Vodafone partners CityFibre to roll out FTTP services to UK

Thursday 9 November 2017 | 10:20 CET | News

Vodafone is expanding in the UK fixed market with an agreement to market FTTP services with the wholesale operator CityFibre. The companies plans to bring full fibre services to 1 million homes by 2021 and up to 5 million by 2025, good for around 20 percent of the UK broadband market.

Under the wholesale agreement, Vodafone will have a period of exclusive rights (predominantly during the build phase of each city network) to market consumer broadband services on the FTTP network to be built, operated and owned by CityFibre. Construction of the first phase of deployment to 1 million premises is due to start in the first half of 2018 and will be largely complete in 2021. Both parties have the right to extend the commercial terms of the agreement to expand coverage to a further 4 million homes and businesses by 2025.

Vodafone UK has previously tried to resell broadband services over BT's network, but failed to attract a significant customer base. The company said the agreement with CityFibre provides the company with access to "a superior product at a lower cost" and with better service conditions than the regulated wholesale terms offered by BT. Vodafone recently agreed a similar deal in Germany to develop fibre broadband with Deutsche Glasfaser. 

CityFibre said the initial deployment will focus on the 12 cities where it is already active with FTTP services and the second phase would target the 42 cities where it already has core metro networks. Vodafone has committed to connecting 20 percent of homes passed over 10 years, and the guaranteed volume will help CityFibre accelerate its roll-out and reduce costs. The first phase of 1 million homes passed is estimated to be worth GBP 500 million over 20 years to the company.

The company expects the cost per home passed will drop to GBP 350-480 once the roll-out reaches maturity. The operator has already started a tender with network construction suppliers to ensure it meets the schedule and budget for the roll-out. 

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