Telecommunications equipment giant Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU, news, filings) became the first to launch VDSL2 Vectoring Technology commercially. That's significant because it brings the capacity of copper above 100Mbps to a distance of 400m. That's real bandwidth, which would allow the not-so-silent majority without a direct fiber connection another option. It will perhaps give service providers with an FTTN buildout the bandwidth to better support video traffic over the next few years.
Vectoring is a technique for noise cancellation, which is necessary due to the fact that all those copper pairs are in big bundles that interfere with each other. There have been trials of the technology going on for a year or two, but for use in the real world one has to cancel noise between every other copper pair in the bundle. That's very CPU intensive, and the necessary chips to do it took a while to arrive.
Alcatel-Lucent was ready with their solution, which is now available - they've been field testing the new gear for a while now. In future upgrades they will be supporting bonding as well, which will take the capacity upward by additional multiples or add distance instead.
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