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Nokia shows off 8Gbps over 50m copper runs in Germany

Deutsche Telekom has teamed up with Nokia to demonstrate the potential of XG-Fast, which Nokia claims is capable of 1Gbps symmetrical over a distance of 70 metres.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

Nokia has partnered with Deutsche Telekom to demonstrate that its latest XG-Fast technology is capable of delivering 11Gbps over a 50-metre run on two bonded pairs of Category 6 cable under laboratory conditions. Using a standard drop cable, Nokia said XG-Fast is capable of aggregate rate in excess of 8Gbps on 50-metre runs.

The telecommunications hardware provider said XG-Fast is capable of 1Gbps symmetrical over a distance of 70 metres, and pointed out that the equipment used is still in the prototype stage.

Deutsche Telekom currently uses a mix of fibre to the home and VDSL2 to provide broadband, with Nokia stating that the technology would be useful in fibre-to-the-front-door scenarios.

"Working on this demonstration, we can see the future possibilities of XG-Fast in maximising existing assets. This will provide another technology option which could enable us to offer high-speed connectivity to our customers quickly and cost effectively, and at the same time move our fibre infrastructure closer to our customers," said Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, CTO of Deutsche Telekom.

Tests conducted with UK telco BT in October showed that XG-Fast is able to carry 5Gbps on 35m two-pair copper cable, and 1.8Gbps over the distance of 100m of two-pair copper.

In Australia, the case is building for the company responsible for deploying its National Broadband Network (NBN) to make use of fibre-to-the-distribution-point (FttDP). Documents leaked late last year showed the Optus hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) network was not fit for purpose, but also showed that FttDP is around 60 percent cheaper to deploy than fibre to the premises, and is 20 percent extra for ongoing costs.

Shadow Communications Minister Jason Clare admitted last year that even if Labor wins the next election, he will not be able to return the NBN to how it was when Labor lost power.

"NBN has also recently revealed that they are about to trial G.fast in the lab," he said at CommsDay Melbourne Congress. "I think it is likely that sometime between now and the next election, the new minister will announce that NBN will be rolling out fibre to the curb -- using G.fast."

Later that month at Senate Estimates, NBN CEO Bill Morrow said premises that are more than 1km from the node and unable to reach speeds of 25Mbps using fibre to the node will be connected using FttDP.

"That's still fairly new, nascent technology only now starting to be deployed across the globe," Morrow said.

"What is new, senator, is the boxes that are just now commercially becoming available that are small enough to fit within the pit in the footpath, and that are reverse powered from the home to be able to make that possible."

In October, NBN also announced that it had conducted a trial of G.fast fibre-to-the-basement technology, attaining throughput speeds of 800Mbps.

During the course of 2015, Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent gained approval from nations around the world for the now-completed €15.6 billion merger of the two companies.

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