Proximus uses mobile to boost fixed networks in remote areas

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Proximus and Belgian start-up Tessares are aiming to connect Belgium's unconnected by debuting a new technology that combines fixed and mobile networks.

The unnamed technology works by using LTE to turbocharge fixed networks. It is based on the Multipath TCP standard, which maximises network resources and minimises redundancy.

While Proximus has rolled out more than 21,000km of optical fibre across Belgium, there are still houses almost two kilometres away from a cabinet, meaning any benefits from VDSL technology are lost through an attenuation effect.

Denis Périquet, Chief Executive Officer of Tessares, said: "This open-source-based technology has been enhanced with path management, giving an operator the agility and programmability to enable intelligent traffic routing for optimized usage of xDSL and LTE assets.

"Numerous other scenarios have been made possible such as directional boosting. In addition, the system has been tuned for high performance on existing home gateways from various vendors, and supports the trend towards SDN/NFV."

The municipality of Frasnes-Lez-Anvaing will be home to a trial next month. 

Proximus will send letters to customers who could benefit from the technology in the coming weeks. Following the trial, which is expected to last several months, Proximus will decide whether to roll out the technology on a larger scale.

Late last year, the Belgian operator partnered with Cisco to help its customers with indoor connectivity problems. It used Cisco small cells that connected to the indoor fixed line to bolster cellular coverage.