The deal with SSE Enterprise Telecom will facilitate enhanced backhaul capabilities in the UK’s capital

British mobile network operators Three UK and O2 have signed an agreement with SSE Enterprise Telecoms to boost fibre access in London.

SSE Telecom will allow the mobile network operators to access its fibre ring to significantly improve their backhaul facilities. The move will facilitate the expansion of the MNO’s 4G networks while simultaneously preparing the way for the launch of 5G services next year.

“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.”

SSE Telecom’s fibre ring network is partially located in London’s waste water network and the agreement will see approximately 100 points of connectivity exit from the central London sewerage system via two BT exchanges. The deal will allow O2 and Three to operate their own central London networks, while also accessing spare fibre infrastructure to underpin future projects.

“New and innovative models are essential to improving the customer experience of mobile networks by increasing the availability of dark fibre for mobile backhaul and driving competition in the market. 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 Dave Dyson, chief executive officer of Three UK.

O2’s chief technology officer, Brendan O’Reilly said that the deal encapsulated the spirit of collaboration that would be required to ensure that the UK remains at the front of the queue for 5G rollout in Europe.

“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 fibre for mobile backhaul in the UK,” he said.


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