Powering Safaricom toward ultra-broadband services with Nokia’s GPON-based FTTx solutions

The ever-increasing devices and connections, as well as a more recent increase in remote-working requirements globally due to COVID-19, have led to an exponential surge in bandwidth demand and consumption.  With this, Communications Service Providers (CSPs) are now shifting gears to deploy efficient and cost-effective solutions.

Like many CSPs across the world, Safaricom PLC in Kenya also witnesses growing demand for higher capacity and speed. Especially while end-user and enterprise customers’ behaviors shift during this COVID-19 time, the operator wants to boost fiber-to-the-home penetration in Kenya being the leader in this domain. In March 2020, the upstream bandwidth consumption in Kenya increased over 300%, compared to the same period last year (source: testmy.net).

This is why Safaricom decided to deploy state-of-the-art fibre access network using Nokia’s Gigabit Passive Optical Networking (GPON) technology.  The solution will deliver capacity and reliability needed today, while being ready from the day 1 for future proof capabilities, such as next generation PON, software-defined access networks (SDAN) and 5G transport. This will enable Safaricom to expand and upgrade its network as needed, while making the most of its fibre investment.

Next-Generation-PON deployments are accelerating worldwide, giving operators the opportunity to converge residential, business broadband and mobile any-haul on one infrastructure, create more revenues and decrease cost -to-serve. Safaricom’s fiber access network is ready to be upgraded to 10Gb/s when needed and deliver business value for decades to come.

Deployment of Nokia’s GPON will enable Safaricom to seamlessly expand broadband services and support commercial 5G services by upgrading to Nokia’s Next-Generation-PON. With a robust and future-ready network aided by automation, Safaricom can cater to an array of requirements – whether it is planning a new build, a mass migration or some tactical update.

James Maitai, Director Network of Safaricom Kenya, said, “With the increasing demand for fiber-to-the-home and fiber-to-the-building by our customers and a growing fiber infrastructure footprint, we were looking for a partner who could help us meet this demand with a best of breed solution and a proven ability to offer open, scalable, interoperable solutions which are future-ready and will not require an immediate fork-lift upgrade.

“Nokia has demonstrated a product roadmap that will meet our existing GPON and future XGS-PON technology demands coupled with a software offering that will aid in more complete automation of provisioning of customer services. They will enable us to better manage cost and derive even more value from our significant wireline investment.”

Safaricom – which is already in the process of initiating a country-wide FTTx rollout in Kenya – will further benefit from Nokia’s future-proof ISAM portfolio that enables customers to efficiently upgrade to NG-PON, SDAN and automation in provisioning when network requirements demand these services.

Having Nokia as a trusted partner can enhance the fast-track journey of CSPs owing to our rich customer-driven portfolio of solutions. Nokia’s GPON and FTTx solutions are designed to cater to the changing demands of the masses while preparing for the possible challenges in future. We are working harder than ever to realize the 5G dream. Get in touch with us to make us a part of your 5G journey.