SSE Enterprise Telecoms, a unit of SSE plc, says it has signed a deal to provide capacity on its London fiber ring to Three UK and O2 (Telefónica UK) for the two customers’ 4G and 5G mobile backhaul requirements.
The SSE Enterprise Telecoms fiber ring benefits from the fact that the fiber-optic network services provider won a license last year to lay fiber-optic cables throughout the Thames Water’s sewer system. Use of the sewer-based right of way enables faster, lower-cost deployment than traditional fiber network digs, the company asserts. The company has partnered with Infinera for optical transport gear on the fiber ring (see "SSE Enterprise Telecoms targets UK dark fiber demand") as well as Ciena earlier in its history (see "SSE Telecoms links UK data centers with Ciena 100G"). For its new customers, SSE Enterprise Telecoms will support approximately 100 points of connectivity via two BT Exchanges. Three UK and O2 will be able to operate their own central London area networks, while accessing spare fiber ducts to meet future requirements in London.
“Networks will fundamentally underpin the UK’s digital economy and will be essential to 5G services” said Colin Sempill, managing director of SSE Enterprise Telecoms. “With this high-capacity core in the London sewers, Three UK and O2 are tapping into our unique, diverse connectivity and putting their networks in a strong position to trial 5G offerings, while enhancing existing services for their customers.”
“New and innovative models are essential to improving the customer experience of mobile networks by increasing the availability of dark fiber for mobile backhaul and driving competition in the market,” added Dave Dyson, Three UK CEO. “Our partnership with SSE Enterprise Telecoms and O2 is one of the first examples of using existing infrastructure to improve connectivity in an urban area.”
Said Brendan O’Reilly, CTO of O2, “This kind of agreement is essential to allow for continued investment and improvement of services for our customers. This partnership is a great example of SSE Enterprise Telecoms, Three UK, and O2 coming together in a collaborative and innovative way to address the growing challenge and pressure of obtaining access to fiber for mobile backhaul in the UK.”
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