Axione is a global player in the digital sector with expertise in fibre optic and radio infrastructure in both rural and urban areas.
We supply connectivity solutions to local authorities, companies, large government departments and the telecommunications ecosystem (operators, Towerco, equipment manufacturers).
Designing and building the network
Axione has indoor mobile coverage infrastructures to suit all needs. We design solutions for different connectivity needs that take into account the specific features of each building or site. After analysis, we propose the most suitable technology (hybrid, active or passive) to meet the requirements of your infrastructure.
Network maintenance and supervision
We offer a unique turnkey service, from network monitoring to on-site response:
-Maintenance with Recovery Time Guarantee. We have a comprehensive maintenance offer (preventive and repair) for Indoor Mobile Coverage installations. Repair works are backed by Recovery Time Guarantees to ensure that service is restored quickly.
-Supervising active equipment. To deal proactively with the equipment, we have developed a monitoring solution for active equipment in the Indoor Coverage infrastructure. This service, run by our Operations Centre, means that incidents can be detected quickly and resolved remotely or by triggering a response.
An in-house design office
All our projects are tailor-made after analysis during the pre-sales or production phase.
We have four engineers in our design office who study indoor networks. They work in tandem with the other expert teams in the design office so that we can bring together all the skills needed to carry out our projects. The depth of our skills, combined with a quality management system, makes us agile enough to meet the deadline and quality requirements of our production units carrying out the work.
Eric Municchi – Head of Axione’s design office
98% of indoor projects are carried out by our 200 field technicians across France supported by our design and project management teams.
Axione is represented nationwide through 50 branches in 5 regional divisions.
We run all the sites in the Ile de France region from our Montigny branch. Logistics, planning, management of in-house teams. It is all centralised here. We have a wonderful team and great projects. That’s the Axione ethos.
Sandrine Prado, head of indoor radio production
Our DNA is defined by our ability to complete a project by pooling our skills across the entire value chain: from infrastructure design, through installation and operation, to network maintenance and supervision. For this, we have teams in local agencies throughout France and we also ensure real-time supervision and maintenance of our networks to guarantee continuity and quality of service for all our customers thanks to the network operations (NOC) centre in Pau.
Tamara Chany, Head of Axione’s indoor mobile radio coverage
Customers who recommend us
Axione’s teams successfully met our requirements for the project. They adapted to the project’s constraints, particularly when it came to installing antennas concealed in false ceilings despite the limited space and density of the networks. This project has been a success and has resulted in a trusting relationship between our companies for the future.
Jean-Baptiste Gandin, Head of Group Santerne Île-de-France
#Episode 3 Building and managing an indoor coverage network open to the general public
An indoor coverage solution is used to create a radio infrastructure that allows the broadcasting of mobile network signals (3G/4G and soon 5G) from multiple operators inside a building.
Installation plan for 4G/5G indoor coverage:
A customised network is generally conceived by modelling the areas to be covered and designing the network elements: antenna positioning, cable routing, rack positioning, etc.
Specific backhaul equipment is used to connect the outdoor operator networks to the indoor network. Depending on the building, the signal carried by the cables often needs to be regenerated: in this case, repeaters are installed.
Different technologies can be used depending on the connectivity needs
The signal is amplified by electrically powered antennas.
The signal is redistributed, but not amplified. This technology is suited to offices of less than 12,000 sqm, for example. Above this, both the signal and the connectivity suffer. Passive antennas are smaller and recommended for sites where integrating equipment is more complex (moulding, false ceiling, etc.)
This is a mixture of passive and active antennas. Hybrid solutions are very common. This robust system can be used to cover areas of over 12,000 sqm.
The technology is chosen based on an analysis of construction costs, and depends on the size and features of a site.
PARC DES PRINCES
Maintaining and supervising a network
Once the network has been installed and tested, it must be kept in good condition through preventive, corrective and upgrade maintenance, so that equipment that has become obsolete can be replaced.
moods Building (saint denis)
The next episode looks at Axione’s expertise in modelling and building an indoor mobile network.
