Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) and BT have commenced an extensive consumer trial of the ultra-broadband access technology in Gosforth in the north-east of England. – in which BT, Alcatel-Lucent and its Bell Labs research arm have played a pioneering development role – allows service providers to provide ultra-broadband Internet speeds in locations where deploying fiber-optic connectivity is difficult. It also eliminates the need to rewire entire buildings and homes, the most costly and time-consuming part of any fiber deployment. During the trial, will enable data speeds of up to 330 Mbps, delivered over copper infrastructure directly into premises.

Alcatel-Lucent’s technology has already been in trials with more than 30 operators worldwide. The BT trial will cover up to 2000 homes in Gosforth, near Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and will last for six to nine months. It follows a much smaller but very successful pilot conducted by BT and Alcatel-Lucent around Hethersett in Norfolk, earlier this year.

In preparation  for this trial, Alcatel-Lucent has been able to demonstrate to BT, Alcatel-Lucent’s expertise in advanced access technology including bonded VDSL2, VDSL2 vectoring, per port selectable VDSL2 or service activation, system level vectoring  and active participation in the ITU standards in order to meet the precise needs of BT.

During the trial, customers will experience much faster broadband speeds and can benefit from improved performance on existing services and will be able to access new services such as multiple simultaneous 4K TV channels,  fast HD video downloads and streaming.

Mike Galvin, MD Service, Strategy and Operations, BT said: “This is the largest trial of technology in the world today and extensive research by teams of experts at both BT and Alcatel- Lucent have prepared us well for this exploration into how the technology performs. With, we look forward to opening a new chapter in building Britain’s connected future through the delivery of ultra fast broadband to more people in the coming years.”

Cormac Whelan, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent UK & Ireland said; “The latest analyst predictions say that within five years, something like one million minutes of video content will cross the global fixed or mobile network every single second. The demand for broadband has never been greater and is only heading in one direction so this trial is the right technology at the right time.”