1 Gbps FTTH across Ireland on tap from eircom

Irish national carrier eircom Group, which had previously focused on broadband access via fiber to the cabinet, now says it will roll out gigabit speeds via fiber to the home (FTTH). The service provider has targeted 66 communities for the new services, which will be provided “as demand for this connectivity emerges,” eircom says.

The FTTH deployment plan includes areas of all five major cities in Ireland, major regional centers, and every county town in Ireland. While detailed rollout plans for each community will be announced “in due course,” eircom says the FTTH roll out will begin in Cavan Town, Kilkenny City, and Letterkenny Town. Construction of the fiber-optic broadband infrastructure is expected to require about six months in each location.

“Today demonstrates the flexibility and scalability of our future-proofed fiber network. Building on our existing network design, end to end fiber connectivity supporting speeds of one gigabit, is the natural next step in the evolution of our network capability,” according to Richard Moat, eircom’s acting CEO.

In support of the effort, eircom says it has begun the construction of a technical trial of FTTH to assess the most cost-effective approach for rural subscribers and address the challenges of ribbon development. The trial will take place in Belcarra, Mayo and will launch in early 2015.

eircom has already tested and deployed FTTH technology in both an urban and suburban environments in Wexford Town and Sandyford, County Dublin.

The service provider says it has outlined its plans to the national regulator (ComReg) and the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (DCENR). Industry engagement will begin soon. Operators will continue to have the same open access to the fiber network alongside a suite of enhanced products with significantly increased speed profiles, eircom promises.

eircom says the FTTH deployment will run in parallel with its existing fiber investment program. In August, eircom announced an acceleration and extension of these plans to reach 1.4 million premises by the end of 2015. It also expanded the planned footprint from 1.4 million to 1.6 million homes and businesses.

However, eircom now believes it will complete the rollout of fiber to 1.6 million homes and businesses by the middle of 2016, six months ahead of schedule. Last month, the company’s fiber network reached 1 million homes passed.

XG-PON deployment by Telefónica supports 1-Gbps FTTH

Spanish service provider Telefónica has chosen Huawei to supply 10-Gbps capable XG-PON equipment to support provision of symmetrical 1-Gbps fiber to the home home (FTTH) services. The operator expects to use the new equipment to launch the 1-Gbps services next year.

The new deployment is one of the few publicly announced examples of XG-PON use. While 1-Gbps FTTH services provision has become increasingly popular, the overwhelming majority of carriers are using the current generation of PON technology, most often GPON.

The selection of Huawei to supply the XG-PON technology came after the two companies successfully tested the systems on Telefónica’s network.<

The increase in transmission rates opens the door for a variety of new services and video viewing experiences. For example, Huawei suggests that Telefónica will enable customers to select the camera angle from which they prefer to view a football match. Support of next-generation transmission technologies, such as 4K video, should be possible as well.

Alcatel-Lucent unveils TWDM-PON

Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) says it will offer a line card and complementary optical network terminal (ONT) for its 7360 Intelligent Services Access Manager FX platform that will support time- and wavelength-division multiplexed PON (TWDM-PON). The upgrade will support four wavelengths of 10 Gbps each.

The systems provider says it has worked since 2010 with Vodafone to co-develop the technology. The two parties have conducted a TWDM-PON trial as well.

"Individuals and businesses are showing an ever increasing demand for access to high speed data and services across mobile and fixed networks," explained Vodafone's Matt Beal. "TWDM-PON is groundbreaking technology that will give us greater control over network capacity and increased flexibility when provisioning new services. We have worked closely with Alcatel Lucent to develop the technology and we look forward to evaluating it on our network in Spain."

In addition to a system's 40-Gbps capacity, TWDM-PON offers such additional benefits as the ability to deliver different services over each wavelength and to support high-speed dedicated services, according to Alcatel-Lucent. TWDM-PON can be implemented on current GPON fiber-optic networks alongside existing services to offer "pay as you grow" capabilities, the company adds.

"TWDM-PON promises a far greater return on investment than previous generations of fiber access technologies," said Julie Kunstler, principal analyst, intelligent networks, with market research and consulting firm Ovum via an Alcatel-Lucent press release. "Its increased capacity and flexibility support more than just higher bandwidth services; it provides the platform for innovative operational and business models, making TWDM-PON extremely interesting to wireline and wireless operators."

Telkom to spend $3.7b on broadband in '15

Telkom Indonesia plans to triple its broadband spending in 2015, as part of its support for the government's five-year broadband plan.

The operator has committed to investing 45 trillion rupiah ($3.7 billion) on broadband rollouts next year, the Jakarta Post reported, citing president director Arief Yahya. The commitment is more than double the size of the company's total typical annual capex budget.

Around half of the spending will be allocated for Wi-Fi rollouts, 30% will be spent on backhaul cables, fiber networks and satellites, and the remainder will go towards convergence efforts.

The Indonesian government last week launched the Indonesia Broadband Plan, which aims to provide affordable access to the majority of the population by 2019. The project has an estimated total cost of 278 trillion rupiah, part of which will come from taxpayer funding.

The government aims to provide mobile broadband access to all of the country's urban population and 52% of the rural population.

The project also seeks to make fixed broadband accessible for 30% of the urban population and 6% of the rural population.

According to former ICT minister Tifatul Sembiring, Indonesia's telecom sector has so far contributed 10% of the country's total economic growth.