#Episode 2 Different indoor networks for different purposes.
Offices, shopping centres or stadiums have several types of users: employees, visitors, police and emergency services, and specialised technical or response services (heating, gas, electricity, various maintenance). Each uses a different network.
The general public open network
This network is installed in shopping centres, industrial areas, supermarkets and offices and provides 4/5G to the general public. A network of relay antennas built into the architecture of the site enables the public network to be picked up indoors.
Closed networks for business use
There are two types of networks, for two specific populations:
– The security network (INPT) for the fire brigade or public security services. This is separate from the public networks and enables effective coordination of security or fire responses. The INPT network (“Infrastructure Nationale Partagée des Transmissions” – national shared transmission infrastructure) will eventually be replaced by the RRF (“Réseau Radio du Futur” – future radio network).
–Management and signalling network. These private networks are needed for secure communications between professionals at a given location. For example, security guards in a shopping centre. These networks are also used to provide real-time signalling data. This might be signalling networks for buses to provide real-time information on waiting times at bus stops.
Other types of network
There are other types of private network:
-Indoor Wifi network. Visitors to a shopping centre or museum, for example, can access data connectivity without having to use their mobile plans.
–Private outdoor networks. Although it is outdoors, the network is configured on the basis of indoor architectures because the network is private and the coverage area is limited. Examples include networks in stadiums or on train platforms.
What are the advantages of these indoor networks?
Whether for the general public or professionals, an indoor coverage network has various advantages:
For the general public: a guaranteed 3G/4G/5G connection that is as reliable and powerful as outdoors.
For specific professional categories: secure communications.
For landlords: enhancement of their real estate assets thanks to connectivity services provided by a durable and scalable telecommunications infrastructure.
Indoor coverage therefore makes it possible to cover operators’ “new” white zones, by providing access to one or more of their mobile networks. White zones are densely populated areas, such as business districts, office buildings and shopping centres. They may only be poorly covered, if at all, by mobile networks.
Having a reliable, effective network has therefore become a major challenge that increases user satisfaction and performance while enhancing the long-term value of real estate assets.
In episode 3 you will discover the realization and management of an indoor coverage network.
As a major digital developer in rural and urban areas, Axione is to continue running the multiservice network for more than 300 public institutions in the Yvelines region (78). All secondary and high schools, as well as town halls and other public service premises, will continue to benefit from a secure and efficient network. They also have internet access and a cyber security department.
Axione has won the “IP VPN and secure Internet – Services and outsourcing” tender for the SYN’OPTIQUE network in the Yvelines department. The company will be in charge of guaranteeing the technical operation of the multiservice network based on MPLS technologies for the members of Seine-et-Yvelines Numérique for the next two years.
The network provides telecommunication services to the 300 public establishments in the Yvelines department: secondary and high schools, district centres, town halls, joint communities and the local fire and rescue department. By connecting to the shared fibre network, they are able to share data securely.
Having run the core SYN’OPTIQUE network since 2018, Axione is continuing its role as a digital developer for the Yvelines départment by offering:
–Technical control of the multiservice network. Axione is responsible for the smooth running of the network and provides IT support for the backhaul network, made up of NOKIA hardware, and for links with remote sites to ensure an increasingly high level of performance and security.
–The provision and development of new services.Axione is a service integrator, providing members of the procurement group with secure Internet connectivity services adapted to their needs and uses. The company also supports the development of services such as video surveillance.
“The trust shown by Seine-et-Yvelines Numérique is a testimony to our expertise in multiservice networks. We are proud to operate the SYN’OPTIQUE network, the technical base for the development of innovative digital services in education and connected regions.
Alexandre Delarbre, Head of Axione’s Managed Network Customer Program
–Maintenance and supervision of the network. Axione’s teams ensure that the network is supervised and kept running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and guarantee that the system can be repaired in less than four hours
A second network operated for professionals in the département
Axione has also been responsible for maintaining, supervising and managing changes to the SQY THD network based on XGS-PON technology in the Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines area since July 2021.
