Euro Giants Issue NGN RFPs
BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) and Colt Technology Services Group Ltd have both confirmed that they have Ethernet equipment RFPs out in the market at the moment, while industry sources have told Light Reading that both Orange (NYSE: FTE) and Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT) are currently seeking new VOIP-related infrastructure.
BT seeks 21CN Ethernet gear
The U.K. incumbent has a wide-ranging Ethernet equipment ITT (Invitation to Tender) document out with vendors at the moment as it kicks off the next stage of its 21CN buildout process. For the full story, see BT Issues 21CN Ethernet RFP.
Colt issues Ethernet wish list
Pan-European business service provider Colt has confirmed it has an Ethernet equipment RFP out at the moment, but would not specify the extent. "We are going through the process of selecting new vendors for next generation Ethernet services," confirms a spokeswoman in an email response to questions. "However, as the process is ongoing, we cannot give any more information for the moment. We will be able to announce who we have selected in the second half of the year."
Talk in the vendor community is that the RFP covers customer premises, access, and metro switch equipment, and that Actelis Networks Inc. has already been given the nod for the Ethernet-over-copper access network portion of the deployment, though both Colt and the vendor declined to comment on that speculation.
Colt has been one of the pioneers of pan-European Ethernet services, offering point-to-point services for several years and, more recently, point-to-multipoint services, too. And in CTO Alireza Mahmoodshahi, Colt has a major advocate of carrier Ethernet technology. (See Colt CTO: Let's Get Simple, COLT Claims Ethernet Success, Colt Offers Ethernet VPNs, and Europeans Go Crazy for Ethernet Services.)
Now, it is thought, Colt will be looking to source VPLS technology that will enable it to further expand its point-to-multipoint Ethernet service capabilities.
While Colt is well known as a major European customer of Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), there will be plenty of competition to meet the carrier's needs. (See Cisco Certifies QOS.)
One of the many vendors almost certain to pitch for much of Colt's new business is Chinese vendor Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , which already supplies the carrier with customer premises Ethernet equipment and which has had its carrier Ethernet switches put through their paces by Colt's technical team. (See Huawei Claims Another Euro Scalp.)
But Mahmoodshahi has said before that, while the test results from Huawei's gear were "promising," the Chinese vendor, well known for its competitive pricing, would need to deliver more than an enticing financial proposition to win any business. (See Colt Plans Ethernet Splurge.)
FT enters new IMS phase
France Telecom is believed to have issued a new RFP for IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) technology as it works with a sizeable team from Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) on its first phase. The Swedish vendor landed a major IMS deal from the French incumbent last year, and is reported to have a team of about 100 engineers based in Paris working with the carrier. (See FT Picks Ericsson for IMS.)
Details about the IMS Phase Deux are scant, and the carrier had not responded to requests for more information as this article was published.
And according to industry sources, France Telecom has also recently issued an RFP for gigabit passive optical network (GPON) gear for the next stage of its fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) pilot, with Alcatel (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA) pressing hard to win the spoils. (See France Telecom Plans FTTH.)
Across the border, FT's neighbor and rival Deutsche Telekom is reportedly in the closing stages of sourcing some new VOIP-related equipment as it bolsters its IP capabilities. The carrier last year announced a major new broadband access network investment with a view to launching multiple IP-based services, including IPTV, later this year. (See Alcatel, ECI Land DT Gig, DT Uses Microsoft for IPTV, and DT, TI Set to Spend Big on Broadband.)
— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading