On October 25, the ZTE Fixed Network User Conference was convened in Berlin, Germany during Broadband World Forum (BBWF) 2017. More than 20 operators from Europe and across the world attended the conference, where they discussed fixed network construction modes and shared their experience in building networks in the new broadband era. ZTE also showcased its latest achievements in the next-generation broadband space at the conference.

The conference featured addresses by representatives from NetCologne, which is a regional leader in broadband acceleration in Germany, and Open Fiber, which is a main driver of optical broadband deployment in Italy. Both operators are dedicated to building high-speed, reliable, and cutting-edge broadband networks.

 NetCologne: Introducing Gigabit Access with G.fast

At the ZTE Fixed Network User Conference, Stefan Foerster, director of access and transmission at NetCologne, expounded the present situation and future trend of broadband deployment in Germany and the European Union as well as NetCologne’s experience in the fibre access field. Mr. Foerster focused his address on the operator’s FTTB 2.0 network architecture and construction plan based on the ZTE G.fast solution while also describing in detail the highlights and product characteristics of the ZTE solution. With the help of ZTE, NetCologne upgrades one of the biggest FTTB networks in Germany to G.fast and strengthens its leadership in the German broadband market

NetCologne is a leading regional operator in Germany that offers reliable, future-proof telecom services to residential and business users. In 2016, ZTE and NetCologne entered into a strategic partnership in the field of access networks. The two sides pledged to work together to enhance the capability of NetCologne’s FTTB broadband access network with an innovative G.fast solution. In May 2017, ZTE and NetCologne took the lead to showcase and field-test the G.fast@212MHz solution in Cologne. The test delivered an actual access rate of up to 1.8 Gbps, ushering NetCologne’s network into the era of FTTB 2.0 and marking the first time that the solution had been released through a field test.

In the coming years, ZTE will help NetCologne deliver gigabit access to up to 450,000 households. In the process ZTE will continue to employ its innovative technology to build a gigabit infrastructure in Germany.

Open Fiber: Building a Nationwide FTTH Network

Domenico Angotti, an executive for broadband network business at Open Fiber, explained at the ZTE Fixed Network User Conference the situation of the broadband market in Italy as well as the opportunities and challenges facing Open Fiber. Mr. Angotti noted that, spurred by the national broadband policy of Italy, Open Fiber looks forward to collaborating with ZTE in building a nationwide FTTH network that will provide users with better broadband access services.

Open Fiber is currently owned by 50% by Enel and 50% by CDP (Cassa Depositi and Prestiti). Enel is the third largest electric power company in the world and the biggest public utility in Italy. To expand into the optical service business, Enel set up a subsidiary with the brand name of Open Fiber. Previous broadband deployments in Italy had been dominated by FTTC technology, with operators hesitating to roll out FTTH. Encouraged and supported by the Italian government, in March 2016 Enel unveiled a 3.9 billion euro initiative for FTTH deployment for Cluster A&B (271 Main Italian cities) in 5 years.

The FTTH initiative of Open Fiber will cover 9,6 million households for Clusters A&B, equivalent to 60% of italian population according to local governments guidelines also complying with EU Digital Agenda. Open Fiber is also addressing the additional 40% (Clusters C&D, suburban and rural areas) with public fundings. In July 2017, ZTE signed a framework agreement with Open Fiber to become its exclusive fixed access network supplier and was awarded a purchase order (PO). Currently ZTE is actively working with Open Fiber to plan and build the nationwide FTTH network.

At the ZTE Fixed Network User Conference, ZTE displayed its latest fiber and copper access products, drawing interest from numerous attendees. As a broadband gear provider with a Top 2 ranking worldwide, ZTE collaborates with over 150 operators in Europe and across the world on broadband projects. ZTE’s new-generation flagship optical access product, the TITAN, has a capacity four times the industry’s current highest level, and the 100G PON symmetrical prototype released by ZTE is the first in the industry. Both the TITAN and the prototype meet operator’s service requirements of the next decade. In addition, ZTE’s G.fast solution has been deployed by 30-plus operators in the globe.

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