SDSL (Symmetrical Digital Subscriber Line)

A symmetric digital subscriber line (SDSL) is a digital subscriber line (DSL) that transmits digital data over the copper wires of the telephone network, where the bandwidth in the downstream direction, from the network to the subscriber, is identical to the bandwidth in the upstream direction, from the subscriber to the network.

This symmetric bandwidth can be considered to be the opposite of the asymmetric bandwidth offered by asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) technologies, where the upstream bandwidth is lower than the downstream bandwidth. SDSL is generally marketed at business customers, while ADSL is marketed at private as well as business customers.

More specifically, SDSL can be understood as:

  • in the wider sense, an umbrella term for all DSL variant which offer symmetric bandwidth, including IDSL, which offers 144 kbit/s, HDSL, HDSL2, G.SHDSL, which offers up to 22.784 Mbit/s over four pairs of copper wires, as well as the SDSL variant below
  • in the narrow sense, a particular proprietary and non-standardized DSL variant for operation at 1.544 Mbit/s or 2.048 Mbit/s over a single pair of copper wires, without support for analog calls on the same line
  • a term used by ETSI to refer to G.SHDSL
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