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Sonaecom Selects Telcordia Network Engineer for FTTH Roll-Out in Portugal

July 13, 2009

Sonaecom Selects Telcordia Network Engineer for FTTH Roll-Out in Portugal

By Amy Tierney
TMCnet Web Editor

Portuguese telecom provider Sonaecom has become the latest operator to tap Telcordia for a national Fiber-to-the-Home rollout in its broadband offering to residential customers, the companies announced today.

Telcordia (News - Alert), a company that helps communications service providers, enterprises, suppliers and government entities deploy innovative and advanced services, will use its network planning and engineering solutions to help Sonaecom reduce cost and complexity and boost the time-to-market for its broadband installation.
Specifically, the Piscataway, N.J-based firm – which will have a speaker at Septembers ITEXPO West – will use its Network Engineer solution, a geospatial network management system that offers comprehensive design, documentation and management of the physical network and its associated inventory, to assist with the rollout. The project will service more than 1 million homes in Portugal, Telcordia said.
Sonaecom, a division of the Sonae Group, primarily offers DSL service through its own core network system via a local loop from an incumbent service provider, Laurie Spiegel, Telcordia’s director of product marketing, network and engineering, told TMCnet in an interview. But the company discovered it couldn’t rely on the service provider and wanted to offer a broader array of services over a fiber plant, she said.
The FTTH technology will make users’ Internet service five to 10 times faster than the current DSL offering, Spiegel estimated. In addition, customers can access an array of entertainment and video service, such as high definition TV stations, pay-per-view movie services, and multiple voice lines, she said.
“The most supreme way to offer any kind of high speed service is through fiber directly to residents,” Spiegel said. “There is nothing better. They are really going for the gold here.”
In addition, with Network Engineer, Sonaecom can track network inventory to the customer residence, and eliminate the time and cost to perform those tasks separately in a computer-aided-design system.
“This offers a simpler customer experience,” Spiegel said.
Telcordia’s Network Engineer is scalable and can be used for small towns up to large tier one carriers.
The latest effort is part of a “managed evolution” by Sonaecom to rollout the fiber solution, with the next wave of that process targeting residential customers, Spiegel said. In 2001, Sonaecom deployed Telcordia Network Engineer to carriers and eventually to major industrial areas, including corporate buildings, Spiegel said. Sonaecom uses Network Engineer to support a $354 million FTTH network expansion, which will be available to more than 2.6 million Portuguese residents by 2011, the Telcordia said.
As with any major project, challenges exist to implement the solution, such as the speed of rollout and cost. Telcordia, however, schedules service on a certain day to launch the network without delays. In addition, the company can implement an underlying cost structure for every piece of equipment needed so clients can see in advance what equipment might be required and obtain estimated labor costs, Spiegel said.
The use of fiber optic cabling is proving popular. A recent survey conducted by RVA LLC Market Research and Consulting, on behalf of the Fiber-to-the-Home Council found that 82 percent of respondents ranked having fiber all the way to the home as the leading real estate development amenity.
In May, Telcordia announced Portuguese wireline operator OniTelecom awarded a contract to Telcordia to help the company enhance its overall customer experience, reduce costs and accelerate time-to-market for new services for its corporate customers.
Earlier this year,Telcordia announced it became a member of the SAMENA Telecommunications Council, a telecom consortium encompassing the South Asia, Middle East and North Africa region. The council promotes telecoms innovation, collaboration and knowledge-sharing to encourage the development of world-class global telecoms solutions. It goal is to provide a unified, consensus-based platform for leading operators and service providers in the region.

Don’t forget to check out TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers white papers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users.

Amy Tierney is a Web editor for TMCnet, covering unified communications, telepresence, IP communications industry trends and mobile technologies. To read more of Amy's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Michael Dinan
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