7 Sep 2009 09:04

China Telecom selects 34 suppliers in PLC splitter tender

Beijing. September 7. INTERFAX-CHINA - China Telecom Corp. Ltd. has chosen 34 suppliers as the winners of its planar lightwave circuit (PLC) optical splitter tender, sources told Interfax on Sept. 4.

China Telecom will purchase a total of 57,000 PLC splitters from the 34 suppliers, which will be used as a core component in the national construction of its FTTx (fiber-to-the-x) network. A total of 51 firms participated in the tender, which was launched at the end of 2008.

Of the 34 suppliers chosen, FiberHome Telecommunication Technologies Co. Ltd. secured the largest share of the contract, however, a breakdown of the contract value will not be released until sometime later this week, according to a China Telecom official, who wished not to be identified.

China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd. also launched its own PLC splitter tender at the end of August with 45 participants, although it has not chosen its suppliers.

According to a China Unicom source, who would like to remain anonymous, suppliers will be assessed on four areas of a comprehensive rating system, of which technology capability counts for 25 percent, price 50 percent, business and marketing strategy 15 percent and after sales support 10 percent.

"Currently, China Unicom's provincial subsidiaries are still in the process of calculating the total contract value of the tender, which has not yet been finalized. However, it will be the biggest PLC splitter equipment tender in China, to match the world's biggest EPON (ethernet passive optical network) equipment tender that China Unicom launched on June 11 to procure 11 million units of EPON equipment. PLC splitters are an essential corollary component for EPON to build its FTTx network," the source said.

"As the construction of FTTx networks in China progress, more PLC splitter equipment tenders will be launched," the source added.

Interfax reported in June that FTTx is now replacing copper cables as the "the last mile" link between backbone transmission networks and Chinese consumers, and that this trend will continue to grow rapidly in 2009. FTTH (fiber-to-the-home) will be the most widely used form of the technology by 2015.

The three Chinese telecom operators are all trialing EPON and GPON (gigabit-capable passive optical network) FTTx technologies, and have already launched several related equipment tenders.