Broadband Internet access via TV cables can reach 100 Megabits per second as early as next year, 50 times faster than the average broadband speeds now offered to cable TV homes, a Finnish firm said on Wednesday.
Similar data transmission speeds are possible over fibre networks, but these cost much more for the operators to build.
"This is a cost-efficient technology as we use the cable TV networks which are already in place," Jukka Rinnevaara, Chief Executive of small-cap Finnish broadband equipment maker Teleste (TLT1V.HE), told Reuters.
Teleste, whose rivals include big U.S. firms Scientific Atlanta and Cisco Systems Inc., said it would early next year bring to the market its Ethernet to the Home product which will give consumers access to100Mb/s speed.
The sector is closely followed by big technology firms. Last month Sweden's Ericsson offered $51 million to buy Norwegian firm AXXESSIT which makes broadband ethernet access equipment for telecom operators. To accelerate the transmission speed Teleste fits ethernet -- a cheap and standard transport method for Internet data over broadband networks -- into cable television networks.
It said it expects first rival technology to be on the market at the earliest in the second-quarter of 2007.
Teleste is running a field-trial with cable TV service provider Essent in Netherlands, but not yet at the top speeds it expects most homes will need in a few years time.
"Based on our research 30 Megabits per second is the absolute minimum in future homes. Just one TV program would take 10-20 Megabits per second of this alone. So, very fast we would reach a need for 30 Megabits, and also for 50 Megabits per second," Pekka Rissanen, a Teleste executive told a news conference.
Rissanen said the cost of connecting a home with the new ethernet-to-the-home technology can vary between 50 euros ($60.28) and200 euros ($241).
CEO Rinnevaara declined to say how much the new technology could boost Teleste's sales or profits in the next 12 months.
($1=.8294 Euro) ($1=.8294 Euro)
Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited.
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