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MS3 and Nokia Start Build of New 10Gbps Fibre in North England

Monday, January 31st, 2022 (10:23 am) - Score 3,432
MS3 Fibre Optic Dig

Hull-based UK ISP MS3, which is backed by infrastructure fund Asterion, has selected Nokia to supply the full fibre XGS-PON technology for their rollout of a new 10Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband network in the North of England, which aims to cover 500,000 premises. The first build has also begun.

At present MS3 runs more of an independent Dark Fibre and business focused broadband network in Hull (East Yorkshire), which also serves a number of homes via a limited FTTP broadband platform (off-shoot ISP connectHull). According to Ofcom (here), their network currently passes just 2% of all premises within Hull – where KCOM already has a dominant FTTP network – and is within 50 metres of 8% of large business and mobile sites in the city.

NOTE: Back in February 2021, MS3 also unveiled plans for a £3.5m and 70km long “city-wide expansion” of their “full fibre” network in Hull (here).

However, the operator recently announced plans to cover a total of 500,000 premises (here), which will no doubt see them grow their coverage across both Hull (prior to this they planned to reach 21,000 premises in the city) and many other areas – serving “30 other locations in the region“. The new infrastructure will be an open access wholesale network, which other ISPs can harness.

At present we’re still waiting for more details on MS3’s initial rollout plan, funding levels and timescale. But in the meantime, they have today confirmed that they’ll be adopting Nokia’s 10Gbps XGS-PON (symmetric speed capable) technology for the rollout and the first cabinets have just been built.

MS3’s Chosen Nokia Kit

• The Nokia ISAM 7360 FX OLT has been chosen and will be housed inside MS3’s street cabinets to light the fibre optic cables supplying broadband and Ethernet services into homes and businesses via its wholesale ISP partners.

• The Nokia XS-010G-Q ONT will be the small demarcation device fitted in the home, whilst the more powerful Nokia XS-010X-Q ONT will be used for business customers.

Better yet, the first street cabinets containing the Nokia equipment have already been deployed in two areas of Hull – Great Thornton Street and Gipsyville, with more set to launch across Hull very shortly.

Chris Byrd, CTO of MS3, said:

“I’m delighted to be working with Nokia as we roll out our network across Hull and other northern towns and cities. Their product portfolio gives MS3 the scalability we need as our network expands and customer demand for bandwidth steadily increases. We are excited to continue building on our already excellent relationship with Nokia in the coming years.”

Phil Siveter, CEO of Nokia UK & Ireland, said:

“Today, ultrafast connectivity is an enabler for almost all aspects of economic and social life. Therefore, we need to bring fibre to as many households and business as we can. I am delighted to partner with MS3 to bring world-class, full-fibre connectivity to Northern England.”

We should point out that the alternative network (AltNet) space in and around the Hull area has, over the past couple of years, become aggressively competitive, with multiple operators like InternetTY, Connexin, Quickline, KCOM, Openreach (BT), Grain and Virgin Media (VMO2), among others, all expanding or planning to expand across parts of the same region.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
6 Responses
  1. GaryH says:

    I think Phil Siveter forgot to add the word ‘Again’ at the end of his statement,

    Fibre may be an enabler and I agree its good to bring it to as many homes and businesses as we can, But its already there Phil you’re adding overbuild and choice not transforming peoples lives.

  2. James says:

    VMO2.

    Didn’t realise they were entering the area?

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      At present they’re more on the North Lincolnshire side of the Humber, but much will depend upon what their final plans are for the c.7 million premises FTTP expansion proposal.

  3. Pezza says:

    Once the fibre cables are laid across the nation to properties, I expect we will see more of this as surely it’s a case of replacing the equipment at each end and at the cab if needed. In theory a bit more manageable then digging roads and paths etc up.
    Still will be interesting to see the pricing around all this and how fast they drop for 1GB connections as faster speeds become more common.

    1. Winston Smith says:

      I doubt you’ll see PON upgrades on existing FTTP networks for some years.

      I’d expect altnet FTTP prices to rise to meet Openreach prices, not fall, once the build out is mostly complete and the investors start to demand a return.

  4. anonymous says:

    £70 a month for 900, £60 for 500: overbuilding KCom is fair enough, Hull can handle more than one infrastructure.

    Given there’s no cable there they actually stick out for the wrong reasons.

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