Alcatel-Lucent hits broadband speed record of 10Gbps over copper

9 Jul 2014

Alcatel-Lucent’s Bell Labs has set a new broadband speed record of 10Gbps using traditional copper telephone lines.

The 10Gbps has been achieved over a distance of 30 meters by using two pairs of lines (a technique known as ‘bonding’). Both tests used standard copper cable provided by a European operator.

While 10Gbps over copper may be some time away, Alcatel-Lucent has achieved a more near-term breakthrough of 1Gbps symmetrical broadband over copper lines via a new prototype technology.

The 1Gbps breakthrough will enable operators to provide internet connection speeds that are indistinguishable from fiber-to-the-home services.

Bell Labs tests a prototype technology called XG-FAST. This is an extension of technology, a new broadband standard being finalised by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

When it becomes commercially available in 2015, will use a frequency range for data transmission of 106MHz, giving broadband speeds up to 500Mbps over a distance of 100 meters.

In contrast, XG-FAST uses an increased frequency range up to 500MHz to achieve higher speeds but over shorter distances. Bell Labs achieved 1Gbps symmetrical over 70 meters on a single copper pair.

“Our constant aim is to push the limits of what is possible to ‘invent the future’, with breakthroughs that are 10 times better than are possible today,” said Bell Labs president Marcus Weldon.

“Our demonstration of 10Gbps over copper is a prime example: by pushing broadband technology to its limits, operators can determine how they could deliver gigabit services over their existing networks, ensuring the availability of ultra-broadband access as widely and as economically as possible.”

Interview with Bell Labs president Marcus Weldon (2012)

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years