Vodafone, Altice to form joint venture for FTTH in Germany

Oct. 17, 2022
Vodafone Group Plc and Altice say that they will create a joint venture, currently called “FibreCo,” that will deploy wholesale fiber to the home (FTTH) networks to connect up to 7 million homes in Germany over a 6-year period.

Broadband services providers Vodafone Group Plc and Altice say that they will create a joint venture, currently called “FibreCo,” that will deploy wholesale fiber to the home (FTTH) networks to connect up to 7 million homes in Germany over a 6-year period. The two companies expect to have FibreCo up and running during the first half of next year. Altice subsidiary Geodesia will perform most of the deployment and FTTH network maintenance.

The two companies will split ownership of the joint venture equally. However, Altice will pay Vodafone up to €1.2 billion in cash for its share. Altice will make the payments in installments:

  • €120 million at closing
  • deferred payments of up to €487 million total as the deployments progress, starting once the first 1.5 million homes have been passed and continuing until the end of the rollout
  • an earn-out of up to €595 million in aggregate based on FibreCo’s performance.

Vodafone made it clear that the FibreCo initiative will be complementary to its plans to upgrade its hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) networks in Germany. The service provider says that approximately 80% of FibreCo’s deployment will target large housing associations in Vodafone’s existing HFC footprint who want FTTH, with the remainder used to expand into new areas outside of its footprint.

Vodafone Germany thus will become FibreCo’s anchor tenant and will market the joint venture’s to new customers on an exclusive basis. The service provider is not bound by any minimum revenue or volume commitment.

“This partnership builds on Vodafone’s significant next generation network with Altice’s industrial expertise and proven fiber-to-the-home construction capabilities, enabling us to bring gigabit connectivity to even more customers in Germany,” commented Nick Read, Vodafone Group’s chief executive. “We are proud of our longstanding relationships with housing associations and pleased as a trusted provider to bring more connectivity options for tenants. This significant infrastructure investment supports the country’s social, economic, and digital development and the broadband ambitions of the German government as part of Europe’s Digital Decade targets.”

“We are delighted and honored to join forces with Vodafone to build and operate a FTTH network connecting up to 7 million premises in Germany,” added David Drahi, co-CEO of Altice. “Altice’s existing presence in Germany through Geodesia, its unique track record in operating over 45 million homes with the latest very-high speed fiber networks across Europe and the U.S., together with Vodafone’s competitive position as anchor tenant will help us establish one of the largest FTTH ventures in Europe. We have pioneered fiber joint ventures in France and Portugal, and are thus thrilled to be able to replicate such a feat in Germany with such a partner.”

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About the Author

Stephen Hardy | Editorial Director and Associate Publisher, Lightwave

Stephen Hardy is editorial director and associate publisher of Lightwave and Broadband Technology Report, part of the Lighting & Technology Group at Endeavor Business Media. Stephen is responsible for establishing and executing editorial strategy across the both brands’ websites, email newsletters, events, and other information products. He has covered the fiber-optics space for more than 20 years, and communications and technology for more than 35 years. During his tenure, Lightwave has received awards from Folio: and the American Society of Business Press Editors (ASBPE) for editorial excellence. Prior to joining Lightwave in 1997, Stephen worked for Telecommunications magazine and the Journal of Electronic Defense.

Stephen has moderated panels at numerous events, including the Optica Executive Forum, ECOC, and SCTE Cable-Tec Expo. He also is program director for the Lightwave Innovation Reviews and the Diamond Technology Reviews.

He has written numerous articles in all aspects of optical communications and fiber-optic networks, including fiber to the home (FTTH), PON, optical components, DWDM, fiber cables, packet optical transport, optical transceivers, lasers, fiber optic testing, and more.

You can connect with Stephen on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.

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