Belgian fixed and mobile operator Proximus (formerly Belgacom) has launched a pilot project which will trial a combined fixed DSL connection and LTE mobile signal to improve broadband speeds for end users. The trial is being conducted in cooperation with local start-up Tessares, and is based on Multipath TCP (MPTCP) technology which allows the simultaneous use of multiple paths between peers. Customers who currently live more than 1.6km away from a street cabinet are faced with reduced speed connections via Proximus’ xDSL networks; a report from ZDnet suggests that around 40% of Belgium’s population lives in such areas. By combining the DSL and 4G LTE connections, however, end users are able to achieve much higher data rates.
Similar trials of fixed-mobile bonding technologies are being carried out in a number of countries and are already commercial in Greece; in April this year the Greek cellco Cosmote, part of incumbent national telco OTE, launched a hybrid fixed-mobile broadband service which combines the group’s VDSL networks with its 3G and 4G mobile infrastructure to provide customers with download speeds of up to 100Mbps.