Ekinops 29 June 2022
Lannion, at the heart of innovation

Nestled in a corner of Brittany, France, lies the Trégor region and the town of Lannion. Despite having a population of only 60,000, over the years it has risen to become a major French hub for telecoms innovation. Home to a range of ground-breaking companies, including the main Ekinops offices, a technical high school and an engineering school, Lannion is often referred to as the "birthplace of telecommunications" or the "Breton Silicon Valley".

Building Lannion’s high-tech heritage

The region’s telecoms heritage goes back to the creation of the National Telecommunications Research Centre (CNET) in the 1960s under the leadership of Lannion native, Pierre Marzin. In an effort to reduce the impact of the ‘brain-drain’ that saw skilled workers moving en masse to France’s larger metropolitan regions, the French government took over the management of the CNET.

Following this acquisition, Lannion witnessed significant growth in economic activity and technological output. This marked the beginning of accelerated telecoms innovation and development in Lannion and throughout the Trégor region.

One example of this new, innovative thinking in the region occurred in 1962 in one of Lannion’s neighbouring towns, Pleumeur-Bodou, which attracted global attention following the first transatlantic television and telephone link between the United States and Europe. The broadcast was transmitted live from Andover, Maine, via the Telstar satellite to an antenna in Pleumeur-Bodou. This historic moment cemented Lannion’s and the Trégor region’s influence in the global telecoms industry, which, 50 years later, remains a critical hub for French technology innovation.

Since the 1960s, the population of Lannion has grown exponentially, attracting highly-skilled workers powering the region’s high-tech industries. This focus on cutting-edge telecommunications has paid off, with the region’s innovators delivering marvels such as world's first digital telephone switch, the first satellite TV transmission, the first car driving simulator, the Minitel (the world’s most successful online service prior to the World Wide Web), and the flat screen.

Lannion – a 21st-century town

Today, Lannion’s influence within the technology sector continues to grow and diversify with defence, cybersecurity, space, mobility, and maritime industries. The region’s importance to French technological innovation was officially recognised in 2015, with the city being awarded the "French Tech" label, reinforcing its position as a historic telecommunication region.

Lannion is truly a unique French town, with an unprecedented concentration of high-tech R&D and manufacturing, which shows no sign of slowing down. It enjoys the highest density of start-ups in France and is among the top three Breton cities in terms of the number of registered patents. More than 200 companies in the digital and photonics sectors are based in the town. Driving this growth is its skilled inhabitants, with almost 6,000 workers, including 3,500 PhD holders, researchers and engineers specialising in hardware and software development calling Lannion home.

Ekinops and Lannion: Delivering global telecoms innovation

As a leading company in the French telecoms sector, Ekinops is proud to be part of Lannion’s rich heritage and can attribute part of its rapid success to its roots. Founded in 2003 in Lannion, Ekinops has a solid presence in the global telecoms industry, operating in more than 10 locations around the world and supporting clients in more than 70 countries. Its people and technologies help service providers with their infrastructure and deliver enterprise managed services to their customers around the world. Ekinops staff can witness first-hand the opportunities Lannion offers, supporting those looking to grow and stand-out from the competition.

Lannion and Ekinops continue to raise their profiles in the French and global tech industries, with ambitious development projects for the region and collaborations with active local players such as Anticipa and BCI.

Thousands of talented individuals call Lannion home. Take the next step in your telecoms career and visit the Ekinops career page and find out what roles we have available across our various divisions. Take part and come write the next chapters of Lannion's history: ‘Join tech and innovation, join Lannion.’

Lannion Infographie