Displaying items by tag: FTTH

Vodafone and Huawei conduct successful network slicing trial

Written on Wednesday, 24 January 2018 11:45

Vodafone and Huawei have conducted a successful field trial of Fixed Access Network Slicing. The virtual access network solution partitions a physical fibre to the home (FTTH) network into multiple virtual network slices, creating multi-tenancy virtualization of the access network.  

This gives flexibility and full control for different operations teams (be they from different departments in the same company or from different service providers) to independently manage their own customers, even if there is only one physical access network.

For example, consumer and enterprise customers plus mobile backhaul connections can be securely provisioned and dynamically configured by their own respective operating teams. This allows converged operators to optimize their business practices and operational processes across different business areas.  It also has the potential to facilitate new joint-venture and co-investment partner models for operating FTTH networks.

The test was carried out at Vodafone Ireland with specialist Huawei teams supporting the joint initiative. Separate consumer and enterprise virtual network slices were created on a live FTTH network.  The consumer slice carried broadband internet and Vodafone TV services whereas the enterprise slice carried OneNet business services including voice.

The architecture and equipment requirements for Fixed Access Network Sharing (FANS) have only recently been standardized by the Broadband Forum in its TR-370 Technical Report, which was led by Vodafone Group.

“Vodafone has deployed several FTTH networks around the world and many of these are with partners,” said Matt Beal, Director of Strategy & Architecture, Vodafone Group Technology. “Virtualization of the fixed access network will help us build and fill FTTH networks in a more cost-effective way that takes advantage of new operating models where both Vodafone and its deployment partners are able to differentiate their services over the shared fibre infrastructure.” 

The virtual access network trial was carried out on Huawei MA5800, a new-generation smart optical line terminal (OLT). The MA5800 uses a distributed architecture similar to a core router, which can partition a physical OLT into multiple logically-independent virtual OLTs. Different logical OLTs have independent hardware resources and software systems, and can be separately managed and configured. The trial results showed the successful operation of MA5800 virtual access network architecture.

“The introduction of the access virtualization technology is an important step for our commitment to be at the forefront of technological innovation. This will translate into a better network experience offered to our fixed customers,” said Madalina Suceveanu, Vodafone Ireland Technology Director. “We are committed to supporting the key stakeholders in further developing the technology with a view of deployment in networks in Ireland and across other markets in the near future.”

Jeff Wang, President of Huawei Access Network, said: “We are delighted to continue to collaborate with Vodafone on network slicing. The solution can provide independent operation and maintenance management for multi-services bearing, and it can help to improve equipment efficiency, reduce operation and maintenance costs and achieve business success.”

Published in Telecom Vendors

Telefónica still in heavy debt following sale of Telxius

Written on Monday, 30 October 2017 08:33

Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica released its financial results for the January-September period, showing a profit of €2,439 million (+9.6 percent) and a free cash flow generation of €3,226 million (+ 39.2 percent). The company still faces heavy debt despite the sale of its infrastructure arm Telxius. Telefónica’s debt fell by €3.646 million to €45.947 million.

Telefónica confirmed in February it would sell up to 40 percent of its infrastructure unit Telxius to US investment fund KKR for 1.27 billion euros ($1.35 billion). The company, which has been burdened by heavy debt, failed last September to float the unit after not being able to attract enough demand for the share sale.

Telefónica said it would keep a majority stake and operational control of Telxius, which operates telecommunications towers and subsea fiber optic cables, and would continue to consolidate it into its accounts. The subsidiary manages 16,000 telecoms towers in five countries as well as 65,000 kilometers (40,000 miles) of submarine fiber optic cables.

Telefónica’s revenues decreased 2.5 percent year-on-year in Q3 2017 to €12,754 million (€38,846m in the first nine months; +1.4 percent). In organic terms, however, revenue growth accelerated to 4 percent (+2.9 percent in January-September), driven by improved contributions from Telefónica España, Telefónica Deutschland and Telefónica Hispanoamérica.

Handset sales had a year-on-year double digit growth in the quarter (+11.8 percent). Mobile data revenues increased by 16.3 percent year-on-year in organic terms in the quarter (+15.9 percent in January-September), representing 58 percent of the quarterly mobile service revenues.  

Telefónica has continued to focus on expanding 4G and UBB networks, and the simplification and digitalization of processes and systems, also reflecting integration synergies and including €502 million in spectrum and licenses.

