Blueline Challenges Incumbent Broadband Providers with Ribbon's Technology

By Matthew Vulpis June 01, 2022

As the demand for faster and more resilient bandwidth continues to grow around the world, the Optical Transport Network Equipment market continues to surge, with some industry analysts projecting a steady CAGR of 16% between 2019 and 2024.

While most of the demand is being driven in the North American market, service providers around the world are investing in fixed and mobile Internet infrastructure, supporting opportunities to support popular applications for consumers including online gaming, social media, video chatting, and online shopping, as well as enterprise applications (for example telemedicine) that are changing the way nearly every industry operates.

The acceleration of 4G/5G/LTE (News - Alert) growth has been driving investment in optical fiber infrastructure which connects to cell towers where Radio Frequency (RF) photons accumulated from several billion mobile devices are converted to infrared photons and carried over fiber-optic backhaul to the fixed fiber metropolitan, long-haul, regional, and submarine networks, from local to global.

In Madagascar, Blueline, a pioneering telecommunications service provider established in the late 1990s has been contributing to innovation and economic development as the first reseller of Internet satellite solutions (VSAT) and was the first Internet Service Providers (ISP) to roll out 4G LTE technology in 2014.

Since then, the company has built a high-growth business, with connectivity solutions for consumers and businesses, including establishing Blueline, a competitive operator “making the Internet more democratic.” Blueline was the first on-demand Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) service launched in 2011 and is today a major player in the sector with more than 70 channels available on its head end.

Recently Ribbon Communications (News - Alert) Inc. (Nasdaq: RBBN), a global provider of real-time communications technology and IP optical networking solutions announced that Blueline selected their Apollo Optical Networking solution to upgrade the bandwidth capacity of its communications network.

“We needed to quickly expand our bandwidth capabilities in several key cities and had unique requirements for housing critical optical equipment along some very challenging terrain in our coverage area,” said Damien de Lamberterie, General Manager, Blueline. “Ribbon provided us with a customized solution that allowed us to both meet our current bandwidth needs and easily scale as we continue to grow while delivering specialized outdoor cabinets for housing valuable equipment at add and drop points along the route. These customized cabinets included a power supply with 36-hour battery backup that enables the high level of reliability needed in the region.”

The Apollo 9600 Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) and Optical Transport solution provide Blueline multi-service transport capabilities on an energy-efficient multi-wavelength 100 Gigabit (100G) backbone that can be seamlessly upgraded to 200G as capacity needs increase.

“We are pleased to deliver a state-of-the-art end-to-end Optical solution to Blueline, enabling them to offer their customers highly desired high-speed broadband and connectivity communications services,” said Lior Tourgeman, Ribbon’s VP Sales, Africa. “Our Apollo solution provides Blueline with up to multi-terabit capacity in a very small form-factor while offering carrier-grade reliability. We are also extremely proud of the fact that we could design a special solution that enables Blueline to protect its network equipment.”

In addition to delivering the ability to offer the latest in communications services and high-speed bandwidth, Ribbon claims their Apollo solution enables Blueline to significantly reduce operational and maintenance costs through an active monitoring system that traces fiber cuts to within a meter and facilitates quick repairs if lines are cut.

Madagascar's economy has shown steady growth in recent years, benefiting in part from a revived tourist sector. Intensifying competition between the main operators, including Orange Madagascar, Bharti Airtel (News - Alert) (formerly Zain), and the incumbent telco Telma has made room for Blueline, the fourth largest mobile service provider, operating as an MVNO since 2010.

Edited by Erik Linask
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