After Free and SFR, Bougyes Telecom has announced the launch of its first 8 Gbit/s fiber optic offer. This new service, available today, is based on XGS-PON technology. An alternative to that employed by Free which seems to put the company on a new competitive trajectory.
Bouygues Telecom thus joins the less and less restricted club of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that offer download speeds of over 2 Gbit/s. After Free and SFR, the operator has reached a significant milestone with this new offer which reaches 8 Gb/s. The official announcement of this offer was made in a press release in which Bouygues Telecom did not fail to highlight the advantages of this new proposal.
The major innovation in this offer lies in the technology used. Indeed, Bouygues has chosen to adopt the technology XGS-PON, like SFR, to deploy its 8 Gbit/s fiber. This technology, which differs from that used by Free, is accessible thanks to the Debit+ option at 5 euros/month.
RED box Fibre
Débit jusqu’à 500 Mb/s
Sans Player TV
Téléphonie vers 100 destinations
Bbox fit Fibre
Débit jusqu’à 400 Mb/s
Sans Player TV
Téléphonie vers 110 destinations
SFR Fiber Netflix
Flow rate up to 1 Gbps
160 TV channels included
Telephony to 1 destinations
All internet boxes
What is XGS-PON
The majority of FTTH (Fiber To The Home) offers available on the market are currently based on GPON (Gigabit Passive Optical Network) technology. With this technology, a total of 64 subscribers share a capacity of 2488 Mb/s (i.e. 2.5 Gb/s) in downlink speed and 1244 Mb/s for uplink speed. In general, the most efficient GPON offers offer each subscriber a download speed of up to 2 Gb/s and an upload speed of 600 Mb/s.
Free stood out from the competition in 2019 by launching the technology 10G-EPON. This technology makes it possible to reach a download speed of 10 Gb/s, shared between 32 subscribers, but keeps the upload speed at 1244 Mb/s. The Freebox Delta thus offers a download speed which is at least four times higher than competing offers, reaching 8 Gb/s, with a slightly higher upload speed of 700 Mb/s.
However, the other three national operators have chosen to turn to technology XGS-PONOr 10 Gigabit-capable Symmetric Passive Optical Network. This technology has the major advantage of offering symmetrical speeds, ie identical speeds in reception and transmission, which reach the mark of 10 Gb/s. This is a considerable asset that helps maintain a balance between upload and download speeds, thus improving the overall user experience.
We can say that Bouygues Telecom, like SFR, therefore do better than Free. Moreover, nothing prevents Bouygues Telecom from offering a much better upstream speed, since one can theoretically imagine symmetrical speeds of 10 Gb/s.
The limits to know
First, it is important to note that the number of households that can benefit from this technology is still very limited. Due to their passive nature, fiber optic networks that are deployed from Optical Connection Nodes (NRO) up to subscribers are indeed compatible, but each NRO needs to be upgraded. It is an operation which can take time and which is not yet carried out everywhere. For example, Bouygues Telecom currently only offers this offer in Paris. Expansion to other regions of the country is certainly planned, but this requires updating the existing infrastructure, a process that takes time and requires significant investment.
Moreover, few devices are currently able to take full advantage of this high throughput. A complete equipment upgrade is required, including the Ethernet card, NVMe SSD, router, and Wi-Fi 6 or 6E, among others.
However, the principle who can do more can do less applies here. By deploying XGS-PON technology, Bouygues Telecom is preparing for future growth in demand. It may not be so much to respond to an individual increase in consumption, but rather to an overall growth in demand, resulting from the rise of telework and the growing use of online services.
Thus, the major interest of XGS-PON may not lie so much in increasing the bandwidth between the subscriber and his concentration point, but rather in improving the connection between the concentration points and their optical connection nodes. This makes it possible to push back the limits of network saturation during peak hours.
Not surprisingly, Orange will be the next operator to announce the integration of this technology into its offers. This move will mark a new important step in the development of telecommunications infrastructure in France.
The other new Bouygues Telecom
Bouygues Telecom also offers a feature Smart Wi-Fi, combined with two WiFi repeaters included in the Bbox Ultym offer. In addition, Bouygues Telecom plans to offer the Debit+ option to eligible Bbox Pro+ customers, allowing them to take advantage of download speeds of up to 8 Gb/s and 2 Gb/s respectively.