Latvia's Lattelecom hopes to implement 500 megabit per second (Mbps) symmetical internet connections by the end of the year, using fiber-to-the home (FTTH) technology, according to CEO Juris Gulbis. Gulbis said that initially, the FTTH connections would have speeds of 100 Mbps but by end-2009 would jump to 200 and 500 Mbps.
Lattelecom has started a three year project to convert most of its current DSL network to FTTH over the next few years. Around 30 apartment buildings in a Riga suburb were the first to be connected recently with the intention to replace DSL with FTTH in all residential buildings with at least 30 units in Riga and other urban centers.
Gulbis said that HD television, including HD films on demand would be one of the services made possible by the higher connection speeds. Initially, however, FTTH will meet the bandwidth needs of households with several home computers and television sets, including HD TVs.
Lattelecom is also in the early stage of planning a software as a service plaform for home and small businesses that would be available over its high speed, so-called "Future Network".
"Our goal is the have the fastest internet in Europe," Gulbis told this blogger.
Gulbis said that the higher speed services will be offered for the same price as present internet and/or triple-play packets, starting from around LVL 20 per month (tariffs have been boosted by higher VAT from January 1)
At the same time, Lattelecom has started to market Triatel's EV-DO based wireless and mobile internet service to more the 30 000 potential customers who cannot be connected to the company's fixed internet network. The service will initially offer 3.2 Mbps download speeds and will be available in around 70 % of Latvia's territory.