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Alcatel-Lucent’s first “Vector!” event: three interesting conclusions (and one surprise guest!)

A couple of days ago, Alcatel-Lucent organized “Vector! 2013” – a user group for service providers deploying (or planning to deploy) VDSL2 Vectoring. During this two-day workshop, operators from all over the world exchanged experiences and Vectoring best-practices; needless to say, the presentations and discussions proved extremely interesting. A couple of things stood out:

1. Vectoring delivers on the promise! All service providers (except one) showed excellent Vectoring results in a variety of conditions, and on all sorts of copper cable. The “disappointing” case was based on a trial with early prototype equipment on very long loops – but in the meantime, our commercial Vectoring solution has overcome these prototype limitations and delivers much better gains. If you’re interested in real-world Vectoring results, have a look at this paper, covering the results from our first 27 trials.

2. The current focus is on “problem lines”. With Vectoring working as advertized and deployments in full swing (in case you missed it, we shipped 1M Vectoring lines already), service providers are now focusing on problem lines. As one presenter put it, “it’s the 1% problem lines in your network that really challenge your helpdesk and operations”. We’ve been steadily improving our solution based on the experience we gained from over 45 operator trials – our new algorithms (and our Motive Network Analyzer Copper) already handle a lot of “weird” lines automatically (one of the advantages of having built our own Vectoring processor is that we can easily tweak and enhance our algorithms).

3. Commercial Vectoring services start in 2013, with mass activation planned in 2014. Most operators are waiting to market and activate their Vectoring service until they have achieved sufficient coverage. That being said, a number of service providers have already connected customers in pilot projects: in total, a few tens of thousands of end users are already enjoying Vectoring service. This general timeline for the deployment of Vectoring is confirmed in BroadbandTrends’ Global Service Provider Vectoring Survey (highly recommended reading, by the way!).

Finally, you know you’re doing something right when your competition decides to show up at your private events. A gentleman – an employee of one of our competitors, who had invited himself – was caught taking pictures of our Vectoring equipment. Unfortunately for him, the event was fully booked with customers, so we had to turn him away .

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