Manufacturers, Operators Team on VDSL Development

PARIS (08/09/2000) - Thirty companies have formed a group to push a standard for delivery of high-speed multimedia services over VDSL (Very-high-bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line) connections.

Representatives from several companies, including telecommunications operators France Télécom SA, British Telecommunications PLC (BT) and Deutsche Telekom AG, and over 20 equipment manufacturers, met in Paris last month to discuss plans to promote Full-Service VDSL, a specification for optimizing the transmission of multiple services, such as high-speed Internet access, video entertainment and voice telephony services.

The companies agreed to form a committee, the Full Service VDSL Group, to accelerate commercial deployment of the technology, according to a statement from France Télécom, one of the founders of the committee. Other members include Qwest Communications Corp., Infineon AG, Alcatel SA, Cisco Systems Inc., Lucent Technologies Inc., Motorola Inc. and Texas Instruments Inc.

There are a number of competing and incompatible standards for VDSL equipment, including DMT (discrete multi-tone) and QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation).

DSL links require compatible equipment to be installed at the local exchange and on the customer premises. VDSL technology theoretically allows the transmission of data at rates of up to 52M-bps (bits per second) for asymmetric connections, or up to 26M-bps for symmetric connections, although such speeds are typically only possible for users within 300 meters of their local exchange.

The Full Service group will push for the industry to standardize the VDSL interface, based on the so-called "Plan 998," which outlines a way of coordinating the frequencies on which the various signals are transmitted down the copper wire pair from local telephone exchange to customer premises.

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