line can only manage 200k, would it not be possible to more than double the speed if you couple up with your neighbour?
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
So far it's 700Mbps over only 400 metres.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
SheepFarmer, over a long line the bonding of lines is called BETS and it uses SHDSL which isn't capable of the speeds touted in this article. VDSL requires shorter runs of cable to work, so none of this can be used on long lines.
Posted by Dixinormous over 6 years ago
Yes you can bond lots of lines if you want so certainly it's possible.

You won't get more than the sum of the parts though and you need to have all the lines going into one property.
Posted by fozi999 over 6 years ago
For the record I have FTTC but no VM. It's not all about competing with VM, it's about enabling exchanges were it makes the most business sense first.
Posted by SheepFarmer over 6 years ago
Dixi: You won't get more than the sum of the parts though and you need to have all the lines going into one property.

I thought the whole point of this technology was they *were* getting greater than the sum of the parts as they're not just doing bonding. They're reducing crosstalk etc by using multiple pairs. They are managing 75% greater bandwidth down the same cable. Read the article.

All the cables going to one property wouldn't be a problem. You could have Cat6 going back out to the pole, or use wireless.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
^ But the tech in this article is for very short lengths of copper cable, not 4km and over
Posted by Legolash2o over 6 years ago
Why can't the government loan the money to the ISPs to rollout FTTC?

And with the removal of Fibre Tax, it would be a win-win situation as the government would get their money back.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
How long would the loan be for though lego? I mean I'm presuming the ISP's won't go into these places because they won't get returns quick enough on their investment so I'm not sure how a loan would help out, depending on the interest rate they might never make the money they need in that area to pay it back.
Posted by Legolash2o over 6 years ago
hmm, 5-10 years. It's a tough question but it's better than moaning about it.

Just scrapping the fibre tax would be enough and force sharing...

If there was a news article tomorrow saying the government is going to pay BT to rollout FTTP, you will ALWAYS see someone complaining! We need to stop arguing about how to do this or that and JFDI! They know the solution (scrap fibre tax) and duct sharing but they still have not done it!
Posted by MarkHampshire over 6 years ago
@Legolash2o - because ISPs don't roll out FTTC, that's entirely at the decision of the monopoly that is BT. Since they have no competition in half the country, there is no commercial case to do better irrespective of the damage that will be done to this country. Until that changes - scrap the fibre tax for a start (I have other ideas none of which are ever popularly received) progress will continue to be slow to non-existent. No market, no competition, no incentive.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
? So are you saying FTTC is only coming to the half of the country that Virgin are in? I think you'll find that's not the case
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
I don't think BT are deliberately targeting VM. I think it's more likely that FTTC is going where the money is. The same decision making drove the original roll-out of cable.

It shouldn't be a surprise that there's an extensive overlap between the two.
Posted by sjy94m over 6 years ago
Well I used to think 1Mb/s as being more than satisfactory for internet access (and certainly better than the 56Kb/s that was available from a phone line).
Now I have access (download) at 5.4Mb/s for Broadband Speed Test and my ISP AOL UK (silver)(Carphone Warehouse) has a limit of 8Mb/s. I will only consider fibre at the same price!!.
Simon Yarwood
Posted by MarkHampshire over 6 years ago
@AndrueC - agreed.
Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
ok so 700mbit at 1m from the exchange, whats the improvement if you 5km?
Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
GMAN99 how does a high number of subscribers make it more viable, whats stopping them staying on their cheaper adsl? I would have thought the most viable place to rolliut FTTC is in an area where no broadband service is avilable, following that a long line area and so on. I expect the worse area for takeups will be areas which already have very short lines and also VM competition. Problem is those areas are also probably the cheapest to deploy in.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 6 years ago
How many areas have 200 lines(which given average take up means around 380 lines) connected to the same street cabinet, that DO NOT have broadband now?

Most not-spot (other than slow-spot) clusers will be a lot smaller than this and often will need longer fibre to get to a suitable phone exchange.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
chrysalis - A not spot + lots of potential subscribers would be worth it (still a risk tho)

A no spot + not many potential subscribers - pointless.
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