The company carried out all the engineering, integration and end-customer migration surveys to bring this network up to the latest standards with state-of-the-art technology, to deliver high-quality connectivity services to B2B operators.
Nokia is delighted to be working with Axione on regional digital development as part of the France Très Haut Débit plan. As one of the world’s leading suppliers of network infrastructure equipment, we use our expertise to jointly deliver multi-service networks that meet the specific needs of each territory, including mission-critical networks. This includes the SQY THD project, for which Nokia has provided a multi-service IP/MPLS and XGS-PON backbone to bring very high-speed broadband to businesses in Saint Quentin en Yvelines.
Edouard Castellant, director of Nokia’s Enterprise business in France.
Over the past few years, new energy standards have required building materials to be used that often impede wave transmission. Indoor mobile coverage is a technological solution to provide 3G/4G/5G coverage inside buildings, stadiums, campuses or shopping centres.
Indoor connectivity is a major issue
of customers use their smartphones in shopping centres
of passengers use their phones on public transport
60 % of French people consider phones to be work tools
of calls made indoors are from mobile phones
Connecting to a mobile network indoors therefore boosts appeal and productivity. Access to the network must be reliable and effective, for both people and indoor machines.
Various types of indoor and outdoor structures are affected by indoor coverage. Here is a list of locations where Axione provides connectivity:
Stade des princes
the Nice tramway
Moods building in Saint-Denis
Indoor coverage is a complex technological challenge
Why does network coverage deteriorate or disappear indoors?
-Failure to take into account connectivity needs when designing buildings
-The nature of a building’s architecture (walls, metal frames, etc.) slows the transmission of waves and makes reception impossible in certain places.
-Buildings use highly insulating materials to minimise energy loss. This also affects wave travel.
Building materials designed for energy efficiency therefore block mobile networks. Indoors, partitions between spaces also prevent radio waves from passing. This makes it necessary to install relay antennas. Full coverage requires precise engineering and a detailed design phase.
Many businesses are affected by the lack of connectivity to support their digital needs. This may be due to the building constraints of the infrastructure, in particular the use of certain materials, or to the geographical location.
Tamara Chany, Head of Axione’s indoor mobile radio coverage
Meanwhile, individual data requirements are growing constantly and may exceed the network bandwidth. The network must therefore respond qualitatively and quantitatively to user demand.
In the episode 2, you will find out more about the users of these indoor networks.
The project is part of a 30-year public service delegation contract:
-Some €400 million invested, mainly by private investment funds;
-Almost 216,000 FTTH connectors manufactured;
-73,000 hours of insertion.
All the broadband service operators are present on this network to bring their best offers to the region’s private individuals and professionals. More than 40% of households have already made the switch from copper to optical fibre. Now everyone, everywhere, can benefit from the network’s operation and digital uses.
THE PROJECT’S KEY FIGURES
66 optical connection nodes
476 local connection points
17,000 km of fibre optic cable
More than 80,000 customers hooked up by 1 October 2022
2016-2022: 6 YEARS TO BUILD A VERY HIGH-SPEED NETWORK
In 2016, the Syndicat Mixte Sarthe Numérique mixed digital association chose Axione to design and build a very high-speed fibre optic network, comprising 82,000 connectors and 202 local connection points, in the scope of a works contract.
In 2019, Sartel THD won a 30-year public service delegation contract for the network’s deployment in the remainder of the department (outside the AMII* area).
By the end of 2022, the deployment was complete. We did it!
SARTEL THD: AN EXEMPLARY PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP
In order to provide an equitable service to all the territories concerned, the Sarthe Department and all its inter-district municipalities joined forces via a syndicat mixte (mixed association) to provide an FTTH public service infrastructure in areas not covered by private operators.
