The agenda for this day-long event organized by Vaucluse Numérique (Digital Vaucluse) was as follows: a visit to the equipment installed in the municipality of Courthézon; the technical presentation of the deployment plans by the Departmental Services team; and finally the signing of the agreements for the second Deployment Plan.

This event took place with the following people present: Julien Aubert, Member of Parliament for the 5th constituency of the Vaucluse; Bertrand Gaume, the Prefect of the Vaucluse; Jean-Marie ROUSSIN, the Chairman of the Commission for Economic Digital Development of the Vaucluse District Council – Claude AVRIL, the Mayor of Châteauneuf-du-Pape – Alain ROCHEBONNE, the Mayor of Courthézon – Laurent ROJEY, the Director of the Digital Agency – Richard CURNIER, the Regional Director of the Caisse des Dépôts Fund – Éric JAMMARON, the Chairman of Vaucluse Numérique (Digital Vaucluse) – and the chairmen of the consolidated municipalities which are co-financing the deployment of fibre optics in the public service area.


Over 7,500 km of fibre optic cables will come into service by 2021 in the Vaucluse public service area; this is the same distance as from Avignon to Salvador in Brazil.

Find out more about the High Speed Fibre Plan in the Vaucluse

As the first neutral provider to come to densely populated areas, CityFast is turning the telecoms market on its head. 

The shared infrastructure model has shown its worth in rural areas. This longstanding model, with proven success in public initiative networks (réseaux d’initiative publique), is now being rolled out in large cities thanks to CityFast.  

CityFast is a neutral network access services provider that focuses on densely populated areas (Zones Très Denses or ZTD in French). It was specially created as part of the acquisition of Bouygues Telecom’s fibre infrastructure by Axione in 2018, and two investment bodies managed by Vauban Infrastructure Partners (CIF II and QUIMPER COINVEST SCA).  

The CityFast network opens up a world of possibilities by allowing companies and individuals to choose their provider from Axione’s 150 partner providers. It also stimulates innovation on the telecoms market thanks to digital content and service providers who can readjust their service offerings in order to set themselves apart and face the competition.   Entirely unprecedented in France, a new commercial offering will be gradually made available on the CityFast network in line with the rollout schedule. For private individuals, CityFast will allow access to alternative providers. For businesses, it will provide a disruptive, innovative model, combining the quality of service of dedicated fibre with the flexibility and cost control of a shared fibre network. 

Key Figures CityFast will cover 92 of the 106 communes located within the ZTD, representing 3.4 million connections.Throughout 2020, the progressive commercial launch will cover sixty communes, representing over two million connections. Paris will be the first major beneficiary from January, followed by Marseille, Lyon, and others. In 2021, the 32 remaining communes will also be able to benefit from the offering.

in the press !

About CityFast 

CityFast is a simplified joint-stock company that was specially created as part of the acquisition of Bouygues Telecom’s fibre infrastructure in 2018. Its shareholders include Axione and two investment bodies managed by Vauban Infrastructure Partners (CIF II and QUIMPER COINVEST SCA).

About Axione

Axione is owned by Bouygues Energies & Services and Vauban Infrastructure Partners and is a major player in the rollout of digital technology in both rural and urban areas. As a partner in the French Ultra-High Speed Broadband Plan, Axione designs, builds, finances, and operates new generation digital services (FTTH, 4G, etc.) on its own behalf and for regional authorities and service providers. As a medium for competitive intensity and diversity of offerings, Axione operates in all French regions (highly populated areas [ZTD], and moderately populated areas [ZMD]) and provides telecom operators Ultra-High Speed access services for their subscribers by pooling its digital infrastructure, which is open and accessible to all. Almost 150 providers use the networks operated by Axione.

About Vauban Infrastructure Partners

Vauban Infrastructure Partners is a leading investor in Public-Private Partnerships and concessions in all forms throughout Europe. It has proven experience in both greenfield projects and asset management. Vauban Infrastructure Partners has over €2.5 billion euros under its management, and has already invested in more than 50 infrastructure projects in a wide variety of sectors.


Digital network developer La Fibre Paloise has completed itsdeployment of fibre optic internet to cover 100% of the Pau Béarn Pyrénées agglomeration community. Almost 100,000 households and businesses will have access to superfast internet packages from all network operators.


