CityFibre has today signed a major long-term fibre optic infrastructure deal with two national UK mobile network operators, EE and Three UK, which will involve the deployment of Dark Fibre backhaul connections to help cost efficiencies and boost capacity to mobile masts across the respective networks.
Both mobile operators already have a long-running 50/50 network sharing deal through the umbrella organisation Mobile-Broadband Network Limited (MBNL), which is overseeing the development, and according to CityFibre the new the framework is already underway with an overhaul of the related mobile infrastructure in Kingston-Upon-Hull (East Yorkshire, England).
As usual CityFibre will no doubt also be able to leverage their existing metro fibre optic networks in York (in a partnership with Sky Broadband and TalkTalk), Peterborough, Aberdeen, Coventry and so forth.
Greg Mesch, CEO of 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, CTO of 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, CTO of Three UK, added:
“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.”
Interestingly CityFibre said that their agreement will also “present an opportunity” for EE and Three UK to “deploy advanced network technology features and trial cutting edge technologies“, which will include examining how the fibre optic solution could be “rolled out to further towns and cities in the UK under the national framework agreement“.
CityFibre said that its project for the mobile sites in Hull is the “first step in an anticipated larger build-out” under their Well-Planned City model, which among other things ensures that their fibre optic infrastructure is made “available for use by service providers covering multiple market segments” (open access).