As part of the New Deal project, initiated by the French government in 2018, to cover all white areas in France by 2030, Axione was mobilized by Bouygues Telecom to pilot the installation of a radio tower in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques region, in order to meet the territory’s connectivity needs.

Located in New-Aquitaine, Sainte-Engrâce is a village of nearly 200 inhabitants* whose specificity is its caving activity which attracts many tourists every year. This isolated village has no mobile network. Thus, the installation of a radio tower will enhance the attractiveness of this area by offering 3G, 4G, 5G coverage to meet the emergencies and needs of residents and tourists.

Axione, in charge of the project, managed the heli-lift operation to transport the tower to an area inaccessible to conventional machines.

Two employees from Axione’s Saint-Jean branch orchestrated the operation, coordinating civil engineering, helicopter piloting, manufacturing and delivery of the tower and fitting out the radio equipment.

Mehdi HIMER, the project manager, accompanied by Marine Liautaud, a trainee at the end of his studies, had the role of piloting the site from its preparation to its final delivery.

An operation in 3 phases

The work was then divided into 3 stages. First, a 26m3 reinforced concrete slab was poured to support the tower. It required 56 helicopter rotations between the drop-zone, where the router truck was located, and the construction site.

The second step was to install the tower. Weighing more than two tons and measuring 15 meters in height, the pylon consisted of two metal sections that had to be lifted, installed and assembled, all by heli-lift.

Finally, the last phase corresponded to the installation of antennas and radio modules. These equipments will then allow the transmission, the reception and the treatment of the radio waves.

This helicopter operation, commissioned by Bouygues Telecom, is a first in my professional career and makes me proud to be part of Axione. Contributing to the ambitious New Deal project is an important mission. I would like to thank the negotiator, Mr Hugues Brunaud, the mayor of Sainte-Engrâce, the designer and all the subcontractors and partners who have worked to make this operation a success.

Mehdi Himer, Axione Project Manager

Did you know ?

The New Deal project is a plan put in place by the French government in 2018 in partnership with operators aimed at guaranteeing high-performance mobile coverage throughout the country in order to reduce the digital inequalities that may remain between territories. This project takes shape, for example, through the installation of 4G radio towers in rural areas.

*Source : In 2018 from Insee.

The Nantes branch supports the MiniBigForest association: 30 employees took part in the collective planting of a micro-forest of 1,350 trees on the site of the Couëron Specialized Home (44). The aim of the project is to create a space for biodiversity and well-being for the residents, people with multiple disabilities.

At the initiative of employees, this action of solidarity and collective commitment unites the teams around environmental and social issues in a very local area. It’s a concrete action that will improve the living conditions of people with disabilities who live less than 20 km from our offices

Olivier Desenepart, Head of the Nantes branch of Axione

On October 21, Axione’s volunteer employees spent half a day supporting the association, residents and medical staff by planting local trees in a 450 square meter area. This moment of exchange was an opportunity to reconnect with nature and create social links. This local initiative also illustrates the willingness of employees to get involved and to play a part in the transformation of their region.

The Couëron Specialized Reception Centre is a public medico-social establishment which welcomes 60 people with multiple disabilities living on site. The regular heat waves cause a strong heat felt inside the establishment. This micro-forest of 1,350 trees will have a direct impact on the temperature in the interior spaces and will improve the quality of life of the inhabitants by its air conditioning, sensory, visual, educational and playful aspect.

Each of our mini-forests has its own history and energy. This allows us to measure, with each project, the extent to which the tree is an incredible support for life; the extent to which the relational network it weaves with the living is powerful. Whether it refreshes our often overly mineralized cities, creates living soil or has a powerful effect on our physiology, its encounter is always beneficial for those who live with it. Thanks to the support of Axione Nantes and the Lemarchand Foundation, the 1,500 trees planted will have a direct and long-term positive impact on the residents of the Coüeron Specialized Home

Jim Bouchet. Co-founder of MiniBigForest.

Axione’s Université du Très Haut Débit (Very High Speed Broadband University) event, due to take place on 5-6 October 2022 in Toulouse, serves as a reminder of the Group’s ambition: adapting the value proposition of public initiative networks in order to address new digital uses aimed at building sustainable, connected regions.

Here, Development Director Gilles Kabbani deciphers the future challenges for Axione and presents the new services for local authorities.

