SSE Enterprise Telecoms, which operates its own fibre network in London, has been selected by Three UK and O2 to “significantly” enhance their connectivity backhaul capabilities and pave the way for further 4G and 5G deployment by connecting cell sites and masts.
Much of SSE’s fibre ring is located in the Thames Water waste network and its agreement with Three and O2 will see approximately 100 points of connectivity exit from this central London sewer network via two BT Exchanges.
By partnering with SSE, the mobile firms say they can operate their own Central London Area (CLA) network, while also accessing spare fibre ducts for future initiatives 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.”
Dave Dyson, Chief Executive Officer of Three UK added, “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.”
Brendan O’Reilly, Chief Technology Officer of O2, said: “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”