Alcatel-Lucent demos 1-Gbps G.fast with Telekom Austria

Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) and A1, the Austrian subsidiary of Telekom Austria Group, have conducted the field trial of a 1-Gbps variant of G.fast developed by Alcatel-Lucent's Bell Labs. The demonstration saw 1.1 Gbps transmitted over 70 m of outside plant copper cabling.

Jul 2nd, 2013

Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) and A1, the Austrian subsidiary of Telekom Austria Group, have conducted the field trial of a 1-Gbps variant of G.fast developed by Alcatel-Lucent's Bell Labs. The demonstration saw 1.1 Gbps transmitted over 70 m of outside plant copper cabling.

The ITU-T is currently establishing standards for G.fast, which is expected to be the next step after VDSL2 vectoring in the drive to squeeze as much life out of copper plant as possible before a move to fiber to the home (FTTH) or building (FTTB). The current expectation for top-end G.fast transmission is 500 Mbps over 100 m or less. However, several technology vendors have experimented with higher speeds at shorter distances, including Bell Labs.

Bell Labs has added vectoring to G.fast to enable the 1-Gbps capability. Alcatel-Lucent expects the technology could find a role in carrier networks in applications where installing fiber is too expensive or logistically unfeasible. This could include in-building customer connections in an FTTB scenario, for example.

The trial included transmission over copper of varying quality. Over a single, good quality cable, the technicians achieved 1.1 Gbps over 70 m and 800 Mbps over 100 m. On older unshielded cables, the G.fast technology supported 500 Mbps over 100 m on a single line and 60 Mbps over two lines where crosstalk ensued. When vectoring was added, signal support increased to the G.fast specification of 500 Mbps over 100m.

"Telekom Austria Group´s A1 was an early adopter of Alcatel-Lucent's VDSL2 vectoring because we understand the value of upgrading our existing copper infrastructure to give our customers the best possible broadband service,” said Hans Pichler, Chief Technology officer at Telekom Austria Group. “We are pleased to be working with Alcatel-Lucent at the cutting-edge of fixed broadband technology to look at the possibilities of G.fast vectoring."

The ITU-T is expected to ratify G.fast specifications by the end of this year or early in 2014. In a press release, Alcatel-Lucent estimates that G.fast technology “won't be commercially available for several years.” However, sources at the company and elsewhere suggest that G.fast technology could appear as early as the middle or end of next year.

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