On 9 January, 2019, at the end of a competitive dialogue procedure, the Sarthe Numérique mixed association chose the consortium composed of Axione Infrastructures, Axione, and Bouygues Energies & Services to be the shareholders of its Sartel THD provider. For a 30-year term, Sartel THD is tasked with financing, designing, building, marketing and operating the Sarthe department’s FTTH public network.
A NETWORK PROVIDING DIGITAL USES FOR ALL
For local companies, access to broadband is, more than ever, a major asset in providing sustainable solutions to their needs, even more so with the advent of telecommuting. For the general public, whether for education, health, shopping, culture or social ties, digitalisation is perceived not only as an essential tool, but also as an innovation lever.
With Sartel THD, the Sarthe Departmental Council and all the region’s inter-district municipalities have committed themselves to an ambitious public policy promoting digital infrastructures and uses. The achievement of 100% fibre marks a first milestone in this ambition: to be an innovative territory in command of its infrastructure so that it can face, thanks to even more assets, major economic, social, societal and environmental challenges.
New objectives have already been defined, with the construction of a local data centre to serve local communities in 2023, and the deployment of a very low-speed LoRa network to support new uses of the Internet of Things throughout the department.
The Sarthe department’s distinction was to choose to immediately deploy optical fibre to the smallest municipalities, i.e. the places where the ADSL network’s coverage was largely insufficient for the needs of inhabitants. Thanks to this visionary choice, all those who live in the Sarthe department are now fibre-connectable. We did it!
Dominique Le Mèner, Chairman of the Sarthe department and of Sarthe Numérique
Having reached our first objective, new challenges await us. First of all, the development of the Internet of Things via a low-speed LoRa network and its multiple uses for the benefit of the department’s communities and citizens, starting in mid-2023. At the same time, the construction of a local public data centre to serve the Sarthe department’s economic players, due to open at the end of 2023.
Eric Jammaron, Chairman of Sartel THD and Axione
Our teams installed 216,000 fibre optic connectors over the course of six years. Two months ahead of schedule, we are proud to have contributed to the Sarthe region’s digital development. Having been awarded the TopSite Innovation label, this project also attests to our environmental and social commitments.
Rémi Carrière, Head of Sartel THD
*AMII: “Appel à Manifestations d’Intention d’Investissement” (Call for expressions of interest). AMMI area: part of the region in which a private operator has expressed its interest in the deployment of an FTTH network (concerns the following towns: Allonnes, Arçonnay, Arnage, Champfleur, Coulaines, La Chapelle-Saint-Aubin, Le Mans, Mulsanne, Rouillon, Sablé-sur-Sarthe, Saint Paterne-Le-Chevain, Sargé-lès-le-Mans, Yvré-l’Evêque).
Fabien Gevaert, Axione’s Director of Strategy, explains how fibre optics is the major infrastructure, in terms of quality and durability, for meeting the current and future telecoms needs of all businesses.
What about digital transformation in France? What about companies?
The digital transformation of the territories continues at an incredible speed, in the logical continuation of the France Very High Speed Plan. The problems of infrastructure and access to very high speed are on the way to being resolved, since the majority of territories will be covered almost 100% by optical fiber from 2025. If the general public massively adopts this new infrastructure, if the communities, stakeholders in this Plan, are now looking forward by working on the advent of new uses and digital tools aimed at improving the lives of our fellow citizens, in areas as varied as health, education, mobility… it is clear that the movement is not as dynamic on the business market.
According to the European Commission, France is lagging behind in the digital transformation of its companies. In the latest edition of its index relating to the digital economy and society (published in January 2022), it ranks France in 19th place among other European countries. However, telecom infrastructures are well and truly deployed in France, both in dense and less dense areas. The figures recently published by ARCEP, the independent regulatory authority for the sector, show that more than 2 thirds of our companies are still connected via a copper link, a historic infrastructure in the process of being dismantled!
