Nokia and Bulgarian operator Vivacom penned a deal to upgrade the latter’s fibre broadband network and connect customers to new heights of high-speed gigabit broadband services, while also laying the foundations for a commercial 5G launch.
In a statement, Nokia detailed the deal involves an extension of the operator’s Gigabit Passive Optical Networks (GPON) and introducing XGS-PON in strategic locations to connect more than 1.5 million households in Bulgaria’s major cities.
The upgrade will enable Vivacom to eventually offer broadband packages with up to 10Gbps download speeds, which is apparently ten times faster than current top-tier services and the first to target that speed bracket in Bulgaria.
Vivacom also pledged to extend its GPON network into new areas replacing active ethernet infrastructure with passive optical network and upgrading top tier customers to XGS-PON.
Nokia will be the sold equipment provider of Vivacom broadband upgrade plans. The vendor stated its solutions lays the groundwork needed for the operator to eventually launch 5G.
The country planned to hold an auction for 5G spectrum in Q2 this year, although plans seem to have been pushed back, as they have in other EU countries, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Atanas Dobrev, Vivacom CEO, bullishly claimed the operator was at “the forefront of European operators” and with this deal had “taken a major step” to providing the fastest fibre broadband service in Bulgaria.
“Trusting Nokia with building best in class XGS-PON infrastructure we set the course towards providing 10Gbps broadband services, creating differentiating and more attractive service bundles. In addition, the high capacity fibre networks complement our mobile network and strengthen our position in the upcoming 5G world”.
Sandra Motley, Nokia president of fixed networks, noted there is an “increasing momentum for fibre access deployments and upgrades to XGS-PON” particularly as broadband access demand had increased “dramatically”.
“We are bringing Vivacom solutions that help it to smoothly evolve its networks by leveraging its existing assets and providing advanced capabilities for future growth.”