Swedes Need 1-Gig

11:45 AM -- If you want to know what's going to happen in the telecom services world in the rest of Europe in five years time, look and see what's happening in Sweden right now. At least that's what my granny used to say.

If she was right (and she invariably was), we bandwidth-starved Brits and our friends across the English Channel can look forward to some top-class broadband in a few years, because data service demands and intense competition are forcing Swedish network operators to turn to their local equipment behemoth, Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), for technology that can deliver multiple 1-Gbit/s fiber-to-the-home connections.

And the Giant Swede duly obliged. (See Ericsson Unveils P2P FTTH Platform.)

According to the vendor, the development of its 32-port GigE EFN432 access node, which provides point-to-point (P2P) fiber access connections of up to 1 Gbit/s downstream and upstream, was partly driven by demand from Swedish broadband operators (mainly municipal networks) feeling the competitive pressure from cable operators such as Com Hem AB that are now offering broadband services with top-line downstream speeds of more than 100 Mbit/s.

The vendor, which faces competition from the likes of Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , and PacketFront AB in the P2P FTTH equipment market in Europe, says demand is coming from elsewhere as well, including the US and Singapore, as well as other European markets.

Ericsson has already landed some significant scalps with its GPON platform for FTTH deployments. (See BBWF: Ericsson Enters AT&T's GPON Domain, AlcaLu Lands GPON, 3G Deals in China, and Ericsson Scores GPON Wins in China.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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