Fibre project to underpin Three's 5G network in the West End
Written by: Sam Fenwick | Published:

Three UK and SSE Enterprise Telecoms have announced they will run a fibre test bed in London’s West End.

The project, which is an ongoing collaboration between the two companies, will boost the capacity of Three’s 4G and 5G networks (the latter will go live in the city in August as a home broadband service, before being extended to 25 other UK towns and cities by the end of the year). 50 per cent of the fibre for the test bed will be rolled out this summer and part of the fibre network is being run through London’s Thames Water waste water network to enhance densification.

Sarah Mills, sector director for network operators at SSE Enterprise Telecoms, said: “Ofcom data shows UK data usage is set to grow thirteen-fold between 2017 and 2025, this will be concentrated in metro city hotspots. Our high-capacity fibre ring in central London will link to Three UK’s cell sites using London’s water waste network. This innovative, secure and robust fibre installation is necessary to provide greater resiliency, increased capacity and reduced latency. Three UK is already utilising our unique and diverse backhaul connectivity, and we’re in a strong position to trial their 5G offering in one of Europe’s busiest areas, as well as enhancing existing services for their customers. However, our creative approach to networking won’t stop there, as we continue to bring further network innovation to the market over the coming months.”

Dave Dyson, CEO of Three UK, said: “Fibre is an essential component of any 5G network. Three UK is bringing the UK’s fastest 5G network to 25 towns and cities by the end of this year, as well as significantly enhancing its 4G network over the next few years. SSE Enterprise Telecoms is a vital partner which is using innovative ways to stimulate much needed competition in the fibre backhaul market which will give customers the best experience for both mobile and home broadband services”.

Jace Tyrrell, chief executive of New West End Company, which represents 600 businesses in London’s West End, said: “As the world’s leading retail & leisure destination, London’s West End is the ideal place to test the UK’s fastest 5G network. In order to retain its global status, the international centre must have the infrastructure and connectivity to support its businesses and the 200 million annual visitors to the area who expect it to be fully digitally equipped. The evolution of the retail sector prioritises unique customer experiences, and increasingly relies on new, frictionless and innovative technology. This deployment will enable consumers to connect and engage with retailers on a new level, and power sustainable growth across the West End”.

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