With the new vectoring process, old copper cables are experiencing a renaissance. High speed, better availability and low costs for expansion and consumers – the results could be very positive. Nevertheless, there are also critical voices and aspects about vectoring. See abbreviationfinder for VDSL acronym.
- With a fiber optic connection between the network operator and the cable distributor (DSLAM), VDSL offers high data throughput rates and the greatest possible stability.
- With vectoring, the above problems are resolved by upgrading cable splitters, among other things.
- Advantage: Providers can use existing lines and implement vectoring technology cost-effectively.
Why vectoring is interesting for consumers
For several decades now, the German DSL line network has been building on the good old copper cable. What used to be absolutely sufficient due to the exclusive use of analog telephony is no longer up-to-date since the introduction of the Internet and the increased use of copper cables as data lines and needs to be modernized. VDSL ties in with this point and offers high data throughput rates and the greatest possible stability with a fiber optic connection between the network operator and the cable distributor (DSLAM). In contrast to a pure fiber optic connection such as FTTH, the last piece between the local distribution station and the consumer connection is bridged with the copper cable with VDSL. As a result, problems arise here that make the introduction of vectoring useful and necessary.
Vectoring as an extension of VDSL
Due to the high-frequency use of the copper lines, the electromagnetic waves generated lead to interference signals and impairments within the adjacent cable strands in the cable bundle. This is shown very practically in the case of “crosstalk” and the rapid loss of Internet speed at distances of several hundred meters between DSLAM and Internet connection. Since these problems are to be regarded as given due to the properties of the copper cables, a remedy is provided with the help of vectoring technology. By upgrading the VDSL using the vectoring process, interference can be compensated, the possibilities for obtaining fast broadband connections increased and the Internet speed of households already connected to VDSL improved.
How VDSL vectoring works
With vectoring, the above problems are resolved by upgrading cable splitters, among other things. By coding the channels, Internet providers can then manage the cable bundle and thus prevent interfering signals and reduce impairments in speed and availability. However, since vectoring requires that the cable bundle is controlled in its entirety, it follows that a provider must be in control of all cable harnesses and thus connections. This fact inevitably leads to resentment among providers who previously rented connection lines from Deutsche Telekom for self-marketing purposes and who now feel excluded from the competition.
Upgrading to VDSL vectoring is comparatively easy and inexpensive: Local cable distributors have to be converted and adapted to the vectoring system. The consumer does not have to make any changes in the home network – provided the modem he is using corresponds to the VDSL standards.
The advantages of vectoring cannot be dismissed out of hand
The vectoring process has numerous advantages for both providers and consumers: Providers can use existing lines and implement vectoring technology at low cost. As a result, they enable a higher Internet speed for end customers and can thus compete with cable network operators and their cable Internet offerings with the classic DSL line. Above all, the cost aspect weighs heavily: Due to the expensive and complex fiber optic expansion, which costs an average of around 2400 euros per connected subscriber, there has so far been a lack of solid DSL offers to compete with cable Internet.
The increase in possible data throughput rates is particularly advantageous for consumers: vectoring doubles the potential speed with around 100 Mbit / s in the downstream instead of the 50 Mbit / s of classic VDSL and at the same time improves the quality and availability of VDSL. Vectoring also reduces the dependency on the distance to the next outdoor DSLAM, so that high-speed Internet is still possible even at a distance of several hundred meters. While VDSL was still seen as a transition technology on the way to a complete fiber optic connection, this picture has at least partially been put into perspective with vectoring: With the newly emerging ITU-T standard G.fast, based on VDSL vectoring technology, Data transfer rates of up to 1 Gbit / s (1000 Mbit / s) can be achieved.