Telefónica maintained its focus on accelerating digital transformation to contribute to improving its efficiency and growth to the maximum. In order to increase the value of network and connectivity, UBB rollout continued at a strong pace, 42.8 million premises passed with FTTx and cable, 18 million in Brazil (FTTx and cable), 18.6 million in Spain (FTTH) and 6.2 million in Hispanoamérica (FTTx and cable). 4G coverage increased to 69 percent.

Published in Finance

Vodafone Portugal and NOS to deploy and share FTTH network

Written on Tuesday, 03 October 2017 13:08

Vodafone Portugal and NOS, a Portuguese media holding company, have signed an agreement to deploy and share a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network which will be marketable to around 2.6 million homes and businesses in Portugal. The two companies will provide reciprocal access to each other’s networks on commercially agreed terms.

The total number of homes and businesses to be shared by the two companies will be around 2.6 million covering both existing and greenfield areas (undeveloped land in a city or rural area).

Vodafone Portugal will gain access to 1.3 million homes and businesses in new areas. This will increase its total coverage from 2.7 million to around 4.0 million, representing 80 percent of the households in the country.

Each party will deploy, but not share, the link between the central office and the fibre backbone, active equipment and CPEs (customer-premises equipment). Customer connections and activations will be independent of each other.

Marketing of services across the joint network will commence from the beginning of calendar 2018. Both Vodafone Portugal and NOS will maintain complete autonomy and flexibility in respect of their respective retail offers.

The agreement is consistent with Vodafone Group’s fixed infrastructure strategy, which aims for an optimal mix of build, strategic partnerships, wholesale and buy approaches. As a result of this strategy, Vodafone can already market high-speed services to 98 million homes across Europe, and this agreement extends this to over 100 million.

Vodafone Portugal’s current fibre-to-the-home deployment program reached 2.7 million homes as of June 2017. The company has 4.7 million mobile customers and around 550,000 fixed broadband customers.

Published in Infrastructure

Orange and Nokia to deploy FTTH network in Jordan

Written on Monday, 02 October 2017 11:15

Nokia and Jordanian telecom operator Orange Jordan are deploying a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network that will bring new ultra-broadband access and triple-play services to thousands of homes and businesses across Jordan besides Orange Jordan's existing ADSL (Asymmetric digital subscriber line) technology.

Using a combination of Nokia's GPON (gigabit passive optical network) technology, fixed network professional services, as well as Nokia Applications and Analytics advanced network and device management software, Orange Jordan will be able to quickly deliver over 200Mbps services needed to meet surging demand for high-speed residential and commercial services.

“We needed to quickly deploy a FTTH network that would provide the end-to-end capabilities we required to support our customers' evolving ultra-broadband needs,” said Orange Jordan CEO Jérôme Hénique. “Nokia's credibility along with its innovations and expertise in fiber technology were strongly considered during the selection process for the current phase of technical deployment.”

Today, broadband penetration in Jordan is predominantly wireless-based. Only five percent of the population accesses the internet via a fixed connection, a fraction of the six million total broadband subscribers, according to 2017 report concerning ICT in Jordan.

However, as demand for e-services, e-commerce, e-health, and e-education services grows across the Kingdom, the Jordanian government is focused on enhancing its fixed access infrastructure to ensure higher speed internet access is more broadly available.

As the first operator to launch a FTTH service in 2016, Orange Jordan is applying its global expertise to initiate and maintain digital transformation in the Kingdom. These ambitions are in line with the Orange Group's five-year corporate strategy, Essentials 2020, which focuses on connecting people to all that is essential to them.

“Today, we have successfully enabled Fiber connectivity for more than 30,000 homes-and are now focused on fiberizing the rest of the network, which is expected to be up and running by the end of 2017,” said Mr. Hénique. “This is all in effort of confirming Orange Jordan's position as the strongest provider of high-speed internet and the leading provider of the most powerful telecommunications services.”

Utilizing Nokia's GPON FTTH technology, Orange Jordan will be able to deliver enhanced services to new customers as well as extend the service to subscribers already served by the existing ADSL-based network. With the use of the Nokia Network Analyzer, Home Device Manager, and Home Care solutions, Orange Jordan will be able to proactively manage the GPON network and communication devices in customers' homes.

