Bell Labs achieves 300Mbps over just two traditional DSL lines

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010
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“DSL Phantom Mode” lab test maximizes the value of existing copper networks by pushing the envelope on DSL capacity

PARIS — Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) today announced that its research arm, Bell Labs, has successfully demonstrated a technology that boosts the transmission speeds achievable over just two digital subscriber lines (DSL). In a lab test of “DSL Phantom Mode”, Bell Labs achieved downstream transmission speeds of 300 Megabits per second (Mbps) over distances up to 400 meters (or 100Mbps at 1km). At these speeds, service providers will be able to maximize the ability of the existing copper infrastructure – widely deployed around the world – to satisfy demand for bandwidth-intense residential triple-play and business services, for years to come.

At its core, DSL Phantom Mode involves the creation of a virtual or “phantom” channel that supplements the two physical wires that are the standard configuration for copper transmission lines. Bell Labs’ innovation and the source of DSL Phantom Mode’s dramatic increase in transmission capacity lies in its application of analogue phantom mode technology in combination with industry-standard techniques: vectoring that eliminates interference or “crosstalk” between copper wires, and bonding that makes it possible to take individual lines and aggregate them.

“Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs’ DSL Phantom Mode lab test adds a whole new dimension to the ongoing ‘100Mbps for all’ debate. The fact that existing copper loops can facilitate 300Mbps at 400 meters reshapes the whole next-generation broadband competitive environment – and will open up a wide range of new business opportunities for ‘traditional’ DSL players,” comments Kamalini Ganguly, Analyst from Ovum. “This announcement shows that Alcatel-Lucent is seriously looking at all possible innovations to help its customers speed up the deployment of next-generation access networks, through a smart mix of advanced copper and fiber technologies.”

“We often think of the role innovation plays in generating technologies of the future, but DSL Phantom Mode is a prime example of the role innovation can play in creating a future for existing solutions and injecting them with a new source of value,” said Gee Rittenhouse, head of Research for Bell Labs. “What makes DSL Phantom Mode such an important breakthrough is that it combines cutting edge technology with an attractive business model that will open up entirely new commercial opportunities for service providers, enabling them in particular, to offer the latest broadband IP-based services using existing network infrastructure.”

Further research is being conducted to refine deployment models and determine a specific set of customer premises equipment (CPE)-models compatible with the DSL Phantom Mode technology.

Alcatel-Lucent leads the DSL space on a year-to-date basis – according to Dell’Oro’s latest Access Report*. The vendor recently announced the unique milestone of having shipped its 200 millionth DSL line, and serves one out of three fixed broadband subscribers around the world through its access network technology.

* DSL Access Concentrators (Single Service + Multiservice) (Worldwide & Regions) (4Q09), February 12th, 2010, Dell’Oro Group