For both the local government and the La Fibre Paloise company (the concession holder in charge of the operation), this digital development initiative was a major undertaking for the benefit of the local population, and represented a sizeable challenge.

Residents of Pau and its hinterland were all affected by the operation: Lons, Billère, Lescar, Bizanos and Idron, as well as large portions of the towns of Gelos, Jurançon, Mazères-Lezons and Lée.


In 2003, when regional superfast FTTH (Fibre to the home) digital networks were first being rolled out, the Pau Béarn Pyrénées Agglomeration was the first to take the leap. Axione, then a young company, was selected to co-build infrastructure and carry out its maintenance for 15 years as part of a public service concession.

Fifteen years later, as the concession contract was renewed in 2018, the local government, which covers 31 communes with a combined population of over 160,000, set a new challenge: within 12 months, the contractor was to bring the equipment up to current standards—otherwise known as “reengineering”, which enables new operators to access the system—and create additional connections to service the entire centre of the agglomeration.


The project has now hit all its targets and achieved success: since mid-December, six townships have 100% fibre optic network coverage, with service packages available from all existing network operators.


Guiding the public and professional users through new ways of using technology is a major priority for La Fibre Paloise. Should they have queries, Pau residents have access to a number of tools, such as one outlining the steps involved in connecting to the network, as well as a dedicated hotline (0811 88 64 00 – €0.06 per minute + cost of a local call) and a dedicated website for the project (

In addition, a number of information campaigns have been deployed with the general public as their target audience. For example, on 14 and 15 December at the Tempo shopping centre in Pau, a connected home was set up in the commercial gallery in order to give shoppers a first-hand view of the uses and benefits of fibre optic internet. At the same time, service providers are ramping up their commercial operations aimed at residents and companies.

La maison connectée installée par La Fibre Paloise
The connected home set up at Pau’s Tempo shopping centre


From the outset of the project, a training and workplace integration platform has been established in order to address communal needs. A partnership has been set up between Greta Sud Aquitaine, the Lycée Saint Cricq in Pau and the Lycée Guyenemer in Oloron.

La Fibre Paloise had a contractual obligation to provide 20,000 hours of work placements during the construction and modernization of the network. This goal was surpassed by quite a margin, as by the end of October 2019 over 26,500 hours had been logged. During the network operational phase, La Fibre Paloise has committed to maintaining its professional training and work experience efforts over the course of the next few years.

Insourcing locally for all its areas of expertise helps to foster a truly dynamic environment for local development. La Fibre Paloise and Axione are still recruiting new talent in the area for the following roles:

  • Research officer,
  • Operations Foreman
  • Telecoms technicians
  • Maintenance & Repair operative
  • Sales staff and administrative personnel

Anyone interested in these roles can find out more information in the careers section of the website.

Orange is drawing on Axione’s expertise and knowledge to develop and increase the density of its mobile telephony infrastructure in France.  

According to the framework agreement concluded for a four-year renewable term, the Axione construction teams will build and/or re-equip mobile telephony sites for Orange, allowing the operator to honour its mobile telephony investment commitments. 

Signature Axione - Orange New Deal contract

This agreement, won through a tender process, is a recognition of our knowledge in a highly competitive and dynamic market, in which Axione is now a frontrunner. We have three of the four major operators – Bouygues Telecom, Orange, and Free Mobile – in our customer portfolio” states Gauthier Nanoux, Client Director with the Construction Division. “This deal is the crowning achievement of several years of work for Orange, during which our teams demonstrated their capacity to incorporate high quality standards. As an example, we ran a pilot of twenty sites in the southwest of France for Orange, an operation which formed the basis of a trusting relationship between our teams.”

This baseline framework agreement, which covers all teams deployed in France, provides the opportunity for the Axione teams to put their excellent knowledge of the country to good use and hone their skills incorporating new ways of working.  

Major developments for 4G in rural areas

In addition to the 10 billion euros invested in the networks every year, Orange, SFR, Bouygues Telecom, and Free are preparing to allocate 3 billion additional euros over the next five years to bolster their 4G networks, as part of a Mobile New Deal concluded with the government in January 2018. “Axione is one of the contractors working on this New Deal, the aim of which, among other things, is the rapid rollout of 4G in areas with no access”, states Gauthier Nanoux.

