Estonia launches Europe’s first 10G EPON optical network

11 May 2017 | Alan Burkitt-Gray


Estonian cable operator Starman has launched Europe’s first 10G Ethernet passive optical network (EPON) as it looks to offer ultra-fast internet services throughout the country.

Starman, the largest cable operator in the country, provides TV, internet and telephone services to one in three households in Estonia. The launch of the network follows nearly two years’ co-operation with Nokia.

“Estonian people have become used to having the internet and associated e-services at their fingertips and with this new network we are ready to offer the next generation symmetric internet connection with speeds of up to 10Gbps,” said Starman’s technology director Jaanus Erlemann.

The goal of Starman for the next five years is to provide 10G solutions to 40% of households in its network in Estonia and to 60% of households in its network in the capital city, Tallinn. 

“This new technology allows us to develop the network based on tomorrow’s needs of clients in a manner that is efficient for us while, at the same time, using an appropriate pricing model – delivering the enormous benefits of fibre almost on a pay-as-you-grow basis,” he added.

Estonia’s minister of economic affairs and infrastructure Kadri Simson opened the network. Last year Estonia opened what it called the first 5G mobile trial in Europe. 

According to Starman, the new network, based on Nokia’s 10G EPON technology, will meet the needs of private and business customers for the next 10-15 years. He added that he felt their experience as a cable operator experiencing the construction of an optical solution would become a valuable reference point for the industry and a trend-setter for other European markets.

The launch was attended by Nokia’s executive manager for cable access, Mark Klimek. He saw the network as providing the key capacity for new and experimental services, such as the Internet of Things and 8K video streaming, as well as various virtual and augmented reality solutions.

“In developing the network, we follow the natural market situation and needs of customers,” added Erlemann.