Zero-Touch Vectoring from Alcatel-Lucent Reduces VDSL Vectoring Cost

  • Alcatel-Lucent
  • VDSL2
PARISAlcatel-Lucent announced Zero Touch Vectoring, an innovation that allows service providers to use VDSL2 vectoring to boost broadband access speeds without having to perform costly and time-consuming upgrades to equipment in every home.

VDSL2 vectoring is a new technology that significantly increases broadband speeds on existing lines - in some cases, to as much as 150 Mbps downstream - by eliminating crosstalk, or interference, among neighboring lines. Alcatel-Lucent and several other equipment vendors introduced vectoring technology last year, and a number of telephone companies have conducted successful trials of it; the technology is at the point of being widely adopted.

One challenge that telcos encountered in their vectoring trials was that vectoring does not achieve its full potential unless every line in a bundle is free of crosstalk. This means that before offering higher-speed services to any customer, a telco must upgrade all the DSL modems in that customer's neighborhood to be vectoring compatible. In most cases, they can accomplish this by downloading changes to the modems' firmware - but the process can be lengthy and expensive when downloads do not work properly or when equipment must be replaced.

Overcoming Barriers to Deploying Vectoring
Zero Touch Vectoring is designed to solve this problem. It uses signal processing in the digital subscriber line access multiplexer (DSLAM, a device usually located in the central office or in a field cabinet) to ensure that non-upgraded VDSL2 modems will not undermine the service quality for neighboring customers who subscribe to higher-speed VDSL2 vectoring services. This eliminates the need to update firmware until customers subscribe to higher speeds that require vectoring.

Teresa Mastrangelo, principal analyst at Broadbandtrends, comments, “For a service provider, the ability to deliver higher-speed broadband over existing infrastructure provides a time-to-market edge over the competition. Over the past year, service provider interest in VDSL2 Vectoring has accelerated. Innovations like Zero Touch Vectoring remove the final hurdles to mass-market adoption of VDSL2 Vectoring technology. It is good to see Alcatel-Lucent’s extensive field trial experience translates into features that will benefit every operator.”

Since announcing the industry’s first commercial VDSL2 vectoring solution in September 2011, Alcatel-Lucent has supported extensive trials and live commercial deployments of VDSL2 vectoring technology. This experience has given the company unique insights into the operational implementation of VDSL2 Vectoring and has led to the development of new capabilities. Beyond Zero Touch Vectoring, the company has pioneered techniques to support up to 384 lines in VDSL2 vectoring systems to enable rollouts in high-density areas, and it is introducing advanced troubleshooting capabilities into its Motive Network Analyzer software to help ensure high-quality network performance.

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