SAN ANTONIO, Texas, Dec. 18 -- SBC Communications Inc. has announced a four-year primary supplier agreement with Alcatel for its fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) initiative. SBC said the agreement will enable it to move forward with further lab testing and field trials, the next steps in developing and finalizing potential use for the next-generation network technology.
Financial terms of the agreement, which SBC said is nonexclusive, were not disclosed.
Alcatel's 7340 FTTU (fiber-to-the-user) solution consists of several passive-optical-network-based elements, including equipment for central office, business and home terminals. In-depth lab testing of the FTTP equipment will be done at the SBC applied research facility, SBC Laboratories.
Field trials of the technology are planned to begin in 2004. Field tests will include FTTP technology configurations for single-family residences, apartment and condominium complexes and small-business locations. The technology that powers FTTP networks, based on Alcatel's solution, is currently up and running in Mission Bay, a mixed-use business/residential community in San Francisco that will include nearly 6000 residential units.
"The potential of fiber-to-the-premises is enormous, and we are very encouraged by the progress that has been made in development of this technology over the past six months," said Ross Ireland, CTO of SBC Communications.
Optical fiber uses hair-thin strands of glass instead of today's copper phone lines and cable lines to provide faster Internet service to homes and businesses. FTTP deployment will depend on results of lab testing and field trials, and clarification of any regulatory guidelines that would apply to FTTP networks.
SBC said Alcatel's designation as a primary FTTP vendor comes after a six-month evaluation process conducted in conjunction with other major telecommunications carriers. Using a set of joint technical requirements, each carrier evaluated several equipment vendors before making individual selections, SBC said.
For more information, visit: www.sbc.com