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OGERO launches fiber optics project - A minimum 50 MB/s speed is targeted
OGERO launches 
fiber optics project - A minimum 50 MB/s speed is targeted
Ministry of Telecommunications (MoT) and OGERO are kicking-off the first phase of the fiber optics project (FTTX). The project includes ‘Fiber-to-the-Home’ (FTTH) and ‘Fiber-to-the-Cabinet’ (FTTC), to ensure internet connection speeds of at least 50 Mb/s. 

The plan is to finish the FTTX project in a 40-month period, said Imad Kreidieh, Director General of OGERO.

The FTTX project consists of three phases. OGERO distributed the work between the three companies that were awarded the tender in February 2018. Work will begin simultaneously in urban and remote locations, Kreidieh said.

Serta Channels and its Chinese partner, Huawei, will deploy fiber optic cables in six areas: Beirut, Metn, Kesrouan, Jbeil, South, and Bekaa. The second joint venture between BMB Group and its US partner, Calix, will deploy in Chouf, Aley, and Nabatieh. Powertech and its Finnish partner, Nokia, will deploy its part of the FTTX in the North. 

Technical work includes the installation of active street cabinets, and the connection of primary fiber optic cabling to OGERO centrals. Contracted companies are required to ensure a minimum transmission speed of 50 Mb/s in FTTC locations. 

Amine Soueidy, General Manager at BMB Group, said that companies will also inspect existing copper wires in FTTC locations, and will maintain them if necessary. Copper wires that have not been maintained will reduce data flow speed. 

FTTX infrastructure will allow OGERO to create an environment for private internet and data service providers that wish to use the FTTX network. End-users will benefit from improved basic internet connections, as well as advanced services such as video-on-demand and Internet Protocol TV (IPTV). 

The Cabinet approved a $100 million advance to OGERO in October 2017. The FTTX has an estimated overall cost of $283 million. It is expected to have a positive impact on the economy, with state revenues reaching $1 billion over a four-year period, according to OGERO estimates.

Reported by Samer Rasbey