"We are pleased to continue our long-term collaboration with Orange Jordan and support its FTTH project, from infrastructure deployment to homes connected,” said Jean-Francois Pigeon, head of the Orange Customer Team for Middle East & Africa at Nokia.

“As a leading provider of GPON technology and associated services, we have the software tools, expertise and experience to cost-effectively address the various deployment needs of Orange in Jordan, addressing its network deployment needs and Quality of Experience challenge today and in the future.”

Published in Telecom Operators

Jordan gets first Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) roll out

Written on Wednesday, 13 September 2017 10:29

The Jordanian region of Saraya Aqaba is the first in the country to get Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) connectivity. The luxury mixed-use tourism and leisure destination located on the shores of the Red Sea in the Gulf of Aqaba in Jordan was fitted with the infrastructure by R&M, A Swiss producer of products and systems for communication and data networks.

The undertaking by R&M will allow more than 800 residential units and commercial establishments to enjoy high-speed connectivity and the latest triple-play services from telecom operators. 

Saraya Aqaba covers over 634,000 square meters, features residential units, premium five-star hotels, several entertainment outlets, state-of-the-art business facilities and a Souk. The deployment of R&M’s cabling solutions was executed by Optimiza, the cabling vendor’s systems integrator partner in Jordan.

In recent years, FTTH has become a key aspect of city development projects as the in-home lifestyle of consumers in the region is being transformed into an online-dominated experience. Raed Al-Omari, Director of Mega Projects, said Saraya Aqaba is “designed to provide the very latest facilities and amenities to residents and guests. The fibre infrastructure we have deployed provides the robust platform upon which a host of critical modern services will be offered.”

With the ability to provide Gigabit connectivity, FTTH opens up a range of possibilities. Among these are triple play services - the packaging of voice, high speed internet, and television as a combined offering from a single telecom provider. Convenience and safety are also top priorities for the developers of the mega-project which is why vital services such as fire alarms, CCTV, intercoms, and access control will all be connected to a centrally managed system via the secure FTTH network.

As this is the first FTTH project in the country, the project’s consultants were keen on leveraging the expertise of qualified experts for the undertaking. Having successfully delivered many such projects in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Oman, R&M had an impressive list of regional references and was qualified to provide the technical expertise and guidance necessary through the design, deployment and testing phases.

Product quality was also a major factor in vendor selection as the network had to meet present and future requirements. “Today we provide 10GbE connectivity over this network, but thanks to the quality and capabilities of the solutions we have invested in, we can increase this speed by a factor of four without having to make any changes to the cabling infrastructure,” explained Raed Al-Omari.

Optimiza has utilized R&M’s Cat. 6 copper cabling system for a horizontal cabling system. The entire compound is networked by FTTH using GPON technology whereby every subscriber has broadband-ready connectivity. The deployment has also entailed the use of specially customized Smart Home cabinet solutions from R&M, housing copper, fibre optic as well as the ONT equipment from the service provider on all customer premises.

“R&M is proud to add another high-profile city development project to the list of FTTH successes. With the advancement of technology in the Middle East and the tech-savvy nature of consumers, FTTH is the clear way forward to meet growing expectations,” said Mohammad Sweidan, Area Director - Africa, Levant & Kuwait at R&M Middle East, Turkey and Africa.

Published in Infrastructure

Germany’s Deutsche Telekom has defended its record on expanding broadband services, after the country’s digital focus became a hot topic leading up to the federal election campaign. Deutsche Telekom has focused on upgrading its copper network with new VDSL techniques, and some have criticized the company for not investing more in full fiber networks (FTTH).

In response to the criticism, Deutsche Telekom highlighted figures from the EU Commission that say Germany is one of the leading European nations with coverage of more than 80 percent for super-fast connections (next generation access with more than 30Mbps. The company said it relies on VDSL because it’s the fastest way to connect rural areas.

Very-high-bit-rate digital subscriber line (VDSL) is very fast broadband. It uses your copper phone line more efficiently so you get a faster connection than ADSL broadband. 

“It is simply impossible to install glass fibers right up to the houses,” the company said in a blog post on its website. “There are neither the civil engineering capabilities nor the financial resources for this. And, by the way, no demand.”

