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825mbps “Phantom DSL” – NBN Killer?

Exceeelllleeennnttttt. Puts Stephen Conroy’s NBN fibre network to shame, doesn’t it?

Nokia Siemens Networks achieves world record copper DSL speeds

Paris, France – 25 October 2010

“Phantom DSL” reaches 825 megabits per second over 400 meters of copper lines

Nokia Siemens Networks has successfully tested a technology that could drastically increase the data carrying capacity of standard copper wires. The company achieved data transmission speeds of 825 megabits per second (Mbps) over 400 meters of bonded copper lines and 750 Mbps over 500 meters. At these speeds, network operators could optimize existing, widely deployed copper infrastructure to provide bandwidth-intensive services for years to come.

Nokia Siemens Networks used circuits that involve the creation of a virtual – or ‘phantom’ – channel to supplement the two physical wires that are the standard configuration for copper transmission lines. The approach, known as Phantom DSL is also being showcased during Broadband World Forum 2010 in Paris,
October 26 – 28.

“Laying down new optical fiber to the home remains costly, though it is capable of delivering very high speeds and is a definite solution for long-term bandwidth requirements,” said Eduard Scheiterer, head of broadband access business line, Nokia Siemens Networks. “However, the innovative use of technologies such as phantom circuits helps operators provide an efficient last mile connectivity with existing copper wires.”

Phantom DSL promises a bandwidth increase of 50-75% over existing bonded copper lines. This prolongs the life of copper networks, delaying the need for fiber rollout and protecting operator’s existing capital investments. The promised high speeds will enable a whole new range of end-user services and open up new revenue opportunities for operators. The technology could be used to test initial demand for very high bandwidth services.

Nokia Siemens Networks’ Phantom DSL will become an integral part of the company’s DSLAM* products hiX 562x/3x.


  1. Michael Wyres says:

    NBN killer? Doubt it. 825Mbps is certainly impressive, but due to the properties of copper, the faster you go, the shorter the distance involved before the signal drops off. Even this article says it only “delays” the rollout of fibre, and to achieve what this article describes, every single DSLAM needs to be upgraded, and we’ll still need a massive backhaul upgrade.

    Might be cheaper short term, but may as well do the NBN now – (rather than later when it will be more expensive) and have the network last 50 or 60 years.

    • Thanks for the comment Michael! Fiber is certainly the end game, I agree.

      My argument is not that the NBN is “crap”, it’s more, the strategy, of rolling out fibre for practically the whole of Australian, in one large 10 year period, leaving unconnected areas on slower technologies until the fibre comes along. In a bit of blind sightedness, I realise that privately owned ISP’s are free to do what they want and upgrade their DSLAM’s, providing these faster speeds, but I think strategically, the NBN should be realising the possible future implementation of such technologies, and rolling out fibre where it is actually required, first.

      (yes, my post title is a bit over-exuberant of my perceived potential of phantom DSL)

  2. Michael Wyres says:

    That is the plan anyway…the initial plan was for 90% fibre coverage, later changed to 93% when it became clear that the metrics allowed for that extra coverage.

    There is no reason why further down the line, that more locations will receive fibre. Currently those remaining 7% of locations are not viable. This will likely change over 15-20 years.

    We won’t ever get to 100%, but we’ll get closer and closer over time.

    The main issue with the existing copper network is age. It’s been there for the most part since the late 1940s and early 1950s.

    At the moment, if it rains heavily, I lose phone and internet. And I’m in a large city area.

    The NBN provides speed, but it also provides reliability, consistency, low latency and growth potential that copper (even at 825Mbps) won’t ever achieve.

  3. Goresh says:

    NBN Killer?
    Not likely when it would require that 50% of current dsl customers lose their service in order to provide a faster service to the other 50%.

    “Laying down new optical fiber to the home remains costly”
    No more costly than laying hte new copper cables that would be needed to provide the spare cable pairs needed to implement this technology and vastly cheaper per megabyte/second than new copper cable.

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