New trials have been successfully completed in Austria for the delivery of broadband speeds in excess of 1 Gbps over existing copper networks, with Alcatel-Lucent and the local incumbent testing a new transmission technology called G.fast to achieve very high speeds on copper lines over very short distances.
G.fast is adapted from vectoring techniques developed by Bell Labs to eliminate crosstalk between copper lines, and is intended for typical applications of 500 megabits per second (Mbps) speeds at 100 meters or less.
In the trials with Telekom Austria’s fixed-line subsidiary A1, Alcatel-Lucent started by testing G.fast over a single, good quality cable, and achieved a maximum speed of 1.1 Gbps over 70 metres and 800 Mbps over 100 metres.
The trials then moved on to older unshielded cables (typical of most in-building cabling in Austria), and achieved speeds of 500 Mbps over 100 meters on a single line. When a second line was introduced, the G.fast speed fell to 60 Mbps, before vectoring was then enabled, bringing speeds back up to 500 Mbps over 100 metres.
While Alcatel-Lucent acknowledges that G.fast technology will not be commercially available for several years, it does expect it to become a natural evolution of VDSL2, and enable service providers to deliver broadband speeds ranging from hundreds of Mbps to gigabit speeds over short distances.