The Braga-based company, dstelecom, is a wholesale optical fiber operator, which builds and operates optical fiber networks from north to south of the country and rents its network to retail operators (MEO, NOS; Vodafone and Nowo) to distribution of its services to the end customer, with an emphasis on areas with lower population density. The company takes High Speed Internet, television and landline telephone, provided by commercial operators, through its network to the end customer (families and companies).
The company opened its network to service in Almodôvar, in 2015, at the time with the availability of Vodafone. In 2017 it was the turn of MEO (April) and NOS (June) to arrive. Finally, in March 2020, NOWO also joined the dstelecom network.
At the moment, the company from Braga has a strong investment underway to reinforce and expand the network in Almodôvar, due to the high demand for services and the emergence of new companies, homes and families.
The investment amounts to 600 thousand euros, made exclusively by dstelecom.
Almodôvar now has 5 new network cabinets, known as ROE and 130 new PDO – Optical Distribution Points, the “boxes” that connect services via “drop” to the end customer.
“Everything indicates that we will start releasing the first houses in December. The entire project should be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2024”, dstelecom explains exclusively to Rádio Castrense.
The Almodôvar Industrial Zone should also see Optical Fiber arrive, in an investment that dstelecom wanted to anticipate. The Industrial Zone is identified within the scope of the “white zones” competition. However, “becoming aware of the importance of the fiber network for the companies that are currently based there, we will move forward with the expansion of our network to this area”, states the wholesale operator.
In 2024, the Romanian operator DIGI arrives, which entered the competition to award 5G licenses, and is already building its own fixed (optical fiber) and mobile network across the country. DIGI Portugal should also operate on the dstelecom network, reaching all areas where the Northern company operates.
Rádio Castrense contacted dstelecom and asked the company's Communications Office a set of questions, which promptly agreed to send us a written interview.
Read the full interview:
How important is the reinforcement that is being done in Baixo Alentejo, specifically in Almodôvar?
One of the challenges inherent in building a network of this nature is the flow of people and businesses within the municipality itself. There are areas where we have fiber and there are no families or businesses and there are other areas where new businesses, new equipment and/or new families emerge to connect to the network from year to year. For this reason, at the moment, dstelecom has a plan underway that aims to reinforce the capacity of our network and allow more citizens to enjoy high-speed telecommunications services.
Almodôvar is one of the municipalities where this network reinforcement will take place. An extremely important and pertinent step in an era of digital transition. We are convinced that this multi-operator fiber network, in addition to contributing to the reduction of regional asymmetries, ends up having a positive impact in terms of population retention and the creation of new opportunities in the region, making Almodôvar a more cohesive and competitive territory.
What is the ongoing investment by dstelecom? Are there partnerships?
In addition to the initial investment to build the network, this capacity reinforcement in the municipality of Almodôvar will amount to 600 thousand euros. In this particular case, in addition to the good efforts of the municipality, this is an investment made solely by dstelecom.
What is the objective of the intervention?
With this intervention, dstelecom hopes to reinforce network capacity in the municipality of Almodôvar and, thus, bring optical fiber to more people and companies. Our purpose is to improve the quality of life of populations, guaranteeing them connectivity and, thus, contributing to a better society. This is the motto that moves us. Therefore, we continually seek not only to reach new municipalities, but also to reinforce our infrastructure in the areas of the country where we are already present.
Over time, new homes, new families, new businesses and new equipment appear that require an internet connection. And we are committed to monitoring and meeting these needs not only in Almodôvar but also in the remaining 141 municipalities in the country where our digital highway already reaches.
Which “white” areas of the municipality did not have fiber and will now have it?
This investment of ours aims to increase fiber capacity in our current coverage. Furthermore, we will bring forward the coverage of the industrial zone, an area already identified in the “white zones”.
We remind you that the Government is in the final phase of preparing a new tender to cover the so-called “white zones”. Places where, given the population density, there is no economic rationale to guarantee coverage without subsidy. In the particular case of Almodôvar, you can see on the platform provided by ANACOM that Aldeia dos Fernandes, Rosário and São Barnabé will be covered, hopefully in the short term.
How many new ROE will be installed and in which locations?
The intervention that dstelecom has planned includes the installation of 5 new ROEs.
At the municipality headquarters, 2 new ROEs will be built, in addition to the 3 that were already installed.
Aldeia dos Fernandes and Corte Zorrinho were served for just 1 ROE. 1 new ROE will be installed, with these locations being served by 2 ROEs (1 in each location).
Furthermore, Semblana, Monte das Viuvsa and Guedelhas were served for just 1 ROE. Since 2 new ROEs will be installed, these locations will be served by 3 ROEs (1 in each location).
Will the current lack of network coverage be eradicated in the county seat and/or other locations?
As a result of the capacity reinforcement we are going to carry out, we will provide our infrastructure with 110% fiber capacity in areas where we already have a network. Capacity reinforcement will be carried out at the municipality headquarters and in the towns of Corte Zorrinho, Guedelhas, Monte das Viúvas, Santa Clara-a-Nova and Semblana. In the parish of Aldeia dos Fernandes, we will reinforce the current coverage capacity, but we will wait for the “white zones” competition to expand coverage in this parish.
Will the Almodôvar industrial zone be included, as there is no fiber for local companies in that space?
The industrial zone is identified as part of the “white zones” competition. However, becoming aware of the importance of the fiber network for the companies that are currently based there, we will move forward with expanding our network to this area.
What percentage of the town of Almodôvar and municipality will be operational?
The county seat will now have 100% coverage with 110% capacity. Which means that we are strengthening the capacity to connect families, companies and equipment to the network.
Everything indicates that, with the public tender to cover the “white areas”, the municipality will have coverage very close to 100%.
In any case, Almodovarenses can now check the status of their home's coverage by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with their full address and, ideally, GPS coordinates or reference point.
When is work scheduled to be completed in the municipality?
Everything indicates that we will start releasing the first houses in December. The entire project is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2024.
How many new PDOs will be installed?
In total, as a result of the installation of 5 ROEs (network cabinets) dstelecom will install 130 new PDOs (Distribution Boxes) in Almodôvar.
What does Almodôvar gain from the ongoing intervention?
The people of Almodovar, with this multi-operator network, now have the possibility of choosing telecommunications services from any national operator, at competitive prices, with equal offers throughout the national territory using the best telecommunications infrastructure on the market.
As we have already mentioned, we are convinced that this reinforcement of the capacity of the fiber network will offer a set of added values that will inevitably contribute to the settlement of the population and the creation of new opportunities in the region, particularly with regard to the creation of companies and new jobs.
Teleschooling, teleworking, telemedicine, teleassistance and other practices that depend on the existence of a good internet connection will become a reality for more citizens and, with them, Almodôvar will certainly become an even greater municipality competitive.
Should DIGI Portugal join the dstelecom network in 2024?
dstelecom's optical fiber network is a neutral infrastructure, which means that any operator who wants to be present on it and sell its services in the areas we cover will be able to do so.
We are proud to say that we have contracted services with all operators operating in Portugal. And DIGI will certainly not be an exception.
Is there any other ongoing investment by dstelecom in the Beja district?
In 2024, we plan to reinforce our network in Moura (municipality headquarters), with completion of the work scheduled for the beginning of the second quarter of the year. In addition to the 1,200 homes already covered, we will reach 3,800 new homes. A financial investment that amounts to 800 thousand euros.
Source: Radio Castrense