Openreach taps Nokia for next FTTP roll-out stage

May 21, 2020
This latest deal with Nokia follows the announcement that Openreach also will use systems from ADTRAN for the new deployments.

Nokia says it will supply GPON and XGS-PON capable systems to Openreach for the next phase of the BT subsidiary’s open network fiber to the premises (FTTP) roll-out. Openreach has targeted passing 20 million premises across the UK by the mid-to-late 2020s and 4.5 million premises by the end of March 2021.

“We’re accelerating our full-fiber build to deliver an ultrafast, ultra-reliable, and futureproof broadband network throughout the UK. This new digital platform will help our economy to bounce back more quickly from the COVID-19 pandemic – enabling people to continue work from home, and millions of businesses to operate seamlessly online for decades to come,” stated Clive Selley, CEO of Openreach. “Right now, we’re making the new network available to around 32,000 homes and businesses every week, and Nokia’s innovative solutions are helping us to build it better, broader, and faster. Our partnership with Nokia will be critical in helping us to upgrade the nation and hit our target of reaching four and a half million premises by the end of March 2021.”

Nokia will supply its 7360 ISAM FX and 7362 ISAM DF optical line terminals (OLTs) and Nokia ISAM optical network terminals (ONTs). Nokia has supplied GPON systems to BT and Openreach previously, as well as Gfast gear (see “Openreach taps Huawei, Nokia for roll-out”). “Nokia is already making a major contribution to Openreach’s fiber-to-the-premises roll-out, including in the build of our first fully fibered city, Salisbury. We’re confident that Nokia will continue to be a strong partner in helping us meet our ambition throughout the UK,” commented Peter Bell, network technologies director, Openreach CTIO.

This latest deal with Nokia follows the announcement that Openreach also will use systems from ADTRAN for the new deployments (see “Openreach to deploy ADTRAN SDX OLTs for FTTP”). Barring further announcements, ADTRAN would appear to be replacing Huawei in at least some deployments. Huawei has been supplying GPON equipment to the network operator for some time and won a new supply agreement in 2018 (see "Openreach chooses Huawei and Nokia for Fibre First national FTTP roll out"). Security concerns about reliance on Huawei equipment, perhaps stoked by U.S. lobbying efforts, could be the reason for the addition of a third supplier (see "Openreach seeks third fiber broadband technology supplier: reports").

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