Alcatel-Lucent hits 300 Mbps over copper

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Alcatel-Lucent hits 300 Mbps over copper

Discovery could breathe new life into copper networks.

Bell Labs, the research arm of Alcatel-Lucent, has managed to pass data at 300 Mbps over ordinary copper wiring using a system dubbed 'DSL Phantom Mode'.

The Labs team managed to achieve the speeds over a distance of 400 metres using two standard copper DSL lines, with the speed dropping to 100 Mbps at anything up to a kilometre. The technology, if it can be scaled properly, could extend the lifespan of existing copper-based DSL lines.

“Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs’ DSL Phantom Mode lab test adds a whole new dimension to the ongoing ‘100 Mbps for all’ debate” comments Kamalini Ganguly, analyst from Ovum.

“The fact that existing copper loops can facilitate 300 Mbps at 400 metres reshapes the whole next-generation broadband competitive environment - and will open up a wide range of new business opportunities for ‘traditional’ DSL players.”

The system works by creating a virtual data channel to supplement the physical link. The new technique uses controllers to reduce interference between the physical and virtual data channels and allow faster speeds.

“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.”

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