Russian regional operator Sibirtelecom has launched Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) services in the city of Barnaul, in the Altai Territory of Siberia. The operator will offer subscribers download speeds of up to 1Gbps – which it claims are 100 times faster than its existing ADSL network. Sibirtelecom plans to invest RUB600 million (USD19.8 million) in its GPON network in the Altai region by end-2011, launching a total of 42,000 ports; 5000 ports have been promised by end-2010. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Sibirtelecom’s GPON network launched in April 2010 in Krasnoyarsk, Novosibirsk and Omsk, and was expanded to Kemerovo, Irkutsk and Buryatia in July. Using its GPON platform, Sibirtelecom plans to offer customers a triple-play package, which will include: high speed broadband, fixed line telephony and Twist TV (which currently offers 67 channels). The telco aims to achieve 115,000 GPON subscribers by end-2010.
Elsewhere in the region, fellow regional operator Synterra, which was acquired in June 2010 by mobile operator MegaFon, has rolled out its broadband network in the Krasnoyarsk region, installing two main access nodes in the cities of Kansk and Achinsk, each with a capacity of 300Mbps. All units have been built using equipment from Cisco Systems. The Siberian segment of the Synterra network reportedly includes more than 25 communication nodes, with key nodes located the major cities of Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk, Omsk, Tomsk, Kemerovo, Irkutsk, Gorno-Altaisk, Barnaul, Ulan-Ude, Chita and Abakan. Synterra’s newly constructed network will form part of the company’s digital terrestrial backbone network, which has been earmarked to cover at least 75 regions across Russia. Local operators will reportedly be granted full access to Synterra’s services in Siberia.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Siberia accounts for 29% of Russia’s territory and contains 13.8% of its population. Sibirtelecom recorded 692,000 broadband subscribers at June 2010, and claims to have a 62% share of the broadband market in the Siberian Federal District. Synterra’s subscriber statistics are currently unknown.