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Broadband ISP Zzoomm Adopt Iskratel’s Full Fibre XGS-PON Kit

Thursday, August 4th, 2022 (11:26 am) - Score 1,392
Zzoomm-Full-Fibre-Broadband-Van

UK ISP Zzoomm has today announced that they’ve decided to adopt Iskratel’s XGS-PON based Optical Line Terminals (OLTs) and Optical Network Terminals (ONTs) to help power their UK rollout of a new gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband network, which already covers 50,000 premises.

Until now the provider, which aims to reach 1 million premises in 85 UK towns by the end of 2025 (mostly in parts of Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Herefordshire, North Yorkshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire around England), has tended to use ADTRAN‘s XGS-PON kit to support their build.

NOTE: Zzoomm is fuelled by an equity investment of £100m from Oaktree Capital (here) and a £100m debt facility via an international banking consortium (here).

Under the new supply deal, Zzoomm intends to harness Iskratel‘s compact Lumia XG8 and Lumia C16 (XGS-PON OLTs) kit, as well as the Innbox X22 ONTs for the dual-box setup inside customer premises (this is the optical modem that gets fitted on your wall) to deliver multi-gigabit services – the provider’s consumer broadband packages already go up to 2Gbps.

For those who don’t know, Iskratel is a Slovenia based company that supplies FTTP kit to providers across Europe. Earlier this year we reported that they had opened a local office in the UK (here), and we’re now starting to see some of the first fruits from that move. Most UK operators currently tend to use rival solutions from ADTRAN, Nokia and Calix etc.

Rich Shaw, Engineering Director at Zzoomm, said:

“We have partnered with Iskratel to help accelerate our service deployment as our build program gathers momentum across the UK. Iskratel brings tremendous experience and they complement our existing technology partners perfectly with their ability to deliver a high-quality, reliable and tailored solution for Zzoomm at scale.

We look forward to developing our partnership with Iskratel and delivering a superior customer experience and serving many more happy customers.”

Customers on the new network currently pay from £33 per month for an unlimited 150Mbps (symmetric speed) package on a 24-month term with an included router, which goes up to £99 if you want their top 2Gbps tier (or £66 for 900Mbps+) – that also happens to be one of the fastest UK home broadband packages available. But take note that most packages do attract a £20 one-off activation fee, although they’re also currently being offered with 6 months of free service.

UPDATE 5th August 2022

We understand that the Iskratel kit is being deployed as a complement, not a replacement, to Zzoomm’s existing arrangement with ADTRAN.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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11 Responses
  1. Ad47uk says:

    it is a pity we don’t have a UK company that is producing this stuff, i am pretty sure we are capable of doing it.

    Zzoomm have changed their routers as well to Icotera, they used to use Adtran routers I think, i know they used two of them, now they use one Icotera and people are complaining they are rubbish.

    I expect zzoomm have changed the equipment to save money.
    This network must be costing them a fortune, I wonder who is investing in Zzoomm, they have to be getting the money from somewhere.

    This is the thing that does worry me with new companies.

    1. Jack says:

      The Icotera is rubbish. I’m not sure if it was the router itself or incorrectly configured as it would query the Zzoomm ACS Every 15mins. It would also suddenly stop internet but say it was connected anyway, think that was related the lease time (was 8 hours iirc)

      Now though I’ve had the superior Zyxel ax7501 for a while and the service is perfect with zero disconnections.

    2. Mike says:

      Government policies discourage domestic manufacturing.

    3. An Engineer says:

      ‘it is a pity we don’t have a UK company that is producing this stuff, i am pretty sure we are capable of doing it.’

      Not something we’ve really focused on. It would be built elsewhere anyway even if designed here: Nokia OLTs and ONTs aren’t built in Finland, Adtran equipment isn’t built in Huntsville, Alabama.

      ‘I expect zzoomm have changed the equipment to save money.’

      Possibly supplier diversity. Being entirely reliant on Adtran may cause issues if Adtran have supply chain issues.

      ‘This network must be costing them a fortune, I wonder who is investing in Zzoomm, they have to be getting the money from somewhere.’

      This information is in the article these comments are under.

    4. Ad47uk says:

      @Jack

      Yes, I have heard the Icotera is rubbish, they still supply a Zyxel I think for the higher speed packages.

      @Mike

      Yep, I have to agree with you, such a shame really

      @An Engineer

      We really need to get away from this everything made in China, if we took more of this manufacturing away from China they would start to feel the pinch. I hate it that almost every time I buy something, it is supporting a country that have so much control over their citizens. I said my next washing machine will be an Ebac, which is British made, but I bet the parts are produced in China.

      Now they are going to be reliant on Iskratel, so what is the difference? It is crazy to rely so much on other countries, we used to produce so much in the U.K

      yeah
      I missed the investment, now I have seen it, I hope zzoomm makes enough money then. it is the CEO, Matthew Hare I have a problem with, he started up gigaclear and then flogged it and set up another one?, so is he going to flog this one as well?

    5. An Engineer says:

      ‘We really need to get away from this everything made in China’

      Yes. It’ll make things more expensive, though. Given the cost of living crisis that’s going to be a tough sell. I don’t really see things like OLTs or ONTs as a problem: the UK has a place in higher-end manufacture but most of the cheaper, bulk crap we buy from China should be imported.

      We can’t compete with Slovenia or the place I purchase much of my equipment from, Latvia.

      ‘Now they are going to be reliant on Iskratel, so what is the difference?’

      They’re reliant on Iskratel AND Adtran. Eggs not all in one basket, etc.

    6. Ad47uk says:

      I have no problem with pay a bit more for products if they are made here, and they are of good quality. when my washing machine need replacing i will look at Ebac, they are not cheap and are pretty basic for the price, but they are made in the U.K, the only problem I have is that the parts no doubt come from China.

      I have over the years got myself a few Chinese products, hisense TV, Terramaster NAS, Oppo phone and before that Huawei phone, but I am now starting to think that I really should not have. The sad thing is, everything is made in China even if it is not sold by a Chinese company

      I can’t see why we can’t compete with Slovenia, we are supposed to be an advanced country.

      I did not see the addition to the article about Iskratel kit being a complement, not a replacement.

  2. Tomo @Iskratel says:

    Gents, for your information, Iskratel manufactures the OLTs at its own facility in Slovenia. That’s a huge difference.

    1. Alex A says:

      Interesting. Are the much higher volume ONTs also made inhouse?

    2. Tomo @Iskratel says:

      Given the volumes, Iskratel’s ONTs are much more price-sensitive and thus manufactured in Asia. Despite this, they still pass our facilities for the final (per-customer) customisation phase; pls. see https://www.iskratel.com/en/company/news/2021/08/1262-Optimisation-of-CPE-manufacturing.

    3. Ad47uk says:

      Why is it a huge difference?

      Where about in Asia are the ONT manufactured?

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