How does Axione plan to support local authorities in their new uses?

The environmental transition, the digital transformation of public services, cybersecurity and data sovereignty: these are all unavoidable issues that require local authorities to structure their strategy for digital use, both at the departmental and regional levels.

Within this ambition, Public Initiative Networks, in their capacity as federating infrastructures for rural communities, undoubtedly have a key role to play. As a major player in the digital development of France’s regions, Axione supports local authorities in this transition by disseminating an appropriate, innovative and high-quality digital offering structured around a shared and universal industrial platform that interconnects individuals, sites and objects.

What are the new services proposed by Axione?

After connectivity for all (general public, companies and public sites) in the shape of the Plan France Très Haut Débit (Very High Speed Broadband Plan) and its massive deployment of optical fibre, the connection of objects (via the IoT) throughout the territory has come to represent a growing need for local authorities in order to develop their own uses. This means adapting existing public networks through the deployment, along with fibre, of new technologies and innovative technical engineering.

Accordingly, in perfect harmony with the FTTH (Fibre To The Home) infrastructure, we deploy and operate LoRaWAN low-speed radio networks enabling the connection of all types of sensors, whether located in dense or rural areas, or outside or inside buildings (and sometimes even underground), in order to be able to provide connectivity services throughout the region.

The “Netcity Street” fibre optic connectivity offer enables the implementation of high value-added video protection projects with advanced image processing functions and shared supervision centres on the scale of a Public Programme of Inter-municipal Cooperation (EPCI), a French department, or beyond.

Lastly, the need to control public data calls for the deployment of local data centres situated as close as possible to users, and under the control of public authorities. This secure hosting offer complements the list of services proposed by the France’s Public Initiative Networks.

How would you assess the deployment of optical fibre and how do you see the future?

Axione has been working on the deployment of fibre optics to cover the whole of France with very high-speed broadband for almost 20 years. The target for connecting 100% of the regions by 2025 is being pursued, and employees have already ensured two-thirds of the coverage in France. The rollout could last until 2030, when the analogue telephone network will end. This digital development project is also underway in Gabon and the UK.

Access to very high speed broadband will thus be assured for 100% of France’s national territory. Axione’s second mission is to support the digital transformation of regions by completing the industrial platform deployed in the scope of Public Initiative Networks, and thus enable the implementation of programmes for connected and sustainable regions at the level of France’s departments. All of this with a view to improving quality, efficiency and costs.

Specialised in the optimisation of the sustainability of electronic products, the Cordon Group has been evolving constantly since its creation in 1989. With 26 sites in 7 countries in Europe as well as in South America, the group’s 2,800 employees are pioneers in the telecommunications sector.

In this connection, the digital network had to be modernised so that employees could remain connected with the remote IS servers in the Dinan premises in Brittany. Axione rose to the challenge, supporting the Cordon Group, who wanted to modernise its information system infrastructure, by providing a direct link between the two buildings which are located in Dinan, but are more than one kilometre from each other.

The goal therefore was to optimise data exchanges notably using collaborative tools, to maximise productivity of production tools and to secure network access even in the event of technical incidents.

The advice and overall support provided by the Axione teams was a genuine source of added value for this project. Right from the first visit, we were clearly convinced by the advice and the transparency of the Axione experts. Right from the outset, they were able to guide us on technical issues

Vincent Deniau, Systems and Network Project Manager at Cordon Group

To ensure the success of the project, several internal departments from Axione were mobilised. First, the sales teams contacted the company to define the terms and conditions of sale. Then, it was the turn of the network mapping design studio, so that the work teams could carry out in-the-field assessments and then begin rolling out a 1.5 km Black Fibre Optic cable between the two server rooms.

Since April 2022, the company is connected to the network. Thanks to this link, employees located in both Dinan buildings now have the possibility of sharing files in a collaborative way, in complete security. The internal network can now manage a significant information system load, without latency.

Also, a back-up link of 4.5 km is being rolled out to guarantee a secure connection in the event of technical issues. As a result, the organisation of the company has improved significantly and different exchanges have been accelerated. These digital enhancements offer new opportunities for the Cordon Group both for production as such as well as in relation to management methods.

This first collaboration between Cordon Group and Axione has been a genuine success. The approach will be rolled out to other company locations.

