Voda­fone, Wind to build fiber-op­tic net­work

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - VANGELIS MANDRAVELIS

Greek telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion com­pa­nies Voda­fone and Wind yes­ter­day an­nounced their agree­ment to co­op­er­ate in plan­ning and op­er­at­ing next-gen­er­a­tion net­works (NGNs), aim­ing to put pres­sure on the govern­ment, as well as dom­i­nant mar­ket player OTE tele­com, which is head­ing in an­other di­rec­tion.

This co­op­er­a­tion us­ing fiber-op­tic net­works, an up­grade also known as next-gen­er­a­tion ac­cess (NGA), of­fers ex­tremely high-speed data trans­mis­sion ex­ceed­ing 100 mil­lion bits per sec­ond (Mbps), an area in which the country is se­ri­ously lag­ging its Euro­pean peers.

The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion has set a tar­get for the Euro­pean Union to shift to the gi­ga­bit so­ci­ety by 2020, with data trav­el­ing at su­per­high speed as the min­i­mum rate would amount to 30 Mbps. At least half of the broad­band con­nec­tions will then have to have a speed top­ping 100 Mbps, based on fiber op­tics. Fig­ures com­piled by the Or­ga­ni­za­tion for Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion and Development showed that in June 2015 only 0.2 per­cent of con­nec­tions in Greece used fiber op­tics, with an av­er­age speed of 100 Mbps.

Voda­fone and Wind is­sued state­ments yes­ter­day say­ing they will co­op­er­ate for Greece to achieve that tar­get. They have signed a me­moran­dum of un­der­stand­ing and have an­nounced in­vest­ment plans of 1 bil­lion eu­ros, mainly con­cern­ing NGNs in land­line tele­phony.

Their move aims to counter OTE’s plans for the development of very­high-bit-rate dig­i­tal sub­scriber line (VDSL) net­works, which has ex­tended OTE’s dom­i­nance as its ri­vals are forced to re­sell its ser­vices based partly on con­ven­tional me­tal ca­bles. Wind and Voda­fone also ex­pect to uti­lize govern­ment funds of 400 mil­lion eu­ros des­tined for NGNs.

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