Ten Million VDSL2 Vectoring Line Cards Shipped by Alcatel-Lucent

– Faster Uptake than Any Prior xDSL Technology
– Just-in-Time Arrival at the Dawn of the 4K Era

10 million VDSL2 vectoring lines — that’s how many Alcatel-Lucent has shipped since it launched the crosstalk suppression technology, which supercharges telcos’ existing copper telephone wires and makes them capable of speeds of up to 70-100 Mbps, or even more. AlcaLu said that based on the 10 million shipments, VDSL2 Vectoring, which it launched only three years ago, has had a faster uptake than any prior xDSL broadband technology.

The Online Reporter estimates that homes with two UHD TVs will need upward of 100 Mbps. Netflix says the home needs 24 Mbps per 4K stream so two UHD TVs, each with the ability to watch 4K streams, plus the bandwidth that the home’s mobile and IoT (Internet of Things) devices will use, totals upward of 100 Mbps.

AlcaLu says telcos on five continents have proven that VDSL2 Vectoring can provide speeds of 100 Mbps and higher, can be gotten to market four times faster that all-fiber deployments and costs one-third that of an all-fiber deployment.

The different speeds attributed to VDSL2 Vectoring is due to the tinkering that AlcaLu and telcos can perform over time and the condition of the existing copper telephone wires.

Estimates are that there will be almost 60 million VDSL2 Vectoring lines in use by 2017, less than three years from now. AlcaLu seems poised to sell most of them. The 10 million number is clear evidence that telcos are anxious and willing to deploy industry-standard technologies to catch up with a) their cable TV competitors, b) subscriber demand and c) edicts from government regulators.

AlcaLu currently has 27 VDSL2 Vectoring customers in every region of the world and more than 65 commercial trials have been conducted by telcos. “Proven-in-use” is the phrase that comes to mind. It’s estimated to have more than 50% of the VDSL2 Vectoring market.

See how VDSL2 Vectoring works at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkVmej4urx4

Proximus (formerly Belgacom) and one of AlcaLu’s first VDSL2 Vectoring customers, was awarded a golden line card to celebrate the 10 million milestone and the one-year anniversary of its VDSL2 vectoring services. Proximus CTO Geert Standaert said, “VDSL2 vectoring, deployed extensively since January 2014, is a vital component for helping us meet our customers’ requirements as it enables us to quickly and efficiently boost the bandwidth available for the best quality services. We are working and co-developing with Alcatel-Lucent because of their clear leadership in fixed access. Today we offer 70 Mbps with VDSL2 vectoring with our b-box3 home gateway.”

Faultline points out that the number of AlcaLu’s vectoring line cards shipped has doubled since the middle of last year, which puts AlcaLu at a run rate of 5 million every six months and rising. It also says it’s difficult to count the actual number of vectored lines because a vectoring line card also needs to be installed at the DSLAM before any subscribers can get vectored lines. Most telcos are installing quantities of these vectoring line cards in DSLAMs without yet announcing the increased speeds. They plan to announce it later when enough lines to the home are vectoring capable.

AlcaLu’s rivals have mostly not published shipment details of their vectoring line cards, according to Faultline, because for the most part they were shipping significantly later than AlcaLu and in smaller numbers. ADTRAN claims to have shipped about half this number, passing the 5 million landmark some time last year. Faultline thinks it must be at 6 million or more by now.


The last count from Huawei was some time ago and was only for 1.4 million lines. It is likely that the market is already at 20 million lines shipped, which would put Alcatel ahead of its best position in ADSL, at around 50%, but Faultline says there are a lot of chips out there not being used with vectoring, which are vectoring capable, and the real number may be a lot higher, ready for a telco’s service launch but as yet unannounced.

The number of lines that are actually in vectored service is certainly way below the 10 million figure that Alcatel is touting, perhaps less than 2 million. Proximus currently only offers 70 Mbps with VDSL2 vectoring and has yet to move to 100 Mbps or the 200 Mbps that bonded lines may allow the technology to reach, according to Faultline.

AlcaLu is clearly committed to a three-prong strategy in its wireline broadband strategy: FTTH, G.fast and VDSL2 Vectoring. Federico Guillén, president of Alcatel-Lucent’s fixed access business line operations, said: “We’re seeing huge growth for VDSL2 vectoring alongside our fiber-to-the-home solutions as more and more operators realize they need both copper and fiber technologies to meet their customers’ ultra-broadband demands.

Having been first to market with VDSL2 vectoring and again with G.fast and TWDM-PON [all-fiber] technologies, we are committed to giving operators the choice of technologies they need to provide the best services for their customers.”

AlcaLu is busy celebrating the success of its VDSL2 Vectoring products. Guillén did not mention the Vplus FTTdp broadband technology that the company recently announced nor say when G.fast products would be ready for deployment. We expect to hear more about them soon.

There Is No ‘One Size Fits All’
We asked AlcaLu about where Vplus fits in with other broadband technologies. It answered:

“Vplus will fill the gap between G.fast and VDSL2 vectoring in terms of the trade-off between speed, loop length and cost. This graphic sums it up nicely: www2.alcatel-lucent.com/techzine/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/MKT2014066383_fig021.jpg

“Basically, operators have very …

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