SOURCE: Cisco Systems, Inc.

December 04, 2006 19:00 ET

IPTV Growth Drives FASTWEB's National Network Upgrade With Cisco

Italian Broadband Company Chooses Cisco Technology to Meet Rising Demand for High-Definition Video

MILAN, ITALY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- December 4, 2006 -- ITU Telecom World -- Cisco® (NASDAQ: CSCO) announced today that FASTWEB, Italy's second-largest fixed telecommunications services provider, has chosen to deliver significant enhancements to its national network with the Cisco Internet Protocol Next-Generation Network (IP NGN) architecture. This significant upgrade, implemented by Italtel, a Cisco strategic alliance partner, will expand FASTWEB's national network capacity and enhance quality-of-service (QoS) capabilities in order to support the rising demand for standard- and high-definition video services and the continuing growth of its consumer and business customer base. As of September 30, 2006, FASTWEB had 957,400 customers of which 84 percent were residential and 16 percent were business, and revenues of EUR 897.4 million, up 32 percent from the corresponding figure in 2005.

"The Cisco IP NGN architecture, with its modular upgrade and service flexibility capabilities, fits very well with our business approach of bringing continuous improvement and innovation to our customers, whilst maintaining strong financial performance for our investors," said Guido Roda, ICT services director at FASTWEB. "Our customers value the quality of our broadband services, and the expertise that Cisco brings is helping us maintain our excellent reputation in this area."

FASTWEB was the first operator in the world to develop an IP-based telecommunications network offering voice, data and video over the same high-speed connection using a combination of fiber-to-the-home / fiber-to-the-business (FTTH / FTTB) and digital subscriber line (DSL) networks. FASTWEB offers an extensive range of consumer and business services, including voice and video telephony, 20-megabits-per-second and faster broadband Internet connectivity, virtual private networks (VPNs), audio and video streaming, tele-surveillance, digital and interactive TV, and video-on-demand services. It boasts one of the highest average revenues per household in the European telecommunications industry, and among recently established alternative carriers, it has one of the highest EBITDA margins (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization divided by revenue).

"FASTWEB was the first operator to fully embrace IP, and it has shared the same vision as Cisco of multiple services and applications delivered over a single highly efficient next-generation network," said Gianmatteo Manghi, challengers service provider director, Cisco Italy. "The continuing success and growth of FASTWEB is the best proof we have of the power of the network as an ideal platform for business, entertainment and communications."

FASTWEB is continuing the upgrade of the Cisco 12000 Series Routers installed at its core points of presence from 2.5 gigabits per second to 10-Gbps capacity links. It is also deploying a new range of Cisco Interface Flexibility (I-Flex) modular shared port adapters (SPAs) and SPA interface processors (SIPs) for the Cisco 12000 Series and 7600 Series Routers. The Cisco SPA/SIP portfolio offers a rich set of QoS features for premium service delivery.

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