Belgacom and Alcatel-Lucent go for next generation broadband in Europe

Alcatel-Lucent and Belgacom, the largest telecommunications company in Belgium, are introducing breakthrough innovations to increase access speeds to the Internet.

Building on a long history of pioneering innovations, the two companies are introducing the latest state-of-the-art technology to enhance the offering of broadband services throughout Belgium. Thanks to an ambitious joint-development program with Alcatel-Lucent, Belgacom will boost performance over its national triple-play network to provide guaranteed speeds of 50 megabits per second and beyond, setting a new standard of quality for Belgian citizens as of 2014. This will be realised thanks to the world’s first commercial introduction of VDSL2 Vectoring.

Pursuing consistently its broadband deployment strategy through the ‘Broadway’ programme and leveraging existing fiber investments, this nationwide deployment will support enriched service offerings.

Belgacom has been a long-time pioneer of the latest broadband innovations in Europe. Thirteen years ago, Belgacom was first to pave the broadband routes by turning on ADSL lines with Alcatel-Lucent. Eight years ago, the operator was first in Europe to invest in a nationwide fiber-rich network, representing more than 16.500 km of fiber and 19.000 neighbourhood street cabinets powered by Alcatel-Lucent’s technology. Today Belgacom is serving more than one million customers with television and high speed internet. The current 78.9% national VDSL2 coverage, progressing to 85% by end 2013, makes Belgium one of the world’s leading broadband nations in fiber networks.

This unique long-term cooperation between the two companies has been a key supporting element for Alcatel-Lucent in being first–to-market with a nationwide VDSL2 vectoring program.

Scott Alcott, Executive Vice President Service Delivery Engine at Belgacom said: “Our continuous network modernization over the years has positioned Belgium among the leading broadband nations in the world. Together with the expertise of Alcatel-Lucent, we continue to deploy innovative solutions to leverage our existing copper infrastructure in a fast and cost-effective way, delivering a higher quality broadband experience to our subscribers. This latest phase in our collaboration will play a major role in meeting the European Digital Agenda 2020 goals.”

Stephen Carter, President, Europe, Middle East and Africa for Alcatel-Lucent, said: “With our vast experience in all types of broadband networks, we help operators deploy broadband faster to meet the expectations set by the European Commission’s Digital Agenda 2020 initiative. Our innovations help ensure that copper access networks, which are widely deployed across Europe, remain a powerful option to deliver high-performance broadband. Today, communications service providers are looking for ways to get the most out of their existing networks, and as a leader in fixed broadband access, we continue to push the boundaries of the possible.”

Alcatel-Lucent continues to lead the market in the introduction of next-generation DSL technologies, and was the first vendor in the market to support customer trials of VDSL2 Vectoring, which have demonstrated the ability to increase data speeds dramatically. VDSL2 Vectoring technology, available in the fourth quarter of 2011 on Alcatel-Lucent’s market-leading broadband access platform, offers the capability of copper to support data speeds up to 100 Mbps and beyond.

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