Also, that’s not to say that Deutsche Telekom isn’t implementing fiber. Since 2010, the company said it has added an average of 25,00km per year. With over 455,000 km, Deutsche Telekom has “by far the largest fiber-optic network in Germany,” the company said. By comparison, Vodafone comes to less than 60,000km.

Deutsche Telekom said has committed to provide 80 percent of households with at least 50 megabits per second. “This is what we do, and this includes raisin-picking per se,” the company said. “There is no self-obligation from other companies, especially from the cable network operators.”

The company also expressed the need for cooperation because “no company can expand Germany alone.” Telekom cooperates with local fibre operators such as NetCologne, Ewe Tel and Innogy. 

With its broadband expansion in fixed-line and mobile communications, Deutsche Telekom is “creating the prerequisite for the next communications standard 5G,” it said, which will enable the Internet of Things (IoT) and autonomous cars.

Published in Infrastructure

Kenya’s Safaricom to deploy FTTH network

Written on Sunday, 03 September 2017 05:48

Kenya’s Safaricom, the African nation’s leading network operator, said it’s working with Huawei to deploy a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network. Safaricom will use the Chinese telecom equipment manufacturer’s end-to-end (E2E) FTTH solution to rapidly deploy the FTTH network and expand its capability to new home broadband services.

Kenya has a steadily developing economy, but its fixed broadband penetration rate is lower than 1 percent, failing to meet the network requirements of home and enterprise users. Safaricom plans to enter the home broadband market, but it faces many challenges, including scattered user distribution, high network construction costs, and low early phase service provisioning rates and revenues.

For precise investment, based on the idea of value-oriented network construction, Safaricom uses analytics to determine network rollout in line with customer demand as its first step. And then, Safaricom deploys Huawei's E2E FTTH solution to achieve efficient network construction and operation.

For fast network construction, through infrastructure synergy and engineering innovation, Safaricom can fully utilize existing metropolitan area network (MAN) optical cables and preferentially use aerial cables.

Through the synergy of fixed broadband optical distribution networks (ODNs) and mobile backhaul networks, Safaricom can deploy mini optical line terminals (OLTs) and wireless base stations in the same cabinet, realizing fast deployment and centralized home access, and greatly decreasing network construction costs.

In terms of efficient operation, Huawei's lightweight mini operations support system (OSS) helps Safaricom to reduce the system integration period and complete deployment within only three months, down from 18 months.

Huawei also provides a smartphone app that integrates installation, maintenance, and operations, supporting on-site service provisioning and acceptance, shortening service provisioning period from two weeks to less than 48 hours, and doubling installation rates.

"By using Huawei's E2E FTTH solution, we can quickly build the FTTH network,” said Thibuad Rerolle, Safaricom's Director. “We are keen to broaden the development space for new fixed broadband services."

Jeff Wang, President of Huawei's Access Network Product Line, added, "Emerging markets place strong demands on FTTH network services. The top challenge that operators face is shortening the ROI period. To solve this challenge, Huawei released the E2E FTTH solution. It features precise investment, fast network construction, quick service provisioning, and efficient O&M, enabling operators to greatly shorten the ROI period and achieve business success."

South Africa’s Vodacom Group, part of Vodafone, recently announced that its proposed R35 billion (around US$2.6 billion) acquisition of an effective 35 percent stake in Safaricom, has been finalized. All regulatory approvals and conditions precedent in both Kenya and South Africa have now been met. 

Published in Infrastructure

British energy giant SSE is reportedly looking to expand its scope by investing in ultrafast broadband infrastructure, accelerating its move into telecoms, and threatening firms such as BT and Virgin Media. SSE is said to be exploring the business case for laying new fiber optics to homes and businesses that would provide more efficient internet connections than copper lines or cable.

The company has been working towards infrastructure investments “all the time” according to David Walter, director of SSE’s broadband business, to establish itself in the telecoms sector, The Telegraph reports. However, at this stage no concrete decisions have been made by SSE and no investment is currently pending.  

SSE’s move into telecoms infrastructure laying could be viewed as a sign of confidence in the growing links between broadband and the utilities sector. SSE and its energy industry rivals are increasingly expanding their scopes to provide thermostats and other technology that requires an internet connection, thus closing the gap between utilities and communications. The move would also be welcomed by regulators that want more competition at the infrastructure level.

