What is wired broadband technology

Broadband technology

Broadband technology includes transmission technologies, transmission methods and networks that have a high data transmission speed. With broadband it is meant that the high transmission rate is due, among other things, to the fact that a large frequency range (a wide band) or a wide transmission channel is used that provides a large transmission capacity. This is an important criterion when transferring data. The more bandwidth, the more data can be transmitted per unit of time.

In the past, the demand for more bandwidth led to ever new transmission technologies. Since the technical equipment had to be rebuilt or replaced every time, there is a different approach today. Instead of installing new technology every time, one tries to take smaller and continuous steps in the technical development and push the current technology to the physical limits.

With ADSL2 and VDSL (2), the transmission capacity of the old subscriber lines is almost exhausted. New transmission technologies only increase the data rates minimally. The attenuation of the copper wire pairs on broadband signals is simply too strong.
Cellular technology with LTE comes into areas that were reserved for ADSL and VDSL. But the bandwidth in mobile communications is also limited and is only suitable for improving mobility. For this reason, the transmission medium of the future in broadband technology will be fiber optics.

Broadband transmission technologies

In Germany, "DSL" is the synonym for broadband Internet and is almost exclusively provided by Deutsche Telekom in Germany.

Cable TV networks that were set up in Germany at the time of the Deutsche Bundespost are widespread. The technical development enables competitive Internet connections here.

Alternatively, there are also cellular networks, which, however, cannot keep up with wired connections.

Broadband needs

The average broadband requirement per household is over 50 Mbit / s and is still increasing. The use of cloud applications and video streaming requires a broadband connection with 100 Mbit / s and above in the medium term in order to have enough power reserves that parallel connections require on the same connection.

Over time, the transmission speed of broadband connections such as DSL and TV cable will continue to increase.
Even so, there seems to be a natural limit to what subscribers are willing to pay for a given speed.
Statements such as “A service that requires data rates beyond 25 Mbit / s in order to function does not yet exist.” Are legitimate, but they also block the view into the future. As far as the use of online services is concerned, we are still in the infancy on the user side. More bandwidth and higher transmission speeds also make more possible.

Even if the current bandwidth is not exhausted, there is more comfort. The latency of fast connections is lower, which not only benefits online games, but also most online applications, from surfing to checking e-mails to synchronizing with cloud services, as they react more quickly to user input and data deploy faster.

  • Cloud applications
  • Video and audio streaming
  • Software updates

On the way to the gigabit society, there are many sensible new areas of application.

  • Realization of virtual reality (VR)
  • Telemedicine
  • networked work
  • Smart farming

Anyone who thinks "that does not concern me" is failing to recognize that these applications require broadband networks across the board. And everyone else who doesn't need fast Internet access also benefits from this.

Application / serviceBandwidth requirements
Web pages10 Mbit / s
Telephony0.1 Mbit / s
Messaging0.01 Mbit / s
Video streaming SD (720 x 576)4 Mbit / s
Video streaming HD (1,280 x 720)9 Mbit / s
Video streaming Full HD (1,920 x 1,080)16 Mbit / s
Video streaming Ultra HD (3840 x 1920)25 Mbit / s
Live Virtual Reality Full HD (1,920 x 1,080)~ 20 Mbit / s
Live Virtual Reality Ultra HD (3840 x 1920)~ 35 Mbit / s

Broadband access speed

The advertised speed promises for broadband access, such as DSL and TV cable, often do not reach the customer in practice. For this reason, speeds for broadband access are usually marked with "up to".
From a technical point of view, the attenuation of the line is the decisive point. Whereby the length and the cross-section of the line are the influencing factors. The shorter and thicker the line, the lower the attenuation and the faster the DSL connection. The longer and thinner the line, the greater the attenuation and the slower the DSL connection.
It is similar for cable connections, but there is another limiting factor here. Several customers are attached to a cable harness here. You share the bandwidth up to the head end. The more users are currently online in a network segment, the lower the bandwidth available to the individual user.

From a technical point of view, it would certainly not be a problem to give the customer a defined speed commitment. However, you save yourself the effort because you would then have to charge different prices for each connection. One would have to do without generally applicable tariffs. That would complicate marketing and sales.
In practice, the advertised "up to" values ​​differ from the actual values. This is usually not a reason for termination because the technical restrictions are defined in the contractual conditions and the customer confirms this with his signature.

You can test the speed of your own connection with download managers. Unfortunately, these are only estimates and can vary widely. It is more precisely with routers that output detailed information about the negotiated data rates. This is then referred to as the line capacity that can be maximally achieved with the connection. The "current data rate" then usually deviates downwards from this.

Broadband technologies for network access in comparison

Broadband technologyDownlinkUplinklatency
ADSL2 +up to 16 Mbit / sup to 512 kBit / s30 ms
VDSL2up to 50 Mbit / sup to 10 Mbit / s10 ms
VDSL2 vectoringup to 100 Mbit / sup to 40 Mbit / s10 ms
VDSL2 super vectoringup to 250 Mbit / sup to 40 Mbit / s10 ms
TV cableup to 400 Mbit / sup to 50 Mbit / s15 ms
Cellular with LTEup to 50 Mbit / sup to 10 Mbit / s20 ms
satelliteup to 10 Mbit / sup to 4 Mbit / s600 ms

Broadband technology for local networking in comparison

Within apartments and single-family houses, the bandwidth is mainly distributed via radio systems.

Networking technologyRangeData rate (gross)Data rate (net)
Fast ethernet100 m100 Mbit / s94 Mbit / s
Gigabit Ethernet100 m1,000 Mbit / s940 Mbit / s
WLAN 3 (IEEE 802.11g)30 m54 Mbit / sup to 25 Mbit / s
WLAN 4 (IEEE 802.11n)30 m300 Mbit / sup to 100 Mbit / s
WLAN 5 (IEEE 802.11ac)20 m1,300 Mbit / sup to 800 Mbit / s
Powerline HomePlug AV100 m200 Mbit / sup to 85 Mbit / s
Powerline HomePlug AV2100 m500 Mbit / sup to 160 Mbit / s

Cellular as a replacement for broadband?

The range of DSL is limited and therefore does not reach every household. That is why there is hardly any DSL in rural areas. Mobile communications are offered here as a replacement for DSL. However, the transmission power per base station in the cellular network is very limited. For example, if a radio cell has a bandwidth of 250 Mbit / s, then all subscribers in the coverage area of ​​the radio cell have to share this bandwidth. Mobile radio is therefore only an alternative to a limited extent. At the same time there is a volume throttle which slows down the speed after a certain "consumption".

Triple play

The goal of the network operator is to be able to offer multimedia applications such as IPTV. Under the term triple play, network operators are mutating into full-service providers for Internet, telephony (VoIP) and television (IPTV) via one connection. What used to be inevitably distributed over several transmission media, systems and providers should come from a single provider in the future.

Overview: broadband transmission technology

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