From copper to fibre: the evolution of fixed networks

In homes and offices, digital uses are multiplying quickly, with an increasing number of devices, home appliances and business apps relying on an internet connection. We’re deploying new, ever more powerful fixed networks to increase speeds and improve the experience for everyone and everything.

From copper to fibre: the evolution of fixed networks

Our historical operator role

Our operator activity began over a century ago as a fixed access network provider. The market and technologies might have changed a lot over the decades, but the fixed line is still core to our business.

We’re the incumbent fixed line operator in France, Poland, Jordan, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal. In these countries, we operate our own copper local loop to provide voice, internet and television services to personal and business customers as well as other local operators.

In other countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, we mainly offer these services through other incumbent operators via unbundled offers or commercial partnerships.

Fibre optics and high-speed broadband

We’ve been deploying fibre networks for over 10 years, achieving speeds of up to 2Gbps (10 times faster than ADSL) to support a host of digital services. Users enjoy a high quality experience, simultaneous uses (internet, telephone, television, streaming, gaming etc) without a loss of speed, faster reaction times (appreciated by gamers) and a stable signal that isn’t sensitive to the distance to the exchange.

The strategic decision to deploy “fibre to the home” (FTTH) technology has resulted in greatly improved end-to-end fibre performance for homes and businesses. It also means we’re now the leading fibre provider in Europe with more than 40 million connectable homes in France, Spain, Poland and Slovakia. In Africa and the Middle East, we have begun to roll out fibre networks across Jordan, Morocco, Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire.

 38

Million

Number of households connectable to our FTTH network at the end of 2019.

 x7

Increase

In average fixed internet network speeds between 2014 and 2018.

Fixed… over the air waves?

In rural and isolated regions, we offer alternative solutions to enable high-speed broadband. In addition to copper and fibre optic networks, we provide fixed services via 3G, Wimax, 4G and soon 5G. In some places we also offer home and TV services via a satellite connection.

Decommissioning copper

Rapid fibre deployments have signalled the end of copper lines. We’re preparing to decommission our legacy copper network in France in planned phases, in order to support the transition to all-fibre. After an initial pilot phase, this will start in 2023 and should be completed by 2030.