Alcatel-Lucent, Belgacom to carry out large-scale VDSL2 vectoring trial

Belgacom, Belgium’s largest telecommunications services provider, and Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) say they are well on track to deliver a 50-Mbps broadband network to the majority of Belgian households using Alcatel-Lucent’s VDSL2 vectoring technology.

Belgacom, Belgium’s largest telecommunications services provider, and Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) say they are well on track to deliver a 50-Mbps broadband network to the majority of Belgian households using Alcatel-Lucent’s VDSL2 vectoring technology.

Tests of the new VDSL2 vectoring technology have shown that it is able to provide significantly higher broadband speeds over Belgacom’s existing telephone lines, offering a dedicated speed of 50 Mbps to the vast majority of customers, along with a guaranteed high-quality video experience, the companys claim.

Belgacom says its VDSL2 network – supplied by Alcatel-Lucent – already delivers a dedicated speed of 30 Mbps to the vast majority of customers, and a high-quality HDTV experience to more than 83% of households. That translates to 1 million active VDSL2 customers. Thanks to its early and continuous investment in fiber-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) and to the successive innovations in DSL technology, Belgacom has brought Belgium into the top two of European countries in terms of broadband coverage and penetration, according to analysts at Analysys Mason.

Last year, Belgacom and Alcatel-Lucent partnered to develop the next-generation VDSL2 system-level vectoring technology (see “Belgacom Alcatel-Lucent’s first VDSL2 vectoring customer”). Belgacom now confirms its plan for a nationwide upgrade of its large VDSL2 network.

Over the past 12 months, Belgacom and Alcatel-Lucent have been working with industry partners, such as the home gateways manufacturers Sagemcom and Technicolor and chipset developers Broadcom and Ikanos, to prepare jointly an “operationally ready” end-to-end system. The collaboration inside this ecosystem will enable Belgacom to take into account the operational aspects of its existing network and to realize a smooth deployment of the new technology, at a national scale, the companies say.

Furthermore, the Belgian regulator BIPT, Belgacom, and other service providers have also jointly worked out a regulatory framework that will ensure the emergence of an open and evolving next-generation VDSL2 network in Belgium. With all of this in place, Belgacom says it is now ready to engage in large-scale trials within its operational network.

Geert Standaert, executive vice president, service delivery engine, Belgacom explains, “Since 2003, we have pursued a comprehensive fiber-to-the-cabinet and VDSL strategy, with currently tens of thousands of optical street cabinets bringing high speed broadband to our customers. One year ago, we were the first to announce our VDSL2 vectoring plans as an extension to this strategy; today, we can proudly confirm that we are well on track to engage in a mass rollout of VDSL2 vectoring throughout the country.”

Alcatel-Lucent says it is at the forefront of VDSL2 Vectoring – both in terms of technology innovation and commercial deployments. The vendor says it was the first to announce commercially available VDSL2 vectoring in September 2011 and has announced six commercial VDSL2 vectoring contracts to date, and trials with more than 20 service providers around the world (see “Alcatel-Lucent offers VSDL2 vectoring to support 100-Mbps services” and "Alcatel-Lucent announces Zero Touch Vectoring for VDSL2 broadband"). Alcatel-Lucent’s VDSL2 vectoring technology builds on the company's ISAM family, which has already been deployed by more than 250 service providers and supports more than 90 VDSL2 projects, the company claims.

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