FT Preps Major Backhaul Rollout
According to multiple industry executives here with knowledge of the tender, France Telecom is planning to source a "significant volume" of network edge multiservice boxes that would enable the carrier to aggregate its growing volumes of traffic from DSL equipment housed in non-urban local exchanges.
The French carrier is said to be looking to simplify its backhaul architecture for rural and remote local exchanges that house ATM-based and IP DSLAMs by installing small, efficient aggregation boxes that can backhaul broadband traffic from multiple local exchanges over a single fiber to the operator's metro networks.
But it's not just doing this in France -- it also plans to include a number of other overseas territories where it has broadband operations.
Details are scarce -- the carrier hasn't responded to Light Reading's questions as of yet -– but those international markets could include Poland, Spain, and the U.K., which are just some of the markets where the carrier offers fixed-line broadband access under its Orange brand.
While the value of the deal is unclear, the prospect of being chosen by France Telecom for this deal has apparently been exciting a number of the companies that were sent the request for proposal (RFP) and invited to bid.
One source suggested that France Telecom had already whittled down the vendors to a shortlist of three, and that a final decision was imminent, although this couldn't be verified.
Some vendors with products that would suit FT's needs are: ADVA Optical Networking , Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Allied Telesis Inc. , BTI Systems Inc. , Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN), ECI Telecom Ltd. , Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , Nokia Networks , Nortel Networks Ltd. , Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB; Frankfurt: BTLA), and Transmode Systems AB .
While a number of those companies are here in Brussels, none was prepared to discuss any ongoing RFP processes.
— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading