Parisians Plan EPON Network

Paris looks set to become the undisputed fiber access capital of Europe. With Orange (NYSE: FTE), Iliad (Euronext: ILD), Neuf Cegetel Group (Euronext: NEUF), and cable operator Numericable-SFR already touting FTTH-based services in and around the French capital, a consortium of Parisian communities has announced it is to hook up more than 6,000 businesses to a 1-Gbit/s symmetrical service starting in October. (See Free Unveils FTTH, Better Profits, Iliad Updates on FTTH, 3G, FT Unveils NGN, FTTH Plans, Neuf Makes Acquisitions Count, and Euro Cable Operators Splash Some Cash.)

Sipperec , an authority that organizes power and telecom services on behalf of 86 municipalities around Paris (see map below), has announced a fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network called Sequantic, which builds on the authority's fiber backbone. (See Wave7 Wins Paris Deal.)

The authority has hired contractor and integrator Spie Communications to build out the new access portion of its network and install Wave7 Optics Inc. Trident7 optical access platforms configured for an Ethernet passive optical network (EPON).

The resulting point-to-multipoint network will connect to buildings that house about 6,500 enterprises in 147 business areas located in the municipalities. Sipperec will then sell capacity on the network to service providers, so adopting the "open access" model that is favored by municipal network developments like the Citynet in Amsterdam. (See Amsterdam Commits to FTTH.)

Sipperec's choice to deploy an EPON solution sets it apart from other Parisian fiber access projects, which are deploying either Gigabit PON (GPON) equipment in their point-to-multipoint rollouts or point-to-point Active Ethernet platforms.

EPON, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE) standard for Ethernet in the First Mile (EFM), has been the FTTx technology of choice in Asia/Pacific, especially in Japan, but GPON is expected to dominate PON rollouts in the future. (See Bright Prospects for GPON and PON & FTTx Update.)

News of the Sequantic network deployment, which is due to start delivering services in October, is something of a coup for Wave7, as its equipment will be deployed right under the nose of its main rival for European PON business, Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU).

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

delphi 12/5/2012 | 3:02:57 PM
re: Parisians Plan EPON Network It will not help a bit.

The problem is archaic tax laws, a 36 hour work week, and over 60 days of vacation. No start up in the world would pick Paris.

That is why all the French innovators leave for other countries. Big lumbering gaints survive there but that is it. All you need is decent broadband, the rest is determined by the business culture and regulatory environment.
digits 12/5/2012 | 3:02:57 PM
re: Parisians Plan EPON Network Paris looks like the palce to be to get a fiber connection, whether you're a business or a household.

I wonder what difference this might make to Paris in terms of attracting major businesses, compared with, for instance, London?
digits 12/5/2012 | 3:02:56 PM
re: Parisians Plan EPON Network 60 days of vacation?

All the innovators have left?

Seems to me that France has the regulatory environment that has created a competitive broadband environment that is second to none in Europe.

Let's see if any startups spring up there in the next few years. The FTTx developments must be attracting some attention and who knows how many telecom professionals in the Paris region might be looking for a career change in the near term.

Overall, though, I would agree - there are plenty of alternative locations that look more enticing for startups. BUt France has a new leader -- who knows what the business environment might be like in a few years time.
opticalwatcher 12/5/2012 | 3:02:55 PM
re: Parisians Plan EPON Network "This is no surprise."

GPON offers over twice the bandwidth for the same expensive fiber deployment. And it can do the bandwidth provisioning better than EPON. But who knows, maybe they got some really low-cost EPON equipment.
cmanchera 12/5/2012 | 3:02:55 PM
re: Parisians Plan EPON Network > What has just happened?

There are several EPON deployments in Europe and the US (cable industry is moving in that direction). This is no surprise. What I find interesting is they are adopting an "open access" model, which means they will provision/guarantee bandwidth. I think Wave7 has a good solution.
alandal 12/5/2012 | 3:02:55 PM
re: Parisians Plan EPON Network Every one has been saying that FTTx in Europe is either point-to-point (Packetfront) or GPON (Alcatel). What has just happened?
delphi 12/5/2012 | 3:02:53 PM
re: Parisians Plan EPON Network The original question was will it have an impact on Paris becoming a magnet for business.

Competitive broadband is a nice to have not an imperative to attracting businesses. You need good enough broadband and then the right culture and overall business regulatory environment.

If I want a great wine and dinner in a beautiful location I go to France. If I want 20 hard charging programmers with a great tax break I go to Eastern Europe.

Competitive broadband is awesome for consumer services, low impact for businesses.
digits 12/5/2012 | 3:02:53 PM
re: Parisians Plan EPON Network Aidan
Are you asking about the Paris network, and whther mobile oeprators might use that to offer fixed access services, or are you asking whether mobile operators might find a use for EPON technology?

[email protected] 12/5/2012 | 3:02:53 PM
re: Parisians Plan EPON Network Do we understand how (or if) this might be used by the mobile operators?
digits 12/5/2012 | 3:02:48 PM
re: Parisians Plan EPON Network Fair enough - can't argue with that.

Except the bit about the great wine and dinner... :-)
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