Czechs plot accelerated fibre future

Created November 14, 2019
News and Business

T-Mobile Czech Republic AS has announced that it expects to have made optical connectivity available to over 100,000 households by the end of this year, in the process offering 10 Gbits/s to would-be customers. Longer term, the Deutsche Telekom-owned mobile and converged operator aims to cover 1,000,000 premises with fibre by the end of 2025.

“The optical network is the future of T-Mobile. We assume that customers’ interest in even faster data on the fixed network will continue to grow,” stated Juraj Bóna, Managing Director of T-Mobile Czech Republic. “This year, we have reached 100,000 households covered by optics and we want to continue this trend next year. Everything will depend on the pace of building approval and our ability to obtain construction permits. There are indeed many sites under negotiation. And, of course, also working with local ISPs.”

The most recent example of T-Mobile’s approach to broadband expansion by working with ISPs was the acquisition of Planet A. This telecommunications operator, which provides services in Prague under the “aim” brand, became a subsidiary of T-Mobile as of 31 October 2019.

T-Mobile says it will continue to expand optical Internet access, and notes that the present state of Internet connection in Czech towns and municipalities does not meet the growing demands of households and companies for quality and fast connection. The company maintains that the solution is optical Internet, but cites a survey by the Kantar research house that only 15% of Czech users have it, especially in the largest cities. However, the operator warns this will not be enough in the next few years. It concludes that municipalities that do not actively pursue the introduction of optical Internet will start to fall behind, just as if they had refused to introduce railways a hundred years ago.

The T-Mobile news comes weeks after the Czech national telecommunications wholesale provider Czech Telecommunication Infrastructure AS (CETIN) said it had launched an investment programme that will offer an FTTH  connection to 1,000,000 households in the country over the next 7 years.

This year the wholesaler has begun what it says is massive construction and modernisation of FTTH and FTTB optical networks.

“Connecting fibre optic households is not yet common, but a trend that is irreversible. CETIN has therefore launched an investment programme that will connect 1,000,000 households with an FTTH optical connection over the next 7 years,” commented CETIN CEO, Juraj Šedivý. “We will bring the best technologies not only metaphorically into the living room.”

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This article was written
by John Williamson

John Williamson is a freelance telecommunications, IT and military communications journalist. He has also written for national and international media, and been a telecoms advisor to the World Bank.