In a further sign that it is moving away from reliance on Huawei as a vendor, UK digital network infrastructure provider Openreach is to deploy Nokia fibre solutions to help meet its target of bringing ultra-fast and reliable broadband access to 20 million homes across the UK by the mid-to-late 2020s.
The fibre roll-out with Nokia underpins Openreach’s commitment to build a world-class, secure broadband network that can deliver differentiated customer experiences and provide a platform for the UK’s economic recovery, post Covid-19.
Openreach says it is focused on extending its fibre networks to better meet evolving consumer demands, support society in unforeseen crises and help socio-economic growth. A nationwide fibre-to-the-home network has the potential to provide a £59 billion boost to UK productivity by 2025. It can also enable 400,000 more people to work from home, allow 125,000 parents with dependent children the opportunity to re-enter the workforce and help to reduce greenhouse emissions.
The rollout with Nokia focuses on deploying GPON and XGS-PON fibre access technologies to expand Openreach’s fibre-rich network to reach 4.5 million premises by the end of March 2021. It is also capable of delivering up to 10Gb/s symmetrical broadband speeds in the future, in areas where demand for additional capacity is required. Nokia’s solution supports a smooth evolution from current traditional deployments to virtualised access-network control and management (SDAN – Software Defined Access Networking) by software upgrade.
The agreement is another key milestone in Nokia’s extensive partnership with Openreach to deliver multi-Gigabit, next generation PON connectivity to customers and builds on an extensive end-to-end network framework that has been established over the past years. This includes G.fast technology which currently allows Openreach to offer 100’s Mb/s to homes in areas where fibre is not available yet.
“We’re accelerating our full fibre build to deliver an ultrafast, ultra-reliable and futureproof broadband network throughout the UK,” commented Clive Selley, CEO of Openreach. “This new digital platform will help our economy to bounce back more quickly from the Covid-19 pandemic – enabling people to continue work from home, and millions of businesses to operate seamlessly online for decades to come. Right now, we’re making the new network available to around 32,000 homes and businesses every week, and Nokia’s innovative solutions are helping us to build it better, broader, and faster. Our partnership with Nokia will be critical in helping us to upgrade the nation and hit our target of reaching four and a half million premises by the end of March 2021.”
“Nokia is already making a major contribution to Openreach’s Fibre-to-the-Premises roll-out, including in the build of our first fully-fibred city, Salisbury,” noted Peter Bell, Network Technologies Director, Openreach CTIO. “We’re confident that Nokia will continue to be a strong partner in helping us meet our ambition throughout the UK.”
“Ensuring everybody has access to broadband services is critical, especially during unprecedented times like these where it has become the lifeline to millions working, handling healthcare, and learning from home,” asserted Sandra Motley, President of Fixed Networks at Nokia. “Our fibre solutions will help Openreach bring enhanced ultra-broadband services to millions of new customers across the UK today while our 10G PON technology will help to futureproof their network against whatever may come next.”