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Broadband Forum holds plug fest to show future that is vectoring
Wednesday 10 October 2012 18:50:40 by Andrew Ferguson

Vectoring gets the odd mention as a possible addition to the VDSL2 services from Openreach around 2015, with the potential to eliminate much of the crosstalk which impacts on the connection speed for VDSL2 services as more people sign up.

Broadband Forum who have been central to remote configuration protocols like TR-069, held a Plugfest a couple of weeks ago, allowing equipment manufactors and telecoms providers to play around and see how all the kit operates together.

VDSL2 from Openreach currently uses frequencies up to 17 MHz but an upgrade to utilise a 30 MHz profile should offer a speed boost to the estimated 40% who have short to medium lengths lines (distance to the green street cabinet) and perhaps usher in an up to 100 Mbps download product. If vectoring is added to this then we are looking at even the longer VDSL2 lines gaining performance, the problem holding back deployment is a mixture of regulatory and actually getting the kit to work in the wild.

In Germany where Vectoring is being considered, one of the big problems is how to get different LLU providers VDSL kit to talk and talk fast enough so that vectoring will work, the ideal situation is for all the VDSL kit to be in the same cabinet, which means massive cabinets or a rapid shrinking in the size of the hardware. The other option is the way that the UK has taken, which is largely to ignore sub-loop unbundling, and allow one wholesaler (Openreach) to control the DSLAM, then offer a virtual unbundling (i.e. GEA FTTC and FTTP products). One area of the UK that will have problems is South Yorkshire where sub-loop unbundling is used by Digital Region.

The big question is whether the extra work and costs that may arise from vectoring are worth the benefit, or if Openreach starts to see good takeup of its fibre on demand product it might be able to convince those holding the purse strings that pushing the fibre right into premises is really the way to go.

So while Openreach looks to be sweating its copper assets, there is a chance in 2013 for those keen for fibre and its advantages of fixed connections speeds, no more modem resyncs due to a neighbours treadmill and the little matter of much faster speeds to show that people are willing to spend money on improving their connection.


Posted by omnius over 4 years ago
Not sure if this is relevant or not but i would like to share........
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
Same plug fest
Posted by WWWombat over 4 years ago
That's a plugfest at the chipset level, which begs the question...

Can vectoring be added to the existing linecards as software, or does it require new hardware?

Similarly, does it require changes at the end-user modems? And if so, is that a firmware or hardware change?
Posted by dogbark over 4 years ago
The modem will be a problem having a 10/100 Mbit/s ethernet port.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
All depends on the spec of the line cards used now, some are vectoring ready via software upgrades, or a progressive swap out of older line cards.

Alcatel is working on a zero-touch system, that negates need for firmware upgrades to CPE, but that might be an Alcatel/Lucent specific thing.

Vectoring is still very new.
Posted by snadge over 4 years ago
@ Andrew - where did you hear about this Alcatel approach? do they have RSS on their website? gunna take a look.. thanks for sharing
Posted by themanstan over 4 years ago

Highlights current tech and a new tech they are working on called phantom mode.
A bonded vectored solution giving between 300 Mbos to 1 Gbps at 400m (the UK average line length from a cabinet).
However, current users of their vectoring are using their street hardware. e.g. Belgacom, Swisscom,

Huawei and ECI, have vectoring products, but time will tell if OR uses it.
Posted by rjohnloader over 4 years ago
Please somebody come up with a solution soon for those not 1km from the cabinet but 3 or 4 or more caused by BT in the 60s and 70s closing small exchanges, replacing with a cabinet and reparenting lines on the nearest larger exchange. 4km of wet string (an Openreach product I think) worked for voice in 1970 but is so rubbish for today.
Posted by chrysalis over 4 years ago
Apparently Huawei is fairly advanced already in vectoring development but ECI is behind, whether that means the existing Huawei CPE and dslam can do it via software updates or not I have no idea tho. But what seems fairly clear is crosstalk on VDSL is potentially quite big up to around 40% of lost signal with 20 enabled lines in a bundle. I would like to see vectoring used to bring people up to 80mbit max sync with a decent snrm (and as such no DLM interruption) rather than to push a slightly faster 100mbit product.
Posted by chrysalis over 4 years ago
An update on this, crosstalk has now dropped my attianable from 110mbit to 73mbit and upstream from 36mbit to 23mbit, on the downstream thats nearly 50% lost to crosstalk. Official documents state an average of 40% lost when 20 lines enabled in a bundle. I have little doubt vectoring is worth it as long as achievable at reasonable cost.
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