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Starman and Nokia deploy first nationwide 10G EPON in Europe

Nokia and Starman, the largest cable operator in the Baltic States, plan to deploy the first nationwide 10-gigabit Ethernet Passive Optical Network (10G EPON) in Europe.

This deal also makes Starman the first cable provider in Europe to provide commercial services to residential customers based on the latest 10G EPON equipment.

Starman says the new network will allow it to cost-effectively deliver faster broadband services to residential customers living in Estonia and meet growing customer demand for high-speed, high-quality triple-play (voice, internet and cable) services. The network will be gradually rolled out in the fourth quarter of 2016 throughout Estonia, after successful lab and field tests.

With a cable network that connects one in three Estonian homes, Starman is seeing a clear shift from broadcast TV to on-demand TV and video services, and internet traffic is growing about 50 per cent year-on-year in one of Europe's most technology-savvy countries. Based on these subscriber demands, Starman decided to employ a future-proof technology that ensures their network can deliver one gigabit speeds to each customer in the near term and up to 10Gb/s when required. 

The news shows how cable operators globally are considering deep fibre and fibre-to-the-home deployments as a realistic and cost-effective alternative to upgrading their current DOCSIS®3.0 hybrid-fibre coax networks to 3.1 (for more on this, see our feature Cable conundrum).

Starman will be able to build a strong business case for upgrading to a fibre network by reusing the existing ducts in the street. The operator also has in-house cabling rights to bring fibre cables to each apartment.

Starman says it selected Nokia’s 10G EPON product line for its cost effectiveness and technological flexibility. Nokia’s 10G EPON product supports DOCSIS provisioning over EPON (DPoE), which allows Starman to integrate the system with the existing cable network and keep using DOCSIS back-end systems. The contract also includes Nokia's optical network termination (ONT) devices, providing consumers with the latest gigabit Wi-Fi technology.

Starman Group technology director Jaanus Erlemann said: ‘When investing in the Internet services we bring to our customers' home, ensuring the technology is future-proof is essential. Today we are choosing solutions that can allow for symmetrical connections greater than 1Gb/s, enabling us to skip some current technological developments and take a seat on the new high-speed 10G train.’

He added: ‘After careful consideration of the different technology options, we determined that Nokia's 10-gigabit fibre network would allow us to deliver the best service and end-user experience to our customers. We chose Nokia because of their unique ability to provide both the latest technology innovations and expertise from their top specialists.’

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