Board Meeting Convened on 25/08/20
The Board of the OPT-NC, chaired by Yoann Lecourieux, met on Tuesday 25 August 2020 at the OPT-NC’s Headquarters. Among the approved Deliberations and the notes that were presented were information regarding the very high speed wired and wireless internet roll-out strategies and changes in the offering in wired internet in New Caledonia.
Mobile Telecommunication Strategy
The OPT-NC ambitions to use very high-speed wireless internet to provide territory-wide wireless internet coverage, including in every area of activity. The goal is also to increase the number of wireless sites, strengthen the 3G network while continuing the roll-out of 4G. Very high-speed wireless internet enables New Caledonia to reach the same level of connectivity as ultra-connected countries and supports the development of the digital economy locally.
With this in mind, several objectives are being implemented during the 2019-2023 period:
- Expand and strengthen wireless coverage. As part of the 2019-2023 objectives, the creation of 145 new sites over 5 years has been planned, with 95 sites in rural areas and 50 sites to strengthen the coverage in the greater Noumea area. 27 new sites have been set up since 1 January 2019, including 9 in 2020, to expand coverage to 98% of the population.
- roll-out 4G and 4G+. out of 407 wireless sites, 74% or 302 sites are currently 4G or 4G/4G+ enabled.
- Introduce voice on 4G. the goal is to be able to use the 4G/4G+, currently dedicated to data, for phone calls.
- Roll-out new services such as the IoT (Internet of Things), RTTH (Radio To The Home) or 5G while also adapting the networks to these innovations.
- The phasing out of 2G. The OPT-NC has stopped the roll-out of 2G since 2019 and aims to gradually phase out this technology while extending 3G/4G coverage.
The termination of 2G sites was the object of Deliberation n°56/2020 approved during the meeting for an entry into force on 1 January 2023
- Modernize the networks. As it is the case for any high-technology product, the constant modernization of networks is necessary to benefits from the latest bug-fixes, better support, up to date professional development as providers stop supporting old versions, or enable the roll-out of new offerings and network capabilities.
The modernization of platforms on the wireless network was the object of a call for tender which was awarded during the meeting (Deliberation n°52/2020).
Decision regarding a call for Tender awarded to the company INTELIA for the provision and the implementation of a shared data solution to replace the current network platforms.
The OPT-NC’s wireless network is built around radio 2G, 3G and 4 G technologies with more than 400 sites rolled-out throughout New Caledonia.
The subject of the call for tenders was the provision and the implementation of a shared database solution which will replace the current platforms (2G/3G), HSS (4G/IMS), EIR and the wireless network’s authentication function (AuC).
The Board followed the Tender Committee’s advice and awarded the three-year contract to INTELIA for a total amount of 284.584.713 XPF excluding taxes.
Wired Telecommunication Strategy
The process aimed at connecting every New Caledonian to the optic fiber network is continuing and will take around a decade to complete. The objective is to have connected 80.000 access points to the very high-speed network by 2026 and ensure the complete transition from copper to fiber optic. Hence, New Caledonia will further strengthen its position as one of the major digital actors in the South Pacific.
To implement the Very High Wired Speed Program, initially planned over 8 years, for a total budget of 9.5 billion XPF, the OPT-NC has launched 3 major projects alongside other organizational and economic projects (training, changes in working conditions, information systems and services) :
- The roll-out of active equipment (NRO) in technical centers. With 45 active sites, almost every municipality has been equipped for a total of 70.000 available access points. Upcoming work will equip the few municipalities which do not currently benefit from this technology. This issue is notably covered by Deliberation n°53/2020 approved by the Board on 25/08/2020.
- The roll-out of the Shared Optic Access Network (RAOP). The New Caledonian telephone network is divided in 160 section of which 42 have been connected to the fiber network and 21 are in the process of being connected to it. These 63 sections, which have now migrated to fiber, represent 63% of the copper lines. The three provinces and ten different municipalities currently have access to fiber optic. .
