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Vendors Close In on Singapore's NGN

Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. are poised to announce contract wins with the operating company of Singapore's ambitious national broadband network project.

As first reported by CommsDay, AlcaLu and Huawei will attend a contract-signing ceremony on Sept. 22 with Nucleus Connect, the operating company of Singapore's national broadband network (NBN), where the vendors' roles will be revealed. (See Singapore Unveils Digital Hub Vision.)

But exactly what the vendors will do for the project is not known at this stage. A media invitation to next week's ceremony, seen by Light Reading, does not reveal what the vendors have been selected to supply. However, it is understood that Alcatel-Lucent's role may be more of a systems integrator than an equipment supplier, according to an industry source.

It is possible that the contracts will detail the supply of GPON equipment for the nationwide FTTH project. As Light Reading Asia reported from the CommunicAsia trade fair in June, Nucleus Connect is deploying GPON equipment for residential broadband access and a mix of GPON and point-to-point Ethernet to reach businesses. (See Singapore Makes FTTH Strides .)

What about Ericsson?
Another potential supplier of GPON equipment for the NBN is Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC). The Swedish vendor's BLM 1500 GPON gear was even on display in a mock-up of a central office cabinet for the FTTH deployment at CommunicAsia in Singapore in June. In the display, Ericsson's gear was next to Huawei's fiber access equipment. Is there still a chance for Ericsson in Singapore's next-gen program? (See Ericsson Scores GPON Wins in China.)

Nucleus Connect is a wholly owned subsidiary of StarHub , which won the tender in April this year to run the operating company, or "OpCo," of Singapore's next-gen national broadband network (NBN). The OpCo is tasked with deploying the active network elements (routers, switches) and providing wholesale broadband services to retail service providers. (See AsiaWatch: StarHub Lands NGN Role.)

Meanwhile, a "NetCo" is responsible for designing, building, and operating the passive infrastructure of the NBN. The NetCo is run by OpenNet, a consortium in which Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. (SingTel) (OTC: SGTJY) holds a 30 percent stake. (See OpenNet Scores Singapore Deal.)

For AlcaLu, the contract signing next week will be its second engagement with Singapore's NGN. The vendor announced last week that OpenNet selected it to be the systems integrator for the operations and business support systems (OSS/BSS) that manage the FTTH platform rollout. (See OpenNet Picks AlcaLu.)

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

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