CityFibre signs dark fibre agreement with EE & Three

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Fibre-optic infrastructure provider CityFibre has inked a deal with UK Internet service providers EE and Three that will see the former providing dark fibre backhaul connections to mobile masts owned by the operator duo in a bid to improve performance.

The long term national framework agreement has been met though the operators’ infrastructure joint-venture, Mobile Broadband Network Ltd, announced in February this year.

CityFibre claimed that the deal will be the first UK deployment of dark fibre to mobile masts and that it would offer EE and Three “long term cost efficiency” while “improving network performance capabilities”.

“Mobile operators are amongst the largest providers of connectivity services for data hungry UK consumers,” said CityFibre chief executive officer Greg Mesch.

“Between them, EE and Three carry about 75 per cent of the data used by UK mobile users, so we are thrilled to announce this market-leading partnership. This framework illustrates a valuable new segment in CityFibre’s Gigabit City model for ubiquitous fibre connectivity.”

The first dark fibre backhaul project to feed the connections to mobile masts is already underway in Kingston-upon-Hull, the infrastructure provider added.

Commenting on the deal Fotis Karonis, Chief Technology Officer at EE, said “With our customers’ data usage rising all the time, driven on by the rapidly growing adoption of 4G, a more flexible and cost effective backhaul capacity solution is hugely important so that we can keep giving a world-leading mobile experience. This is a completely new model for the industry, set to provide a much-needed change to the economics of capacity management.”

Bryn Jones, Chief Technology Officer at Three UK said “This agreement with CityFibre is the latest step in our efforts to give customers a great network experience. The ability to add our own high capacity infrastructure will be hugely important for our network, particularly in busy metropolitan areas.”