MILAN and BRUSSELS, March 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
Proximus is ahead of schedule with the "Mantra" project, i.e. the conversion of its legacy fixed telephony network to a future-oriented network that costs less and more flexibly responds to the needs of customers. By turning off its last EWSD-voice switch (Electronic Worldwide Switch Digital), Proximus reached a major milestone in this joint project with Italtel. The project is due to be completed ahead of schedule by the end of 2017, instead of the end of 2018.
The so-called Proximus Mantra Switching Outphasing program is a joint project with Italtel, a leading telecommunications company in next generation networks, services and IP communication.
In 2013, Italtel was selected by Proximus as its partner for this Mantra project, in order to decommission the Proximus legacy network. The new all-digital network will bring many advantages such as increasing the reliability in terms of operations and network management, reducing the operating costs and allowing Proximus to meet its customers' ever-changing needs by offering even more digital and high-value services.
Since the beginning of the project in 2013, more than 10,000 pieces of the future access (Access Gateway) equipment have been installed in the network and more than 570km of cabling has been deployed to connect this equipment to the distribution frames. More than 1.7 Million voice lines (PSTN) have been migrated, allowing the full shutdown of all the 475 EWSD switches.
"When you close down a switch every single line counts, with payphones, pair gain systems, data quality and tailor-made products requiring particular attention," said Stefano Pileri, CEO at Italtel. "As such, this stage of the decommissioning project was a major undertaking and its completion gives us confidence for the remainder of the project which we are aiming to complete ahead of schedule."
Thanks to this achievement, the project - originally scheduled to take place over five years from 2013 to 2018 - is now expected to be completed by the end of 2017.
"Moving towards a network solely based on fiber, VDSL and wireless technologies will put Proximus in a more cost-effective position, leaving us with very few technical buildings. Getting rid of legacy technology is becoming as important as the introduction of new network technology and belongs to the most complex projects", said Johan Luystermans Director Network at Proximus.
Italtel designs, develops, implements solutions for NGN and NGS; Professional Services dedicated to the design and maintenance of networks; IT System Integration Services; Network Integration and migration activities. Italtel counts among its customers more than 40 of the world's top TLC Operators and SPs. In Italy Italtel is also reference partner of Enterprises and Public Sector for the deployment of IP Next-Generation Networks and for the development of multimedia convergent services for their customers. Italtel is present in 25 countries including France, UK, Spain, Germany, Poland, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia.
Proximus (Euronext Brussels: PROX) is the leading provider of telephony, internet, television and network-based ICT services in Belgium through its Proximus and Scarlet brands. Proximus' aim is to deliver the best customer experience and to simplify the customer journey by offering accessible and easy-to-use solutions to the residential, enterprise and public markets. Proximus' high-quality interconnected fixed and mobile networks offer access anywhere and anytime to digital services and data, as well as to a broad offering of multimedia content. Proximus is active in Luxembourg through its affiliates Telindus Luxembourg and Tango and in the Netherlands through Telindus Netherlands. Its subsidiary BICS offers best-in-class international wholesale solutions for voice and mobile data service providers worldwide. At the end of 2015, Proximus had around 14,000 employees and generated an underlying revenue of EUR 5,994 million.