However, SSE’s move could also be seen as threatening and disrupting the marketplace with its investment, says Mimosa Networks CPO Jaime Fink. “To compete with BT and Virgin Media, SSE will need to select the right tools for the job,” he said. “Whilst the industry will always rely on deep fibre to feed bandwidth into neighbourhoods and urban areas, fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) is not cost effective and is disruptive to deploy.”

Fink believes SSE should “take lessons from internet providers in the US and use fixed wireless to deliver broadband to the home, which offers speeds akin to FTTH, at nearly one-tenth of the cost.”

Fink added, “New US broadband market entrants such as Google and Facebook are leveraging fixed wireless, with established players such as AT&T and Verizon also considering this approach for rapidly commercialising 5G. The technology could help SSE serve all environments efficiently across the UK, undercutting the market with the speed and price of its service.”

It’s likely that SSE’s investment in new fibre optics would be with partners, according to Mr. Walter. The cost of building the new connections, he said, could be shared with retail rivals, and SEE could use existing backbone networks in the UK, like those owned by CityFibre and Vodafone.

A similar project by TalkTalk in York has caught the attention of SSE to watch how things pan out. Mr. Walter hasn’t ruled out a major acquisition such as TalkTalk as a way of shortcutting SSE’s way to high status in the industry, but he said the company had a “clear idea of [what] multiple broadband subscribers are worth.”

Published in Infrastructure

Nokia and China Mobile are deploying millions of home gateways to provide residential customers across 29 different provinces in China with access to fiber-based ultra-broadband applications and intelligent home services.

"This important announcement furthers Nokia's role as a key technology provider in China,” said Federico Guillén, president of Nokia's Fixed Networks Business Group. “Our home gateway solution provides China Mobile with the ultra-broadband access technology they need to capitalize on IoT and deliver new services that support their evolving customer needs. We are very pleased to continue our close work with China Mobile and look forward to helping them deliver on their commitments."

Under this contract, China Mobile will deploy home gateway units with Nokia's solution to over 30 million users during 2017. Using established fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks, which bring greater service experiences and gigabit speeds to customers, the new gateway will extend internet coverage in the home and enable IoT communications between devices and sensors. The ability to flexibly add software functions and enhanced analytics capabilities allows China Mobile to deploy and deliver a new intelligent home experience and associated services.

"China Mobile is progressing fast as a converged telecommunications operator -- with more than 31 million FTTH subscribers -- and has proven it can successfully leverage its extensive fiber access network to deliver ultra-broadband applications such as 4K TV services and Gigabit access to customers across various provinces,” said Roland Montagne, principal analyst at IDATE. 

Roland added, “With the addition of intelligent home gateway technology, China Mobile will be able to further differentiate its services, providing consumers with enhanced internet coverage in the home and  a more seamless experience for connecting various devices and sensors."          

Published in Telecom Vendors

China Mobile boosts China’s fixed broadband numbers

Written on Wednesday, 07 September 2016 07:28

China added 34 million fixed broadband subscribers in the six months to 31 March 2016, taking the total to more than 0.25 billion, according to the latest figures from research firm, Point Topic.

Point Topic said that China Mobile’s recent expansion of fixed broadband operations had been the key cause of the significant increase in the country’s customer base.

“The world’s largest mobile provider has become the new key broadband market player alongside China Telecom and China Unicom,” It said.

“The growth in China’s fixed broadband market had a visible impact globally. As a result, the total fixed broadband customer base around the world has grown by more than eight percent in nine months to the end of March 2016. This compares to less than four percent in the previous nine months.”

Also, Point Topic said that global FTTH connections nearly doubled between Q1 2015 and Q1 2016 while the number of copper lines fell by 16 percent. This trend was also to a large extent caused by the scale of FTTH deployment and take up in China. Across the country, the number of homes passed by FTTH networks increased by 74.3 percent year-on-year to 446 million in 2015.

“China alone has contributed to the FTTH growth dramatically, more than doubling FTTH connections in the last 12 months. Vietnam, Spain, New Zealand, France and Switzerland all saw FTTH quarterly growth in double figures,” it said

Point Topic’s figures for China, however came with a caveat: “Our current figures for China are based on the data provided by the country’s main broadband market players. This data however contradicts some of the figures reported by the Chinese regulator, so we had to make a judgment call. As a result, we may have to review some of the figures next quarter.”

Published in Telecom Operators