– New Technologies Allow Mixed VDSL2 and Vectoring Networks
– First G.vector Plugfest Held
According to several people in a position to know that we
talked to, the biggest barrier to widespread VDSL2 Vectoring
deployment is that every DSLAM and DSL modem on a network must
be capable of Vectoring. If even one device is not, the
network reverts to the slower VDSL2.
Alcatel-Lucent this week launched technology this week called
Zero Touch that it says eliminates the barrier. Zero Touch
allows Vectoring to be fully deployed on networks where every
device does not have Vectoring.
Detractors to ZeroTouch say that it requires that both the
DSLAM and the DSL modem be Alcatel’s. Since few telcos use
only one vendor for safety’s sake, few will have all AlcaLu
gear. In addition, most European telcos must, by government
fiat, allow third parties, called LLUs for local loop
unbundling, to resell broadband services over the telcos’
network. That means the LLUs have their own DSLAMs and DSL
modems, which may not be AlcaLu’s, and in no case would all
the DSL modems in a neighborhood be connected to the same
ASSIA Launches Hardware Independent Vectoring Software
ASSIA this week announced technology that it says would allow
Vectoring to be deployed over networks that have DSLAMs and
DSL modem made by different companies. It said that its
technology works when and where the telco has its own DSLAMs
and its LLUs have different DSLAMs.
ASSIA practically invented Vectoring and says it holds most of
the Vectoring patents, so it knows a thing or two about it.
It says its technology, the 3.1 version of its DSL Expresse,
makes Vectoring a real practicality — something that allows
telcos to easily and inexpensively deploy Vectoring speeds of
up to 100 Mbps on a large scale. Without its software, it
says, telcos had to send a technician to the residence to make
the installation. With its 3.1 software a technician is not
needed. It’s “plug and play” that’s so easy the subscriber can
ASSIA says its 3.1 version is available now and will be
deployed by at least one telco in North America. We tried to
find out who it was, but failed. Our guess is that it’s AT&T
because a) it’s one of the largest deployers of VDSL2, maybe
the world’s largest, b) it’s in fierce competition with the
well-entrenched cablecos that are ramping their broadband
speeds up to 100 Mbps and c) is one of ASSIA’s biggest
customers for its service that maximizes DSL performance.
Shortening the Last Mile Loop
The last mile is no longer a mile, at least for the telcos.
Each new DSL technology is developed specifically to provide
faster broadband without requiring the telco to install fiber
all the way to the home. The tradeoff is that they had to
install fiber closer and closer to the home where it
terminates in a distribution box and connects to the pairs of
twisted copper wires.
To deploy VDSL2 and VDSL2 Vectoring, the telco has to have the
distribution points between 900 meters (yards) to 800 meters
(yards) of the residence. Most of them have been working to do
that, which means they can deploy Vectoring once it’s widely
available and proven-in-use. Also, Vectoring-compliant DSL
modems and gateways are just now coming to market in volume
and at affordable prices.
Telcos also want to make sure that Vectoring is a fully
certified ITU standard and chip and equipment makers can make
large volumes of products that are fully compatible.
First G.vector Plugfest
Readers of The Online Reporter know that developing technology
into a universal standard that any company can use is a long,
laborious and often painful and political process. They also
know that the day will come when a Plugfest is held to make
sure different equipment manufacturers have developed products
that are compatible and so meet the standards. They also know
the Plug Fest, generally held at a neutral site, signals the
beginning of the end for the standardization process.
The next big thing in telco broadband is Vectoring. Multiple
chipset makers met at the University of New Hampshire
InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) during September 24–28,
2012 to perform the first interoperability testing of the ITU-
T’s VDSL2 G.vector specifications. G.vector boosts VDSL2
broadband rates by neutralizing crosstalk in real-time between
VDSL2 enabled pairs of adjacent copper wires.
Removing the effects of the crosstalk noise allows the
G.vector equipment to operate at speeds of up to 100 Mbps,
assuming the sending (DSLAM) and receiving (DSL modem) are
both G.vector capable.
Chipmakers Broadcom, Ikanos, Lantiq, Realtek and Triductor
participated. Telebyte provided test equipment to simulate the
crosstalk of copper wire networks.
Telcos were pleased. Kevin Foster, head of BT’s UK access
platform evolution, said, “This was the first event in a very
important journey and we are looking forward to continued
progress as the innovative technology is implemented and
scaled for deployment. Interoperability has always been a key
component of successful large-scale deployment of DSL, and we
are looking to the Broadband Forum and UNH-IOL labs to lead
these testing efforts to allow operators to achieve smooth
introduction of DSL innovations such as Vectoring.”
Robin Mersh, Broadband Forum CEO, said, “Over the years, our
plugfests have helped companies achieve interoperable
solutions for ADSL through VDSL2; we see the G.vector
plugfests as the next critical step in the interoperability of
The next event Plugfest is scheduled for November at the UNH-
IOL in Durham, NH. Future events will also include equipment
makers who will develop and build the equipment that’s needed
in the networks, specifically DSLAM, which are in the telcos’
central offices, and CPE devices such as DSL modems and