The operator claims to be the first in Italy to launch symmetric 10 Gbps service using XGS-PON technology

Back in early 2019, Open Fiber reported successfully testing XGS-PON fibre technology in Milan that supported symmetric speeds of up to 10 Gbps. Now, Open Fiber is making these capabilities available for its retail partners across its entire national fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) footprint, spanning some 11.5 million homes.

The launch follows Open Fiber spending the last year upgrading its fibre backbone to support the new access network.

“The scalability of networks made entirely of optical fibre is the real strength of our commercial proposal. The 10Gbps service … allows us to open up new scenarios guaranteeing Italy a place among the most technologically advanced countries in the European and world scenario,” said Simone Bonannini, Open Fiber’s Marketing and Commercial Director.

Open Fiber is currently in the middle of its 2018–2025 build out plan, which aims to reach 20 million premises with FTTH, thereby making it Europe’s third largest FTTHp provider.

But Open Fiber is not the only company in Italy exploring the major benefits of XGS-PON. On Saturday, TIM demonstrated its first FTTH connection speeds of to 10 Gbps, using technology developed in collaboration with Nokia. The consumer trials took place in Rome, Turin and Genoa, with the operator suggesting that the XGS-PON tech could increase capacity four-fold for download and around eight-fold for upload. 

"At TIM we are ready to offer the XGS-PON solution in some Italian cities to ensure our customers have ever faster connections that provide the best experience of using digital services: from online gaming to entertainment content and applications for businesses and industrial districts,” said Quang Ngo Dinh, TIM’s Head of Consumer Market.

As key competitors in the Italian market, it perhaps comes as no surprise that TIM and Open Fiber as so aligned when it comes to the development and use of XGS-PON. However, whether their shared technological priorities will extend further as part of a combined, national fibre network remains unclear. 

Despite progress towards a potential merger being arranged late last year, the change of government has led to the combination being reassessed. Whether such a move – effectively recreating the broadband monopoly that took so many years to break up – is wise choice for the market has been debated for years with no real resolution, but what is clear is that lengthy delays in the process will certainly be a detriment to Italy’s digital development.

Nonetheless, some of the key players remain optimistic. Earlier this month, Enel’s CEO, Francesco Starace, said that he still expected the deal to be finalised in the coming months, saying “the change of government hasn’t changed the outlook of the deal”.



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