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Ericsson Says 500mbps Possible On DSL Copper

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 9 comments

Telecom giant Ericsson has announced a significant breakthrough in telephony based copper transmission speeds, breaking DSL speed records with sustained rates of over 500mbps through standard copper wiring.

The announcement comes after Eriscsson succeeded in maintaining a sustained data transfer rate of just over 500mbps by using crosstalk canceling technology, and a line length of 500m. Channel bonding technology much like that seen in the DOCSIS 3.0 cable rollouts also helped with the achievement, with six separate lines paired together, along with updated "vectorized" VDSL2 technology.

The current state of already implemented DSL technology however does reveal some very realistic bumps in the road however.  First, a large portion of current DSL subscribers reside at a range beyond 500m from their local exchange.  When it comes to DSL, signal quality and strength degrades significantly with distance. Per Ericsson's tests, the reality is many subscribers would still be outside of the reach of 500mbps speeds.

Additionally, the channel bonding technology used involved six separate lines to reach such high speeds. Considering that most homes currently do not have anywhere near six lines run, significant efforts would have to be made to run new lines from the exchanges to homes interested in the service.

In the end, it is always good to see new ways to improve currently technology.  Many DSL subscribers have simply begun to abandon copper based technology in favor of fiber solutions such as AT&T's U-Verse, and Verizon's FiOS, while Cable continues to improve upon its solutions with advances in the DOCSIS specifications. 

If Ericsson is able to overcome the hurdles facing DSL, then it is entirely possible that copper based DSL technology could find itself with a new lease on life. 

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  • 1 Hide
    thedipper , March 18, 2009 5:18 PM
    At least the lines stay cool.

    *badum tssh*
  • 0 Hide
    Thunderfox , March 18, 2009 5:23 PM
    U-Verse is not fiber, or at least not completely. It is fiber to the neighborhood box, but from there to your house is still copper wires.

    If they can extend the life of the existing copper infrastructure then great, but if you have to make modifications to the system to improve it, it's better to go ahead and replace it with fiber, as we'll all have to get there eventually anyway.
  • 0 Hide
    hellwig , March 18, 2009 5:24 PM
    U-Verse is still a copper solution in many markets (oddly enough, they use VDSL in such cases). They run fiber to a central node, and then copper to your house. In case you didn't know, your Phone and Cable companies use fiber in the exact same way.

    The reason they are still developing DSL solutions is because many markets have only phone lines. In markets where there's no cable or fiber, there's no other options (unless Internet-over-Power ever becomes viable). However, requiring a phone-line setup not present in most cases probably isn't going to help the already under-served markets either.
  • Display all 9 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    daft , March 18, 2009 6:15 PM
    even if 500mbps wont be available to all houses, it still means speeds greater than comcast in 89% of the market. which would make me happy.
  • -1 Hide
    nekatreven , March 18, 2009 9:24 PM
    dafteven if 500mbps wont be available to all houses, it still means speeds greater than comcast in 89% of the market. which would make me happy.


    Cable has traditionally been faster, and if DSL providers can squeeze even just 100mbps (over a reasonable distance) out of 2pair copper that was laid ages ago, you better believe the cable companies will find similar innovations.

    On a note of pride... I had a comment on the article about Charter's tests of upped bandwidth in St. Louis that basically said that if the players in the dsl world don't get to work on improving dsl they'll be gone in no time (due to the fast approaching limitations of 2pair copper, and their business model's dependence on synergies between phone/dsl/tv/cell service bundles that no one would buy anymore if the dsl fell behind).

    OH LOOK!! A DSL INVENTION!! :) 
  • 0 Hide
    Tekkamanraiden , March 19, 2009 2:05 AM
    I'd be happy if I actually got the 5mb/s I'm supposed to.
  • 0 Hide
    mavroxur , March 19, 2009 2:07 AM
    nekatrevenout of 2pair copper that was laid ages ago



    Technically it's 2 wires, which would constitute 1 pair.

  • 0 Hide
    nekatreven , March 20, 2009 1:30 AM
    mavroxurTechnically it's 2 wires, which would constitute 1 pair.


    Aww, yea, that's what I was trying to say...I suppose 2pair sounded cooler...or something. :) 
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 20, 2009 4:11 PM
    Theoretically a telephone line goes from the house to the nearest node.
    A node usually is somewhere in the street, or a couple of streets away.
    From the node there's usually a fiberoptic or cupper cable connection to the central.

    The most I've been able to get out of my 1pair tiny cupper phoneline would be 8mbps. (about 1MB/s. The node was less than 3miles(5km) away from my house).
    I think saying that a phoneline supports 100Mbits is pure bullshit.
    Perhaps if you're living next to, or above the phone central!

    Even this new technology could only get upto 166Mbits @ 500meters per pair! For the average user it would make little to no difference.

    What they should invest in is not faster internet connections, but webpages with less aggressive ads,like sometimes you just want to visit a page, but an ad is taking up 15MB displaying previews of a movie you never asked to see!