Thursday, 19 October 2017

CityFibre in major deal with 3UK, EE

CityFibre
Thursday 13 November 14

Leading fibre optic infrastructure provider CityFibre has signed a long-term national framework agreement with mobile network operators EE and Three UK, along with their infrastructure joint venture, Mobile Broadband Network Limited (MBNL). The deal will see CityFibre deploy the UK’s first dark fibre backhaul connections to mobile masts across both operators’ networks, improving network performance capabilities as well as offering long term cost efficiency…

Leading fibre optic infrastructure provider CityFibre has signed a long-term national framework agreement with mobile network operators EE and Three UK, along with their infrastructure joint venture, Mobile Broadband Network Limited (MBNL).

The deal will see CityFibre deploy the UK’s first dark fibre backhaul connections to mobile masts across both operators’ networks, improving network performance capabilities as well as offering long term cost efficiency. It also marks the expansion of critically needed diversity in the mobile operators’ supply chains.

Dark fibre is fibre cabling that is already in the ground, but has not yet been connected to carry traffic. Lighting up dark fibre effectively supplies operators with their own fibre infrastructure, a future-proofed platform offering near limitless capacity for the same fixed cost. This is an invaluable asset in the face of operators’ growing bandwidth requirements and increasing backhaul traffic to and from cell sites driven by booming data demand and the proliferation of connected devices.

The first project of the framework is already underway in Kingston-upon-Hull, where CityFibre is in the process of overhauling MBNL’s network, providing both EE and Three with the ability to deploy high speed access to their masts, improving the customer experience in the area. This work also presents an opportunity for EE and Three to deploy advanced network technology features and trial cutting edge technologies. CityFibre, EE, Three UK and MBNL are already examining how the dark fibre solution could be rolled out to further towns and cities in the UK under the national framework agreement.

CityFibre’s project for the mobile sites in Hull is the first step in an anticipated larger build-out following CityFibre’s “Well-Planned City” model, under which the Company’s shared fibre infrastructure is also available for use by service providers covering multiple market segments.

Commenting on the agreement Greg Mesch, Chief Executive Officer, CityFibre said: “CityFibre is dedicated to overhauling the UK’s digital connectivity. Mobile operators are amongst the largest providers of connectivity services for data hungry UK consumers. Between them, EE and Three carry about 75 per cent of the data used by UK mobile users, so we are thrilled to announce this market-leading partnership. This framework illustrates a valuable new segment in CityFibre’s Gigabit City model for ubiquitous fibre connectivity.”

Fotis Karonis, Chief Technology Officer at EE, said: “With our customers’ data usage rising all the time, driven on by the rapidly growing adoption of 4G, a more flexible and cost effective backhaul capacity solution is hugely important so that we can keep giving a world-leading mobile experience. This is a completely new model for the industry, set to provide a much-needed change to the economics of capacity management.”

Bryn Jones, Chief Technology Officer at Three said: “This agreement with CityFibre is the latest step in our efforts to give customers a great network experience. The ability to add our own high capacity infrastructure will be hugely important for our network, particularly in busy metropolitan areas.”


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