Three UK taps into fibre to boost 5G prep

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Three UK is looking to bolster its 5G preparations by signing a deal with SSE Enterprise Telecoms to give it better access to fibre networks.

The operator will connect its network to 170 BT exchanges initially, with up to 270 to follow in the longer term. The goal is to connect around 6,000 masts in towns and cities to fibre.

Following the project's completion, Three UK's network capacity is expected to grow twentyfold. It has been estimated by the operator that its customers will use around 90GB of data per month by 2025. It also said that fibre would help improve network reliability.

Bryn Jones, CTO at Three UK [pictured], said: “By significantly increasing our access to fibre, we are putting our network on the best footing possible to take advantage of the benefits of 5G technology.

"Our customers use 3.5 times more data per month than the average UK consumer and this deal will help us maintain our leadership in providing a fantastic data service.

"Fibre is essential to the UK’s digital future and more needs to be done to improve its availability to ensure that the UK benefits from 5G at the earliest opportunity.”

Colin Sempill, Managing Director at SSE Enterprise Telecoms, added: “5G will allow Three UK to grow capacity on its network more than twenty-fold. But for 5G to live up to its potential, the right infrastructure must be in place. High capacity fibre connectivity is absolutely critical.”

Three is in the process of building a fully virtualised 5G ready core network, after partnering with Nokia in early 2017.