Orange Belgium to deploy open FTTP pilots in Brussels

Orange Belgium to deploy open passive FTTP pilots in Brussels

21 June 2021 | Natalie Bannerman

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Orange Belgium confirms the deployment of fibre-to-the-premise (FTTP) pilots in Brussels.

The rollout will begin in Evere and Ixelles, where 15.000 residents and businesses will have access to an open and future-proof optical fibre network enabling multi-gigabits speeds. The network will be accessible at passive level to any interested telecom service operator to connect and using their own active network equipment.

“To reach our convergent and fixed connectivity ambitions, Orange Belgium is relying on the Orange Group extensive fibre deployment experience to launch this open passive fibre network pilot,” said Xavier Pichon, CEO Orange Belgium.

“This will allow telecom operators, to bring differentiated offers and services to the market at fair conditions. This initiative will nurture innovation and a balanced competition to the benefits of the customers and contribute to the economic development of Belgium’s Regions.”

The open model enables non-discriminatory access to all enabling any operator to offer differentiated offers to their customers.  It also stimulates competition and innovation as each operator has the ability to rely on its own active network equipment.

“We are delighted to see Orange Belgium making a concrete investment in the deployment of fibre in our municipality,” said Ridouane Chahid, Mayor of Evere.

“In addition to the fact that this project will improve the connectivity of our citizens with a technology ready for the future, we are very pleased with the openness of their model and collaboration with the authorities and other local stakeholders. This is excellent news for our ambition to make Evere a connected, smart and attractive municipality, both for the people of Evere and for the business world.”

A FTTP network allows an optimal experience for residents and businesses with multi-gigabit symmetrical speed and bandwidth, paving the way for future applications.

The choice of open model also reduces disruption for citizens caused by the deployment, as one operation directly allows the customers to choose between several different providers and is more energy efficient.

In support of this, Orange Belgium will closely work with local stakeholders to leverage as much as possible pre-existing infrastructures.

“Optic fibre is clearly a technology of the future, and a lever for the technological and economic development of our municipality,” said Christos Doulkeridis, Mayor of Ixelles.

“It is therefore excellent news that Orange Belgium has decided to invest in this local deployment, especially since the open and collaborative approach that the operator is defending will make it possible to limit the environmental impact of the deployment and will generate savings in terms of network energy consumption. This perfectly fits the way we, in Ixelles, imagine technological progress: reasoned, collaborative and sustainable.”

With the Brussels’ pilot, Orange Belgium is meeting a demand in the Brussels-Capital Region, which is willing to monetise the Region's fibre assets.

While the first phase of deployment will focus on Evere and Ixelles, Orange Belgium intends to extend it to other municipalities such as Schaerbeek.

“I want to transform the Brussels Region into a modern and connected city, so I am delighted that Orange Belgium is also interested in fibre optics,” added Bernard Clerfayt, Minister for Employment, Digital Transition and Local Authorities.

“We are already very demanding when it comes to data transmission. And fibre is the best option in this business. By enabling citizens and the business world to benefit from a stable and high-performance technology, we are resolutely opting, together, to make of Brussels a smart city.”