Fastweb, the largest alternative wireline operator in Italy, is seeing a continued increase in both customers and revenues year-on-year. Through its growth and its robust, extensive network, the company is in a strong position to fully participate in Italy’s ultra-broadband revolution aimed at bringing highcapacity connections to the whole country.
Pietro Pelizza, head of sales for Fastweb’s wholesale division, explains how the company can both support this transformation and aid international wholesale customers as it boosts its network.
FASTWEB’S DEEP-ROOTED CULTURE OF INNOVATION DRIVES THE COMPANY TO CONTINUE INVENTING AND DEVELOPING ITS OFFERINGS TO MEET THE NEEDS OF OPERATORS.
What part will Fastweb play in Italy’s expansion plan for ultrafast broadband?
Innovation and agility have been part of Fastweb’s DNA since the company was founded in 1999. It was the first operator in Italy to launch a fibre-optic network and, shortly afterwards, the first in Europe to launch IPTV. The company now aims to offer the latest generation of broadband services to all of its customers.
Fastweb’s network, which today spans more than 40,000km, is constantly evolving in terms of both geographic expansion and use of the most state-of-the-art technologies, such as VDSL and fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC).
Fastweb also recently entered into a strategic partnership with Italian incumbent Telecom Italia that aims to accelerate fibreto-the-home (FTTH) coverage. The two companies plan to invest a total of €1.2 billion in connecting three million homes and business premises in 29 major cities already covered with FTTC by 2020. This will help increase the coverage of Fastweb’s own FTTH network from two million residential and business premises now to five million by the end of the decade.
How does the company’s wholesale division aid international players?
The wholesale division of Fastweb has worked for many years with leading international operators to help them provide a full range of services. These include fibre-optic infrastructure, transport services, layer 2 access services based on both a dedicated and shared network, and layer 3 applications such as direct internet access and network-to-network interface (NNI) services delivered at major international hubs in Europe.
Fastweb also places a significant focus on cloud offerings, and its network reaches all major data centres in the country, as well as key European internet exchange points. In addition, Fastweb was ahead of the game in opening a Tier IV data centre – certified by Uptime Institute – in Milan last year.
The company aims to ensure both a broad presence across Italy and high-quality connectivity, responding to operators’ ever-increasing demand for bandwidth. For this reason, Fastweb is also enhancing its backbone network and developing a new optical transport network (OTN) that provides a higher level of performance in terms of capacity, latency, resilience and restoration.
What other projects has Fastweb undertaken at an international level?
Fastweb is strongly committed to providing backhaul services from landing stations in Sicily and Apulia to the main European hubs.
Over the next few months, two new cables (AAE-1 and SEA-ME-WE-5) will land in southern Italy. With this in mind, Fastweb joined the Open Hub Med consortium earlier this year, which aims to develop an alternative and neutral exchange hub in Sicily to attract content providers closer to the end user in the Mediterranean Basin, Africa and the Middle East, improving performance and the customer experience.
With a fibre-optic backbone that stretches through Italy to Milan and on to major hubs in Europe, Fastweb is ideally placed to help Italy act as a Mediterranean hub and aid the surge in traffic between regions.
What types of operator are Fastweb’s services geared towards?
Fastweb’s wholesale division aims to be a one-stop shop for telecoms operators. In recent years, we have developed services and tools capable of meeting the needs of diverse players in the market, ranging from small local operators that mainly focus on off-the-shelf, highly automated solutions, to international operators that need complex solutions with a large amount of customisation and management.
We offer all those who use our services automated management of the whole product life cycle, from order submission to provisioning and assurance. Our customers have full freedom to manage the products we provide them with, and can capitalise on the speed guaranteed by automation and APIS. But whatever services they choose, we are always on hand to support our customers’ needs.
Pietro Pelizza: Fastweb’s wholesale division aims to be a onestop shop for telecoms operators