NBN Co takes on Alcatel-Lucent VDSL2 tech

Alcatel-Lucent has revealed that NBN Co is taking on its VDSL2 vectoring line equipment to facilitate fibre-to-the-node infrastructure.

Alcatel-Lucent revealed today that NBN Co is a customer for its VDSL2 vectoring line equipment, which is used for the fibre-to-the-node (FttN) infrastructure being employed by the Federal Government as part of its mixed-technology national broadband strategy.

The announcement comes almost nine months after the French telecommunications equipment manufacturer embarked on VDSL vectoring trials with Telstra, which owns the existing copper line networks NBN Co is using to connect individual premises to its national network.

An Alcatel-Lucent spokesperson said that today's announcement was the first public reference of NBN Co being a customer for the company's VDSL2 vectoring equipment, of which it has shipped over five million lines globally.

The spokesperson said that the VDSL2 equipment was used in NBN Co's pilot FttN deployments.

According to Alcatel-Lucent, its VDSL2 vectoring technology allows operators to deploy ultra-broadband services of up to 100 megabits-per-second over existing copper telephone networks.

VDSL2 vectoring is a noise-cancelling technology, according to Alcatel-Lucent, it works like noise-cancelling headphones, cutting out the noise, or interference, between multiple VDSL2 lines in a bundle, allowing copper lines to operate at peak speeds without cross-talk interfering with the signal.

Alcatel-Lucent won a AU$1.5 billion contract with NBN Co in mid-2010 to supply the broadband company with optical and Ethernet aggregation equipment for the NBN's original fibre-to-the-premises (FttP) strategy.

However, following the federal election last year and at the end of a national FttP plan under the guidance of the new government's Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Alcatel-Lucent has been spruiking its VDSL technology.

"It was no longer fibre to the home as the only option for ultra broadband services; you could also operate existing VDSL2 lines with vectoring and still do 100Mbps," Alcatel-Lucent's market strategy director, Stefaan Vanhastel, told ZDNet earlier this year .

Although Alcatel-Lucent is pushing its VDSL2 vector line technology, it remains a major player in the construction of Australia's greater fibre-optic communications infrastructure.

Yesterday, the company announced it had entered a AU$100 million deal to help construct an undersea optical fibre cable between Darwin and Port Headland.

Meanwhile, NBN Co is not only investing in VDSL2 line technology to accommodate its FttN infrastructure, it may also spend more than a billion dollars on additional wireless towers to accommodate unexpected demand.

Last week, NBN Co announced that its Fixed Wireless and Satellite Review suggested it spend a further AU$1.7 billion to build an additional 1,300 wireless towers in a bid to prevent latent demand from overwhelming its satellite service set to be launched in 2016.