Huawei has increased its role in the broadband deployment of eircom, Ireland’s former incumbent and largest telecommunications provider. The Chinese telecom equipment vendor has been selected as the technology partner and equipment supplier for the first of a multi-phased rollout of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) technology across Ireland.
The initial contract is worth an estimated €10 million. Huawei will provide optical line terminals (OLTs) and optical network terminals (ONTs) that will support broadband speeds up to 1Gb/s.
eircom says the equipment will allow it to offer the fastest broadband speeds in Ireland to residential and business customers when the service is launched at the end of the summer. The equipment is capable of delivering even faster speeds beyond 1Gb/s as demand emerges.
In 2012, Huawei was selected as the equipment supplier for eircom’s fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) deployment, which is already making 100Mb/s speeds available to 1.1 million homes and businesses across Ireland. eircom estimates it will complete its FTTC roll-out to 1.6 million homes and businesses by the middle of 2016, six months ahead of schedule.
In October last year eircom upped its ambitions to include FTTH, shortly after the European Commission gave the green light to a joint venture between Vodafone and utility company ESB to build a €450 million FTTH network using ESB’s electricity supply infrastructure.
Eircom says deployment of Huawei’s FTTH equipment will proceed immediately in 16 communities where network construction has already commenced. The first customers will be able to order fibre services offering speeds of up to 1Gb/s by the end of August 2015.
In total, eircom plans to reach 66 communities with FTTH services by 2017. The planned FTTH footprint includes areas of all five major cities, major regional centres and every county town in Ireland. Detailed rollout plans for each community will be announced in due course, the operator says.
Johnny Shine, Group MD, eircom Networks, said: “This is another important milestone in the journey to bring high speed broadband to Ireland. By using Huawei equipment, eircom will be able to offer the fastest broadband speeds in Ireland in the coming months. We see customer demand for data continue to grow at a rapid pace. By deploying FTTH technology we will be in a position to meet and exceed those growing data demands and expectations with a suite of products that offers truly world class broadband speeds.”