In terms of telecoms, France is therefore a land of paradoxes:
– We have an extremely developed ecosystem of specialized service operators for companies with varied characteristics (nearly 200 operators are now customers of our networks in this segment);
– We have a widely deployed fiber infrastructure, widely adopted in the private sphere;
– However, our companies remain, at this stage, behind in the modernization of their connectivity.
The good news, as you will have understood, is that all the lights are green to speed up!
What are the advantages of fiber optics over copper?
Previously, companies could be blocked in their digital transformation. Simply because the first step, connectivity, was technically limited because of the copper network. Optical fiber is much more efficient in terms of connection than ADSL. Indeed, the speed for a connection with the fiber is at least 300 Mbits per second, when for ADSL, it is between 1 and 15 Mbits per second. For example, the transfer of a hundred photos takes about 5 minutes with ADSL, but only 28 seconds with fiber. This is nowadays limiting – even for a simple internet use – and especially not scalable. Independently of the use, copper accesses are more complex to repair in case of failure.
To access a more efficient offer, companies had no choice but to use dedicated fiber networks. Generally very expensive, and mainly present in large urban centers, with the exception of public initiative networks. These networks have allowed to bring fiber to the territories, and to democratize its use by companies. Without them, the situation would be even worse.
Today, fiber is everywhere and accessible to all. The telecom infrastructure no longer poses any constraints in the digital transformation of companies. It accompanies them in their development. If their telecom needs increase because their structure is growing, or if they wish to launch a new activity, fiber connectivity can be adapted: increase in speed, addition of service guarantee options with your provider…
Last but not least, optical fiber is the sustainable infrastructure for at least the next 40 years, unlike copper which will gradually disappear. More efficient, more stable and less energy consuming than copper access, fiber access is the connectivity solution of the future.
What is Axione’s role in the fibre-optic market?
Axione occupies an atypical position in the market. Our history as a builder/operator of public-initiative networks for almost 20 years has led us to develop strong values around neutrality, quality and the co-construction of solutions, both with our public partners and with our operator customers. These solutions are long term and focus on the common interest of the territories in which we operate.
Our DNA has not changed: as a digital developer of territories, our role is to facilitate the link between an end customer (individual, company or community) and the commercial operator who will provide the service he needs, always with the same requirement of quality.
Infrastructure is a common good that must benefit everyone. It is therefore up to us to mobilize the appropriate resources to enable the entire chain to benefit from a quality infrastructure. What matters to the end customer, and in particular to the company, is that the service they have subscribed to is delivered, regardless of the underlying infrastructure.
This is what we strive to do on a daily basis.
How do you deploy your connectivity solutions?
To date, Axione has covered around 6 million fiber connections, half in rural areas and half in very dense areas. In practical terms, this means that we are now the manager of the telecoms access infrastructure in some 20 French departments, at least for the next 20 years. In cities such as Paris, Nantes, Bordeaux and Grenoble, we also have network coverage enabling us to offer access solutions to commercial operators.
We rely on 100% Axione teams, both for our field operations (thanks to the presence of operational staff working throughout France) and for the supervision of our network, in particular with a Network Operating Center (NOC) based in Pau. This center monitors the networks we operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We have our own engineering teams and a network mirror lab. We are also actively working on a daily basis with our operator customers to improve the efficiency of our processes and we are fully committed to the objective of continuous improvement advocated by the regulator.
We already offer our operator customers connectivity solutions adapted to their needs and we are working to develop them further as necessary. For example, our range of activated accesses called OPERA is based on three products targeting three types of needs:
-The OPERA Home offer, close to the so-called “general public” offers, characterized by an access offering a lot of downstream speed, mainly targeting professionals and craftsmen;
-The OPERA Office offer, designed for an intermediate market: high downstream speed, 100 Mbps symmetrical guaranteed and a 10-hour recovery guarantee in case of failure for a telecom budget of less than €200. This offer, which is just starting to be marketed, seems to us to be particularly well suited to convincing SMEs to switch to fiber!
