50+ mbps connection on...telephone lines?!

A good friend of mine gave me a “hot tip” on a stock he’s going to pour $600 into. In a few days it might be making its appearance on the open market. This company, New Wheel Technology, claims that they can get data transfer rates over standard phone lines at speeds of over 50 mbps. From what I can tell, only technologies like fiber-optic cable have been able to achieve transfer rates that high in the past. In short, at least on the surface, it all looks like a flying load of horse pucky to me. They claim they can get this rate at a distance of 8500 feet of line, though they specifically say that they don’t check the integrity of what comes through, just that something is coming through at that lightning rate. Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof, of course; my time spent on the boards has taught me that, but their website provides precious little insight into how they’re working this magic. I understand that they can’t give away their secrets, but I’m not credulous enough to believe it just because a website says it and has a scanned document of – gasp! – real paper that also affirms their statements.

I do recognize that even if they can’t do what they say they can, the stock still could potentially be good to make a quick buck on: if people believe in it and buy it up, well, the price goes up, so I guess it could be good for speculation. If the aforementioned friend were just in it to speculate, and acknowledged that it looked like a risky bet, then I wouldn’t really have anything to say to him; it’s his money. However, he seems to genuinely believe that this is completely possible and feasible, and that it will revolutionize internet connections. Granted, if it works as it’s supposed to, it will – and I will be eating crow.

Anyhoo, my question is this: do any Dopers out there see what this company proposes as being remotely possible, and if so, how? Or do you think, as I do, that this looks like a bunch of malarky? Has anyone even heard of this company or their ideas? I’m looking for specific facts, concrete ideas, and evidence, not just a poll, which is why I placed the question here.

The trick is to digitally encode the sound bites being transmitted over the telephone lines rather then send them over in the traditional analogue format. If you are able to compress say, 4 seconds of ‘screeches and squeaks’ in to a file about as big as 2 seconds of traditional auio, then you will be able to send information over twice as fast.

But for 50 mbps…


The site you linked doesn’t have a whole lot of info (a bunch of ‘Coming Soon’). However, here are one or two questions that popped into my head:

  • The test was unidirectional (that means one-way to me). I didn’t see anything that indicated speed in both directions. Is it divided in half (25 up/25 down)? Is it like satellite internet (56Kbps up/300+ kbps down)?

  • The test measured ‘raw’ data rate. While that’s all nice and fine it is somewhat meaningless in real world applications. If the data stream is subject to easy interference and the computers have to constantly resend data lost in transmission your 52Mbps will dwindle to nothing quickly.

  • What is the typical latency of this connection? Total bandwidth os good but if it takes a long time for initial response its applications will be limited.

  • What price will this stuff go for? Let’s say that they really do have what they say…52Mbps reliably over POTS and low latency. If the equipment to do this costs $1,000 or the monthly service costs $1,000 then the markets will be somewhat more limited (although it could still be valuable since $1,000/month gets you less than that today).

  • It is always good to see a business plan before investing in a startup if at all possible.

I’m not saying invest or don’t invest. I’m just saying you should step carefully.

Wow that’s about 50 times what DSL tries to promise. I’ll have to sleep on it, but the first thing that troubles me is the problem with skin effect at frequencies over 10MHz especially on dirty F2 pairs like POTS.

I have no idea if they have a useful product, but the test described is useless. Most of the “report” is fluff, reminiscent of those official-looking sweepstakes entries in the mail. Basically, they connected a bit generator (the Tektronix gigBert 700) to their transmitter, connected their transmitter through 8500 feet of phone cable to their receiver, and looked at the output with a counter (the HP5313A and an oscilloscope (the HP Infinium). To pass the test, these had to be verified:

This really doesn’t prove much, though. As they said at the beginning, they aren’t concerned about the actual data at the other end- #1 is just verifying that “patterns are clearly displayed”, not that they are the same patterns that were transmitted!

#2 and #3 just show that they managed to send a 52MHz signal down 8500 feet of wire- not necessarily data, just a clock signal- no big deal. I could probably wire something up from the parts in my basement to do that (you’d have to supply the 8500 feet of 50-pair cable, though ;)).

Anyway, the test as stated doesn’t demonstrate anything. You’d have to first address these issues:

  1. Measure the bit error rate!! The Tektronix gigaBert 700 is a bit error rate tester- why didn’t they hook it up to the other end?? My guess is that the bit error rate is horrendous (maybe even close to 50%- the worst possible rate, equal to pure chance). 52 Mbps with 49% BER isn’t too useful.

  2. Measure crosstalk on other wire pairs. It’s extremely important to show that transmitting on one pair of a 50-pair cable won’t interfere with the other pairs. What happens when 10 of the 50 pairs are transmitting at 52Mbs? All 50?? If it interferes with the other pairs (and it would be extremely difficult for it not to, then it’s not a viable product.

  3. Show that it meets FCC regulations. They didn’t say how much power was required- is it going to radiate and cause radio interference? There’s a system in Europe to send internet feeds down power lines that is going down the tubes because it radiates RF interference all the way down the power lines, due to the frequencies and power involved. No mention is made of that here.

I’d save the $600 :slight_smile:


Here’s the most revealing link on the website:



not really. here there are 3 ‘levels’ of Adsl servive available. 640 kb/s is the cheepest, 1.5 mb/s runns about $100/month and then the 7.2 mb/s at $200/month - so it’s 7 times faster.

unless that rate is in mB/s instead of mb/s (bytes = 8 bits)

I think it’s just a plan to run up the value of the stock for the lucky few who started the rumer. but that’s just my humble O

Well, since we are talking about the speed of a telecom link, I assumed that the OP was talking about mbps as in megabits per second. If we were talking about computing speed, I would say mbps means megabytes per second.

Checking two telecom dictionaries that happen to be at arm’s length, and they seem to support this. There is a footnote with regard to the capitalized B that indicates a distinction, but also says that almost nobody uses the capitalized B rule since it’s usually pretty clear what mbps means from the context (computer or telecom).

Also note that it’s an OTC stock, typically where the shady companies hang out (who out there hasn’t gotten spammed with a “hot stock tip” on an OTC-listed company?). Yes, they claim that they’ve applied to be listed as a NASDAQ Small-Cap, but applying doesn’t mean anything; they need to be accepted.

Caveat emptor.

Speak for yourself. I have 1.28Mbps DSL for $35 a month. It’s ALWAYS running over 1Mbps too. Mmmmmm… No $100 charges here!


Great, what service and area. I have that 640 kb/s for $35/m I would love to get over 1mb/s for that price.

My point is that 50mb/s is NOT 50x faster then ADSL, more like 7

My ISP is Telergy Light Speed (www.l-speed.com). They offer DSL only in upstate NY, and I think they still only offer it in my city (Ithaca). They have plans to branch out to Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo, but AFAIK they haven’t yet. It’s normally $45 a month, but if you get their long distance, they knock it down to $35, and the LD charges aren’t bad (no fees, 9 cents a minute).


IANAS, but “come on” is the first thing that comes to my mind, even without visiting the site.

People and companies do not waste money. Especially serious money. The TelCo’s have spent billions and billions of dollars buying fiber optic cables and digging ditches around the world to upgrade their bandwidth. If this product really does what it claims:

  1. no one would be buying any fiber optics
  2. it would be instantly bought out by a bigger company

Since neither 1) or 2) is true, I put my vote in the “horse$hit” category.