Swiss fixed line incumbent Swisscom has selected Chinese vendor Huawei as its strategic partner and supplier for its fibre-to-the-street (FTTS) network rollout. The eight-year deal, worth around CHF300 million (USD326.42 million), covers the supply of active network elements to be installed in Swisscom’s cable ducts and construction projects. The deployment is part of Swisscom’s plan to provide ultra high-speed internet access to 80% of Swiss households by 2020. Whilst fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) and fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) networks are being installed in urban centres, Swisscom plans to deploy FTTS in outlying areas to minimise expenses. FTTS represents a cheaper alternative to FTTH, as it involves the installation of fibre cabling to within around 200m of buildings with the final distance covered by copper cables. Swisscom claims that its FTTS is capable of supporting bandwidths of 100Mbps, with the potential to upgrade to 400Mbps within three to four years. Swisscom trialled the technology in late 2012 in Charrat, Grandfontaine and Flerden and will begin its full rollout from the end of 2013.
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