- Connecting all customers to the network, directly from their home. 18.000 homes, or 26% of all phone subscribers. had been connected, as of June 2020.
As of August 2020, 47.300 homes have been identified and 18.598 homes have been connected.
20. 000 customers, or ¼ of landline subscribers (69.000) and 1/3 of wired internet subscribers will be connected to the fiber network by October 2020. Since March 2020 interest for Fiber has increased thanks to the generalization of OPTIMO THD access offering speeds of 100 Mb/s and 1 Gb/s to support new uses (4K televisions, game streaming, cloud…) which exceed the capabilities of the 16 Mb/s maximum speed offered by DSL.
Awarding of a Contract to NOKIA SOLUTIONS AND NETWORKS for the Updating of the Multi-Service Active Network
The Board has approved the awarding of a three-year contract regarding the updating of the multi-service network to NOKIA SOLUTIONS AND NETWORKS for a minimum of 100.000.000 XPF excluding taxes and a maximum of 320.000.000 XPF excluding taxes.
Objective: Continue the roll-out of active equipment (OLT, ONT) but also respond to constantly evolving needs to enable new offering and services and cover the operational and maintenance costs of the existing network.
Changes in the « Backbone Network Traffic offering » (TRF) from 1 November 2020
Given the changes in the market, and in accordance with the Administrative Court of Noumea’s (TANC) decision which confirmed the legality of the OPT-NC’s prices, the Board approved the continuation of the changes initiated in the wired internet model, as announced in December 2019, thanks to a new price decrease for the backbone internet network traffic offering (TRF).
|10 Mb/s||55 000 F excl. taxes
or 58 300 F taxes incl.
|11 500 F excl. taxes
or 12 190 F taxes incl.
|one price for 10 Mb/s|
|50 Mb/s||95 000 F excl. taxes
or 100 700 F taxes incl.
|57 500 F excl. taxes
or 60 950 F taxes incl.
|one price for 50 Mb/s|
|100 Mb/s||110 000 F excl. taxes
or 116 600 F taxes incl.
|115 000 F excl. taxes
or 121 900 F taxes incl.
|one price for 100 Mb/s|
170 000 F excl. taxes
|115 000 F excl. taxes
or 121 900 F taxes incl.
|Per 100 Mb/s, from 200 Mb/s to 1Gb/s|
|More than 1 Gb/s||No rate||115 000 F HT
or 121 900 F taxes incl.
|Per 100 Mb/s, from 1,1 Gb/s|
This new price structure represents a 20 % decrease from previous prices.
As part of the complaint submitted by SCCI to the Administrative Court of New Caledonia (TANC) regarding the March 2020 price revision, the decision taken by the TANC in on 06/08/2020/ confirms the legitimacy of a legal monopoly on telecommunications. It also adds that that the price revision approved by the Government covers a market closed to competition and that neither entrepreneurial freedom nor the principle related to freedoms of commerce, industry, and free competition were therefore infringed upon.
To meet the needs of certain companies and collectivities, this TRF offering is now accessible to all.
These measures will be implemented on 1 November 2020, after receiving the Government of New Caledonia’s approval.
Proposal of an Interconnection Offering for a Third Party Operator
As part of the complaint submitted by SCCI to New Caledonia’s Competition Regulation Authority (ACNC) regarding the pricing revision of March 2020, this jurisdiction demands via a decision dated 02/07/2020 that the OPT-NC “make SCCI a non-discriminatory, objective and cost-oriented technical and commercial offer to enable them to access the local backbone network which allows the provision of international connectivity capabilities at high speeds via a submarine cable to enable them to compete fairly and effectively on the market,” no more than 8 weeks after the decision.
The OPT-NC immediately appealed this decision before the Paris Court of Appeal which will hear the case on 24 September 2020.
However, this appeal does not have a suspensive effect and the OPT-NC will therefore submit “a new operator connection offer,” adopted by the Board on 25/08/2020, before the deadline set by the Competition Authority.