Nigeria’s 21st Century Technologies rolls out Sub-Saharan Africa’s first FTTH network


21st Century Technologies looks set to lay claim to being the first Sub-Saharan operator to roll out a Fibre-To-The-Home (FTTH) network. It plans to target 10,000 homes in the capital Lagos and has chosen Ericsson as the equipment vendor to deploy the network. The company has ambitious plans to become a Triple Play operator.

The contract includes the latest GPON Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) and will provide high-quality broadband connectivity and support services such as IPTV, high-speed internet access, and voice-over-IP. Deployment to the first 10,000 homes will start this month. The vendor is claiming that it will be able to deliver speeds of between 100 mbps and 1 gbps. No operator in the market is currently offering speeds of this kind.

This technology supports a complete open business model in which consumers can choose any service supplier. In 2007, Ericsson's offering in the areas of fixed broadband access and converged networks was significantly strengthened by the acquisition on Entrisphere, adding a market-leading GPON platform as a complement to our fiber P2P solutions.

Expressing excitement at the development, Managing Director of 21st Century Technologies, Wale Ajisebutu, said "we are delighted to work with Ericsson to deploy and integrate one of the world's most sophisticated network architectures for fiber optics. With the combination of Ericsson's GPON (Gigabit-capable Passive Optical Network) and IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) technology, we can deliver an enriched multimedia experience to our customers."

Under the agreement Ericsson will provide an end-to-end Deep-Fiber Access network with EDA 1500 for GPON access and fiber cables, including Ribbonet and Micronet air-blown fiber systems. The contract also includes Redback SmartEdge 1200 routers and Ericsson's IMS solution for the core network, enabling seamless access to a wide range of multimedia services. Ericsson will also be responsible for network design, deployment and systems integration services.