OCTOBER 11, 2007 -- Golden Telecom Inc. (search for Golden Telecom), facilities-based provider of integrated telecommunications and Internet services in major population centers throughout Russia and other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and its subsidiary, Corbina Telecom, today announced the results of the first stage of its "Triple-65" project--the rollout of fiber-optic networks in major cities of Russia using fiber-to-the-building (FTTB) technology.
In the last three months, Golden Telecom and Corbina Telecom say they have added almost 65,000 broadband subscribers in the most competitive market of Moscow. The companies added 184,600 subscribers in 2007 in total, increasing the number to 299,600 by the end of September 2007.
In Russia, during the previous three months, Golden Telecom and Corbina Telecom say they have added approximately 86,000 new broadband subscribers. During the first three quarters of 2007, the total amount of subscribers for both companies increased from 243,400 to 383,400.
In the company's original FTTB project plan, 7.9 million households with a total population of 23.9 million people in 12 cities were expected to be covered with the fiber-optic networks by the end of 2007. Today, the companies say they are 50% ahead of the original plan and, by the end of 2007, will coverI11.6 households with a total population of 34.9 million people in 24 cities.
"We have already doubled what we originally planned," claims Jean-Pierre Vandromme, CEO of Golden Telecom. "We have been able to accelerate the rollout of the FTTB network and are currently at least a year ahead of our FTTB project original schedule by capturing 50% of the total incremental subsidiaries in Moscow, where we are the fastest growing company in terms of broadband subscribers," he notes.
In the second quarter of 2007, Golden Telecom began testing IPTV services based on Corbina Telecom's infrastructure. The companies' say their IPTV technology is based on a Microsoft platform providing greater flexibility and interactivity than other IPTV services, including more than 100 channels and offering such services as video on demand (VoD), time-shifted TV, Personal Video Recorder (PVR), and other services.
The IPTV services are currently available to Corbina's Moscow broadband subscribers. In the next six months, the services will be available in more than 20 regions, including St.-Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don, Saratov, Nizhniy Novgorod, and the Moscow Region.
"The infrastructure of our broadband network in Russia, where the overall broadband penetration is only 9%, is at the beginning stage of its development and far behind similar projects in developed countries," reports Alexander Malis, general director of Corbina Telecom. "Our FTTB project is the biggest in Europe, and, by 2010, we will be able to eliminate the gap in the use of up-to-date technologies and bring Russia to the leading position among the most developed broadband markets in the world," he says.
According to Malis' estimates, approximately 25-30% of FTTB customers are expected to subscribe to IPTV services by 2009.
The Triple-65 project
In 2006, Golden Telecom decided to use FTTB as its main technology for broadband access. The acquisition of Corbina Telecom in May 2007 was the key element of its implementation. Together, the companies plan to rollout FTTB networks in 65 cities of Russia with a total population of 65 million people, offering broadband access and triple-play services to approximately 65% of the households that dwell in high-rise apartment blocks. Hence the project name: Triple-65. In the targeted areas, there are approximately 100 apartments per building in Russia with 2.8 people per household on average. Thus the total networks will enable access to approximately 15.6 million households with 42.3 million people, becoming the largest broadband network in Russia, say the companies.
Visit Golden Telecom
Find more FTTx news at Lightwave's FTTx Resource Center.