Kyiv-based cellco Kyivstar and Chinese telecom equipment manufacturer Huawei have signed a contract for the supply of switching equipment to develop Kyivstar’s fixed broadband network based on direct fibre technology. Huawei is supplying Ukraine’s largest mobile operator with Quidway S2300 series Ethernet switch equipment, which will be installed in residential buildings, beginning from this month. Kyivstar is deploying Huawei equipment alongside that provided by several other contractors. The rollout will assist Kyivstar (which is in the process of merging operations with Beeline Ukraine/Golden Telecom) in providing fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) internet services at speeds of up to 100Mbps, as well as high speed video streaming, digital telephony, IPTV and data transfer. Currently Kyivstar provides broadband services under the ‘Home Internet’ banner in 37 cities. Its fibre-optic network is connected to over 20,000 apartment buildings that provide access to the internet for more than 2.2 million households. In 2011, Kyivstar is planning to double its broadband coverage area, by adding fibre-optic lines in additional towns as well as those within its existing footprint.