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Free (Iliad Group) Doubles Power of IPTV Network with Cisco Technology


Live Upgrade of Cisco Carrier Routing System Boosts Free Network Capacity to 2.5 Terabits per Second With No Interruption to Service

PARIS.- Cisco® announced today that Free (Iliad Group), the leading triple-play over broadband operator in Europe, has doubled the capacity of its Cisco-based IP Next-Generation Network (IP NGN) in a drive to enhance the quality of experience for its more than 2.5 million subscribers. Less than a year after installing the first Cisco CRS-1 carrier routing systems, Free has doubled the capacity of its core network by upgrading its full 16-slot CRS-1 systems, with a potential capacity of up to 1.2 terabits per second (Tbps), to a multi-chassis configuration offering a capacity of up to 2.5 Tbps. The operation was completed without any interruption to subscriber services.

With the recent announcements of TV Perso Freebox, Free’s innovative user-created TV channel service, and Free Home Video, a subscription-based on-demand service for movies and TV series, as well as the rollout of a nationwide fiber-to-the-home network, Free is expecting IP traffic requirements to continue to double every 18 months.

Maxime Lombardini, chief executive officer of Free said: “The ability to keep our network in full production as we doubled our throughput is vital for Free and our continued success. Cisco has given us the freedom to be innovative, and at the same time maintaining the highest quality of experience for all Free subscribers.”

Thierry Drilhon, managing director of Cisco France and vice president of Cisco Europe added: “At a time when service providers like Free are experiencing exponential growth in IP traffic, there is zero tolerance to any process that impacts network performance. With the successful in-service core network upgrade at Free and the recent excellent results from the European tests of the Cisco end-to-end IPTV solutions, the CRS-1 carrier routing system’s multicast performance capabilities and high availability continue to prove its value to major operators throughout the world.”

The Cisco end-to-end IPTV and triple-play solution was recently analyzed in an independent test at the European Advanced Networking Test Center focusing on the network service requirements of broadcast TV and video-on-demand (VOD) applications. The test covered four main areas: the massive scalability of broadcast TV and VOD services; QOS (quality of service) in an integrated business and residential customer network with real-time video, voice and data service; high availability with sub-second failover time for all of the services; and user experience of video services under high network load and packet loss on the first mile. A full copy of the report is available from Cisco at


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