Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Neuf to Offer 50 Mbps FTTx at EUR29.90 in Paris

Beginning in April, Neuf Cegetel plans to begin offering a FTTx service in Paris priced at EUR 29.90 (including VAT) per month. Like the company's "100% Neuf Box ADSL package", the new offer will include the phone line, unlimited calls to landline numbers in France and over 30 countries, a television bouquet, access to video on demand, and the Neuf Giga online storage service.

The Neuf FTTx service will deliver dynamic bandwidth of 50 Mbps (both uplink and downlinks at up to 50 Mbps). Neuf is also planning to offer a 100 Mbps premium service.

Neuf, which began its fiber rollout in December 2006, is planning to pass one million homes by end of 2009. Coverage areas will include Paris and its suburbs, districts of other major cities, and other areas selected on the basis of rollout costs and opportunities to increase market share.

Neuf Cegetel will mainly be offering all-fiber connections based on FTTH technology ; it will also offer FTTB connection using the existing copper cable and T-plugs already installed, as it is a more rapid and less invasive process, without work at customers' homes.

Since 1998, the company has invested some EUR 2.8 billion on laying 45,000 km of cable, building metropolitan loops in major French cities, and connecting operator and enterprise sites (around 4,000 to date).

CAPEX for the FTTx rollout cost, split over 2007, 2008 and 2009, will be around EUR 300 million. The average cost per customer (including infrastructure through to the home, plus connection) is expected to be around EUR 1,200.

Neuf Cegetel has also recently acquired Médiafibre, which serves around 3,000 FTTH customers in the city of Pau (among around 40,000 homes passed). On 20 February 2007, the group announced an agreement to take a controlling stake in Erenis based in Paris. This transaction should be finalized in March. In addition, the group's LD Collectivités subsidiary recently won its first public contract to develop FTTH in the Paris region. Through Erenis (operational in FTTx since 2003, with over 55,000 homes passed and over 10,000 customers connected), Neuf Cegetel will lead the field on FTTx rollout in Paris. The group expects a sharp increase in the number of homes passed over the coming months, as negotiations are finalized with landlords of many buildings within the programme's coverage area.


  • In September 2006, Neuf Cegetel agreed to acquire AOL's French Internet access business, including 500,000 broadband customers, and its AMSE operation, which manages AOL France's customer service operations (500 people), for EUR 288 million.

  • Neuf Cegetel's two key shareholders are the Louis Dreyfus and SFR groups.

  • In September 2006, the Iliad Group's Free division, unveiled plans for a widescale rollout of FTTH in Paris. The company said the new network would give it true independence from the incumbent operator, France Telecom. The project is expected to take 24 months to reach 2.1 million people. Free plans to invest EUR 1 billion in the project through 2012. The company initially will targets areas were its Freebox installation density is greatest. The Freebox HD's ADSL2+ terminal will be replaced by an optical box. The company plans to offer a EUR 29.99 per month service that includes 50 Mbps Internet access, HD TV, and unlimited calling to numbers in France and certain international locations.

  • In December 2006, France Telecom announced plans for a FTTx rollout in Paris using a GPON architecture. FT aims to have 150,000 to 200,000 customers connected by the end of 2008 out of a potential client base of 1 million.

See also