Specifically, Axione teams (negotiators, project managers, research units, site supervisors, work teams) will research and negotiate sites at high points, erect pylons, install relay antennae and all the necessary infrastructure and equipment, or re-equip existing 4G and telephony sites.

 “Our expertise ranges from prospection and design to research and execution, keeping in mind that researching and negotiating over new locations, with the discussions and strategies it requires, can often take several months,” explains Gauthier Nanoux.  A real challenge; one that Axione is ready to face.

A long-standing player in regional digital development, Axione is positioning itself in the smart building market through innovative infrastructure and services.

A pioneer of public initiative networks, Axione is continuing to innovate by introducing smart building offerings.

“Delivering services and sharing infrastructure helps investors or building owners maximise the value of a property over time, a key issue in the seminar we are giving as part of the Connected Buildings and Territories Forum,”

says Fabrice Poline, marketing manager at Axione.

New or refurbished buildings are “real Faraday cages” with poor 3G/4G penetration, which has an impact on image and productivity. Axione recommends deploying, prior to works, indoor radio coverage infrastructure to optimise mobile network coverage and “ensure exposure to radio waves is well below the standards for building occupants.” Axione creates 4G networks, based on private LTE, for the exclusive use of the client.
Axione also offers Passive Optical LAN, involving full fibre local area networks, “a maintenance-friendly solution with active components located solely at the endpoints, generating space and energy savings of 15 to 20%”.

“The services we provide enhance productivity, security and comfort, and supplement our IT infrastructure offerings, delivering real added value to buildings.”

At the same time, infrastructure expert Axione is forging strategic partnerships in order to deliver services. For example, it has teamed up with iViFlo, which combines a services management system with a mobile app and IoT to boost productivity, operational efficiency, well-being and building occupant safety. This is just one example of the kind of partnerships emerging.

AXIONE seminar at the SIMI professional real estate exhibition: 6 December 2018 from 3.30-4.30pm
Connectivity and integrated services now count for a great deal in the attractiveness of a property. The wide range of offerings and solutions available means that it is sometimes complicated to know where to start and to make the right choice. When is it best to incorporate smart services and what is the best way to avoid a build-up of service providers? Axione shares its solutions!

Source: catalogue from Connected Buildings & Territories Forum, part of the SIMI professional real estate exhibition, 5-7 December 2018, Paris, Palais des Congrès convention centre.

Maximising the value of your real estate property through connectivity and services: what approach should be taken to optimise investments?
Connectivity and integrated services now count for a great deal in the attractiveness of a property. The wide range of offerings and solutions available means that it is sometimes complicated to know where to start and to make the right choice. When is it best to incorporate smart services and what is the best way to avoid a build-up of service providers? Axione shared its smart building solutions and talked to visitors about their respective experiences during a seminar held as part of the SIMI professional real estate exhibition. Infrastructure, use patterns and productivity were analysed and deciphered by Franck Dupont, Yannick Antoine and Fabrice Poline from AXIONE and by Nicolas Seailles, a seminar guest, from Bouygues Bâtiment Construction Privée. Seminar: in pictures…

As the 2018 PMR Expo trade fair, running from 27 to 29 November, draws to a close in Cologne, Philibert Delarbre, sales manager for Axione’s LTE-PMR offering, highlights the potential offered by these new 4G private communications networks.

What is an LTE PMR network?

PMR stands for Professional Mobile Radio. It’s a private communications network that belongs to an organisation – be it a business, local or regional authority, public service or any of the emergency services – and that serves a closed group of users. LTE means Long Term Evolution, a technology equivalent to 4G for consumer mobile communications. PMR networks, which previously ran on radio devices such as walkie-talkies, now use smartphones. The LTE technology currently being deployed will provide these networks with new features.

Why use a PMR network?

To ensure secure communications and system availability. These are dedicated networks which are less likely to fail than networks run by mainstream operators. Autonomous and closed, the networks are hosted directly by the entity implementing them and are intended solely for the entity’s use, operating within a limited area. PMR networks are used by industrial companies, airport operators, transport and security firms, building and civil engineering companies, energy suppliers like EDF, oil companies and so on.

What’s new?

