Reunion-based fibre-optic services provider Zeop, through its subsidiary Reunicable, has announced plans to launch fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) services for residential users in the area of Saint-Gilles from April 2013. Online news journal Clicanoo reports that Zeop and Reunicable are co-investors in the new FTTH infrastructure which will cost EUR7 million (USD9.2 million) and cover 11,000 households in the first phase. The development follows the successful trial of fibre-optic services in parts of Pont d’Yves and Bras de Pontho in Reunion, last year. The operator’s new network promises to deliver maximum transmission speeds of 100Mbps and will be open to third-party operators which request to access it.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Zeop is the first and sole fibre-based carrier on the island and ultimately aims to provide 100% coverage of Reunion; it currently serves main cities and towns. The cableco is currently utilising predominantly HFC-based infrastructure in its network but, in partnership with Reunicable, is embarking on a plan to deploy a full FTTH network in Saint Dennis and other major locations across the island. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, equipment vendor ZTE of China is working with Reunicable to deploy FTTH, to allow the cableco to offer next generation multimedia services. The contract with ZTE covers the renovation of Reunicable’s IP/MPLS network, as well as the ongoing deployment of its future fibre-optic network on the island. Launched in March 2012, the project will see ZTE supplying the telco with an end-to-end infrastructure solution based on GPON equipment.
In October last year, the government of Reunion said it was looking to deploy a fibre-optic network covering 100% of the population within ten years of launching the build-out, with work due to start on the project in 2013. The outline of the ambitious plan, which is expected to cost in the region of EUR250 million, was presented to the government, regional authorities and the Caisse des Depots et Consignations (CDC). Within ten years, Reunion aims to construct 6,500km of optical fibre and is hoping to connect 60,000 homes in phase one. It is also aiming to roll out 100,000 fibre connections within three years, it said.