The government of Poland has awarded a tender for the design, build-out and operation of advanced fibre optic networks to Nokia in partnership with Infracapital, the infrastructure arm of M&G Investments.
Under the contract, the firms will build out networks that deliver broadband service to residences and schools in twelve under-served regions mostly in the northern and central parts of the country. The companies expect to sign an agreement for a thirteenth region in July.
These networks, based on Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) technology, will deliver speeds of 100 megabits per second (Mbps) to more than 400 000 homes and approximately 2 500 schools in the largely rural voivodships (or provinces) of Lodzkie, Swietokrzyskie, Kujawsko-Pomorskie and Warminsko-Mazurskie. Capital expenditure for the project is expected to be approximately €300 million.
The networks will be built and operated as wholesale open access networks, with services to be marketed and delivered by retail service providers. This transformational initiative has been driven by Poland's Ministry of Digitalisation and subsidised in part by grants from the EU under its EU Digital Agenda 2020 program. This program targets the delivery of fast broadband services with download speeds of at least 30 Mbps to all EU citizens, and at least 100 Mbps to 50% of EU citizens, by 2020.
Beginning in 2018, these under-served regions of Poland will benefit from a high-speed, high-quality and resilient fibre network that can deliver ultra-broadband services that will help to better connect schools, provide e-health and digital services and deliver socio-economic benefits, as well as supporting residential triple-play services such as HD video streaming, 4K TV, and real-time gaming.
In addition to the broadband network infrastructure, Nokia will provide a variety of professional and maintenance services. Nokia is responsible for the project management, planning, design and deployment of both the broadband and passive fibre optic network. With its experience and expertise with outside plant networks, Nokia will manage the overall delivery of the passive fibre network rollout up to connecting the schools and homes to the network.
Osvaldo di Campli, head of Global Enterprise & Public Sector at Nokia, said: "For many years, Nokia has been a partner to government organizations like Poland's Ministry of Digitalisation that are looking to deliver broadband connectivity to citizens regardless of their location. This exciting project with our partner, Infracapital, will help to ensure that everyone in Poland who wants a high-speed internet connection has access to that service."