We would like to sincerely thank Cordon Group for their unwavering trust and would like to congratulate the Axione employees who took part in this project

Thierry Hubert, Branch Manager Axione DPR-West Region (WST)

Vincent Deniau, Systems and Network Project Manager at Cordon Group confirmed that the company was very satisfied with the work carried out and looks forward to working with Axione again.

In its ongoing quest for innovation, Axione has launched the My Omniscient application developed by the start-up Omniscient, a platform for tracking equipment on construction sites by geolocating it in real time.

From the job site to the local office, centralising on-site equipment in one place while keeping track of it is a real challenge for operational staff. This equipment includes reels, fibre optic welding machines, generators (emergency power supply units) and reflectometers (electronic measuring instruments), all of which represent a significant cost for the offices.

Omniscient, a solution created by Com’in, has developed an application for construction professionals. This allows local offices to optimise their productivity in terms of resource management.

A pilot trial was launched last year to test the solution in two regions: Julien Launay, FTTH production manager, managed the project in Nantes, in the Pays de la Loire region. His counterpart Gaëtan Belin headed the project in Ain, Drôme and Ardèche.

Various needs drove us to test this solution: firstly, being able to make a complete inventory of equipment while also having the possibility to geolocate it. And secondly, ensuring that regulatory checks are respected is essential when working on construction sites. The goal is to optimize and formalize this process

Gaëtan Belin, formerly FTTH production manager at Axione in Centre-Alpes

Being able to manage this equipment is essential for our local offices because it represents a significant financial investment. It also provides way of sharing materials between the different offices when they’re not in use. Our focus in on creating a circular economy and on equipment security

Julien Launay, formerly FTTH production manager at Axione in the West regions

We’re supporting Axione in optimising their inventory management. Based on the information transmitted by the sensors connected to the equipment, the My Omniscient application provides real-time locations and allows for the monitoring of regulatory checks and allocation management. Our goal is to centralise all the equipment monitoring information in a single tool to save time in day-to-day management

Antonio Caselles, Director of Operations – Com’in

How does the application work?

The application uses a digital network dedicated to IoT connected objects (the technology deployed is LoRa) which allows the transmission of low-volume data. Sensors are attached to the equipment to connect it to the LoRa network in order to share data with the Omniscient application. Thanks to this solution, the operational staff in the local offices have access to a database from which they receive information in real time on :

-The usage rate of the equipment.

-The geographic location of the equipment.

-The safety-related regulatory checks to be performed.

Initial feedback on the solution has been positive. By late 2022 – early 2023, all key equipment will be fitted with an Omniscient sensor in all Axione’s production facilities in France.

What social, societal and environmental challenges does Axione face?

Since we were founded in the early 2000s, digital technology has become a huge part of all aspects of our society. The issues are the same, but the scale has increased tenfold. The needs of the future have become an emergency. Digital applications have become widespread in the fields of health, education, culture, administration, civic involvement, etc., and this movement has now spread to the labour market in its entirety with the proliferation of teleworking and corporate digitalization. The global climate issue has become a sword of Damocles, upsetting all schedules and giving us a collective responsibility.

The need for digital infrastructure to support multi-sectoral public and private uses is now universally acknowledged. Infrastructure has become a social purpose with all that this implies. The challenge is immense and exciting, as is our duty to set an example by taking practical steps with measurable effects: an ambitious climate strategy, joint construction with stakeholders of solutions to meet local challenges, innovating in our managerial and operational practices, changes in corporate governance, careful attention to the digital inclusion of people and companies that have been left on the sidelines, etc. In short, to devise a transformative, inclusive and well thought-out digital system to serve the regions and businesses.

The challenge is immense and exciting, as is our duty to set an example by taking practical steps

Eric Jammaron, Chairman of Axione

How can Axione help build a more responsible digital economy?

Our history has taught us the importance of using digital infrastructure to benefit the regions. From the very beginning, by opening up these new networks to all service providers, whether national or local, by using local subcontractors to build them, and by following a proactive economic integration policy, Axione has always been committed to the societal impact of its role, to human development and the emergence of a positive ecosystem.

This has made its infrastructures a springboard for creating new jobs and returning to work, and for the emergence of new practices and new models. Our origins as a public service provider and our local roots have given the company a strong partnership culture that is inclusive and respectful of our clients and partners. This DNA of creating and sharing value has always defined Axione’s ambitions and allows us to continue delivering value for money.

