ZTE Germany GmbH says it has signed a contract with Cologne-based IET Holding for the construction of a new fiber-optic network in Germany. Arising from German-Chinese inter-governmental consultations in late August, a contract has been signed with the aim of expanding broadband services to underserved areas in Germany. Also part of this five-year-long infrastructure project is the upgrade of up to 1.5 million households to high-speed Internet access with transfer rates of up to 200 Mbps.
The value of the project is put at $1.3 billion, making it one of the largest projects of its kind in Europe. As the primary contractor, ZTE Germany will deliver the complete technology for this turnkey network and provide all services required for its construction.
The provision of broadband services is important not only for industry and commerce, but also for private households. However, the coverage of "white spots," as required by the broadband initiative of the German federal government, has not yet been accomplished. Approximately one-third of German households, quite a significant proportion, still do not have high-speed network access.
The new network will bring broadband access of up to 200 Mbps to households, public institutions, and companies using FTTH, FTTB, and FTTC as required. Mobile operators in Germany will also benefit from stable and secure optical connections when linking their mobile base stations to the new network. Initially, the network expansion will target areas along an existing IET-owned optical network in Germany. The delivery of backbone network technology for transfer rates of up to 100 Gbps is also part of the contract.
"Completing a rigorous tender process, ZTE proved to be the best partner for this project," said Michael Loth, CEO of IET Holding. "When choosing between the various suppliers we identified four aspects to focus on: the quality of the technical solutions, the pricing, the service offerings, and the company's financial stability. In all respects, ZTE convinced us. We look forward to this new partnership, which certainly opens a new chapter in Sino-German economic relations."
The project partners say it will significantly increase the attractiveness of Germany as a business location whilst improving life and working conditions in rural areas. An essential part of the project will be the close collaboration with local authorities to develop economically viable and flexible operating models.
It is expected that the deployment and operation of the network will create approximately 1,000 jobs in Germany. In addition, IET invites tender offers for network construction materials, equipment, and services from third parties, which are expected to provide small and medium-sized German companies with the opportunity to participate in the project.
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