Users of PMR networks increasingly need digital technology in the way they work. They want access to the same features as those offered with mainstream mobile networks, including data, image and video transmission, communication with connected objects and machine-to-machine communication. For this to happen, they need a superfast communications network. So far, the use of PMR network radio frequencies has been subject to authorisation by ARCEP (Autorité de régulation des communications électroniques et des Postes), the French telecommunications regulatory authority. ARCEP has decided to dedicate part of the 2.6 GHz TDD band spectrum (the central 40 MHz of the band, in other words the 2575 – 2615 MHz sub-band) to establishing superfast professional mobile networks that use LTE technology. The terms and methods for allocating these frequencies are currently being finalised, and numerous demonstrators have been able to get under way in 2018. So we are now looking forward to the launch of the application processing service.

Does this mean that France is lagging behind?

It’s a new market which is still in its infancy. Very few LTE PMR networks have been deployed in Europe and indeed worldwide. In France, EDF recently invited tenders to equip its nuclear power plants.

What role will Axione play in this market?

The market offers high growth potential and is of interest to many people, starting with traditional PMR players, equipment manufacturers and integrators like Axione. We are used to rolling out high-speed technological solutions across regions or for mobile providers, and we are experienced in building and operating digital infrastructure based on fixed and radio technology. We want to fully play our role as integrator and deliver services to components manufacturers with the standard expected by our clients and as part of a turnkey process.

Within a period of a few months, Axione has been awarded contracts to deliver wireless coverage to three sites – pharmaceutical company Novartis, Longchamp Racecourse and the future Colas head office in Issy-les-Moulineaux – confirming its expertise in the field and illustrating the trust placed in it by clients.

Did you know?

Indoor coverage solutions make it possible to install a wireless network (2G, 3G, 4G, etc.) within a site. The network can then be operated by one or several carriers, such as Bouygues Telecom or Free, which provide users with superfast broadband services throughout the premises. Axione installs and maintains wireless coverage systems, which can lead to new services like geolocation being added.

In-building coverage project for Novartis

Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis has appointed Axione to equip its future head office in Rueil-Malmaison (to the west of Paris) with 2G, 3G and 4G radio networks. The in-building coverage will support multiple operators, ensuring optimal connectivity for all users, whatever their carrier. Axione is committed to completing the job without subcontractors.
The project was first processed by 11 employees – including the commercial team – at the Malakoff head office, before being handed over to the Bordeaux design office, then to Montigny-le-Bretonneux teams for the works.
Works started in February 2018 and are due to be completed in September or thereabouts.
The wireless indoor radio coverage system will form the basis for future smart building projects. The building will be fully connected from the basement right up to the top floor but, in time, the aim is to install new options. Smart building systems, which operate via sensors in connection with smartphones, would make life easier for building occupants by allowing them to regulate temperature in their offices using their smartphones or to geolocate someone for a meeting, for example.

Clock is ticking on Longchamp Racecourse project

Axione put forward a new indoor coverage solution for the Longchamp Racecourse, a venue which can accommodate 1 million people during peak times. Located in the 16th arrondissement in Paris, the site has been undergoing refurbishments over the past two years. This brand new solution, imported directly from the US by American equipment supplier CommScope, will provide racecourse visitors who are signed up to Free or Bouygues Telecom with an optimal connection and access to smartphone services even during busy periods. Axione is delivering an end-to-end service for the project, from studies and design through to construction of the infrastructure.

This practical solution means the network can be modulated through PC-installed software by amplifying the signal or disconnecting the service of one or several carriers. It will enable the site to manage its wireless network internally in a fully flexible way. 

The turnaround time for the works, which involve 9 employees, is extremely tight: commissioning is set to take place on 16 April in time for the Racecourse inauguration which is scheduled for 29 April.

Works under way on Trigone, future Colas head office in Issy

Axione has been working to deliver multi-operator indoor coverage for the future Colas head office since mid-March. Located in Issy-les-Moulineaux (southwestern Paris), the new building will be fitted with 2G, 3G and 4G networks so as to provide optimum connectivity for the 350 employees.

Various Group companies have collaborated on the project including Bouygues Immobilier, Bouygues Construction, Bouygues Telecom, Bouygues Energies & Services and Axione. Bouygues Immobilier was responsible for building the office together with Bouygues Construction. Bouygues Energies & Services and Axione teams then took over to install fibre in the building for the internet connection.

Works will be completed in June 2018.