What role does CSR play in Axione’s transformation?

CSR is a compass that should keep us on course. In this respect, it should become the backbone of the company’s transformation. This means looking beyond a set of indicators to ensure that everyone in the company can measure their contribution to the collective trajectory on a daily basis. Acting responsibly and doing your bit is no longer optional, it is a binding commitment.  Managers, shareholders, staff and all company stakeholders are encouraged to consider their purpose, models and practices so as to increasingly combine economic value, benefits to society and energy efficiency. Axione wants to be a willing and inspiring player in this new world. Our approach is humble, because we don’t have the answers and solutions to hand, but we are determined to progress and to bring with us all who believe that this transformative path is not only preferable but essential.

This European Sustainable Development Week 2022 is an opportunity to assert our ambition, to unveil how we plan to meet two major challenges: that of positive impact through regional involvement and innovation, and that of carbon neutrality to be achieved no later than 2030.

The deployment of digital infrastructure by Axione’s teams enables it to provide a quality network to operators in the territories.
They provide connectivity services to meet the digital needs of local businesses.

Discover the testimony of the operator TSA and its customer Chartier Création on the benefits of very high speed broadband.

Testimony of TSA :

Testimony of Chartier Création :

It is an event that brings together all the local players in the region around several themes related to employment, energy transition, CSR and innovation to discuss the challenges of developing the attractiveness of the region.

As a digital developer, our mission is to design, deploy and operate digital fibre optic and mobile radio infrastructures to connect the region and thus contribute to the integration of numerous digital uses in the daily lives of residents and professionals.

Our experts were present during both days.

In order to present the company and its commitments, Frank Praly, Director of the Western Region, was interviewed live on FEB TV on 31 August.

Two of our experts, David Roche, Head of Connection and Carole Esculier, Director of Customer Relations, spoke about AI and the employer brand at the Vivatech trade fair in Paris on 15 and 18 June 2022.

Video review of the event in less than a minute! 🎥

Axione and Bouygues Energies & Services have risen to the challenge of supplying a very high-speed connection in the Sarthe region, with a responsible and committed approach, on behalf of the Syndicat mixte Sarthe Numérique. In June 2022, the “La Fibre Arrive Chez Vous” project, begun in 2016, was awarded the Top Site Innovation designation.

Being awarded the Top Site Innovation designation in partnership with Bouygues Energies & Services shows our daily commitment and performance in guaranteeing not only the safety of our employees, but also the controlled management of the environment and the quality of our projects

Jérôme Chauvière, Manager of Axione’s Mulsanne office.

Axione’s subsidiary Sartel THD is in charge of project management and network maintenance over a 30-year period. The work was carried out jointly by the teams of Axione in Mulsanne and Bouygues Energies & Services in Champagné.

The Sartel THD, Axione and Bouygues Energies & Services teams are proud to have carried out this major deployment under optimal conditions.

Rémi Carrière, director of the Sartel THD concession.

A number of criteria were assessed on-site to achieve this certification, along with local innovations.

They consist of the following:

  • Health and safety: through respect for key indicators, monitoring of prevention benchmarks and compliance with the 12 Bouygues Construction health and safety fundamentals,
  • The environment: by applying an environmental management system to the site and controlling the environmental impact of energy, carbon emissions, water consumption, the circular economy and waste management,
  • Quality and customer satisfaction: by setting up a dedicated organisation, a technical risk analysis and a quality control system shared regularly with our client Sarthe Numérique,
  • Social and community issues: through the introduction of monitoring and traceability systems to ensure that the work situation is suitable, optimised and compliant with regulations. Local partnerships have also been developed with inclusion organisations and training centres.

 Axione and Bouygues Energies & Services worked together from design to delivery of the project. It has proved to be a success, working in synergy and showing our ability to share our different areas of expertise to complete our assignments and thereby helping us to obtain this label awarded by Bouygues Construction.

Séverine Dubois-Berlot, Head of the Champagné Bouygues Energies & Services centre.

Congratulations to all project stakeholders for their involvement and hard work.

This certification shows that Corporate Social Responsibility is more than ever a central issue for Axione and Bouygues Energies & Services.

*The Top Site label was launched in 2020 by Bouygues Construction to reward exemplary CSR projects. The label’s Innovation rating is obtained by meeting and exceeding the label’s criteria to achieve excellence.