-The OPERA Business offer is more oriented towards high-end needs: guaranteed symmetrical speeds of up to 1 Gbps and a 4-hour recovery guarantee in case of failure. Our ability to produce this offer on shared networks allows us to offer it at the best price to our partners, while respecting our commitments.
By relying on our local roots, the professionalism of our teams and our technological mastery, we try to assume our role on a daily basis and with humility to meet the promised quality.
Why was it important to offer a complete range?
Our goal is to give as many people as possible access to these latest generation fiber networks.
Many companies are still on the copper network, especially intermediate companies. The premium fiber offers were considered too expensive by this type of company. As for the entry-level fiber offer, they felt that it did not meet their quality needs. Today, our Office range is aimed directly at this intermediate market.
Gaining in speed and recovery guarantee becomes accessible to SMEs, in an economy close to that of copper. In addition, our ability to guarantee premium service levels on a shared infrastructure will enable them in the medium term to access a better telecom service for a preserved budget. That’s the whole point of network sharing!
In the end, we are moving in the same direction as ARCEP, which is determined to make the new fiber infrastructure a reference for all uses.
Lastly, we believe that commercial operators should be able to find a complete, functionally uniform range of services from Axione that is accessible to as wide a catchment area as possible. We are therefore working to continually expand our coverage area.
Megalis Bretagne and Axione are taking advantage of work to modernize the drinking water network linking Callot Island to Carantec, in North Finistère, to install the ducts required for the rollout of Brittany’s public fiber optic network. During the worksite, trenches will be dug to upgrade the water pipes. We will take advantage of this to install ducts, via the teams of our subcontractor TPC Ouest. This work, which is subject to tide schedules, illustrates our ability to adapt to all environments.
Thanks to this mutualization of the water network/fiber network work, we are thus anticipating the arrival of fiber throughout Brittany. Our teams have been working daily to ensure good communication between all the players, particularly with the town of Carantec and the concessionaire responsible for the work on the water network.
This project demonstrates the excellent coordination between Axione, the local authorities and the water connection company. It is essential to be able to pool our work for better optimization of public resources
Alexandre VALENTIN, Axione works coordinator
In Brittany, Axione has been awarded the contract to design and build Megalis Bretagne. By 2026, our teams will have installed nearly one million connections in the region
During their holidays, our French, Anglo-Saxon and Gabonese employees stay connected around the world whether they are on a mountain top, in the water, in their garden or in the field.
Discover the most beautiful shots of our employees on video ⬇️
Teams from Axione’s Aix-en-Provence branch had to act quickly to restore the site’s radio infrastructure.
On July 31, 2022, the Mazaugues radio site was hit by a fire that damaged the radio equipment used by Bouygues Telecom. After noting the technical damage caused, Bouygues Telecom asked Axione to restore service at the site. By taking photos and conducting a technical visit, our four Axione employees were able to gain an early insight into the damage suffered and the repairs required.
Several cables affected by the flames had to be changed, and the radio beam had to be restored. The intervention of two technicians specialised in radio-relay systems was therefore necessary. The radio beam link could only be re-established after changing the entire feeder line and the transmission equipment: replacement of the ODU (Outdoor unit) and the IDU (Indoor unit), provided urgently by Bouygues Telecom. The replacement of the existing burnt radio cables required the intervention of two other technicians.
As of Friday, August 5, 2022 at around 5 pm, the site was once again operational to broadcast 2G, 3G and 4G.
The rapid response and quality of the repairs carried out by our teams deserve to be highlighted in view of the emergency context. Many Mazauguais residents came to see our teams to express their satisfaction with how the black-out was handled.
Eric STRAGA, Head of Lessor Works & Special Projects at Axione.
Concerned about the quality of service provided to the territories, Bouygues Télécom called on Axione to restore service at the site. This project demonstrates the commitment of the Bouygues Telecom and Axione teams to help develop a high-performance network in the most remote areas.