Openreach gets Nokia and Huawei involved in its Fibre First efforts

UK fixed line wholesaler Openreach has announced both Nokia and Huawei have been selected to help it with the next phase of its fibre rollout.

Openreach has been banging on about its ‘Fibre First’ strategy for a while, which essentially consists of vowing to hook three million homes and businesses up to full fibre by the end of 2020, and a more vague aspiration to hit ten million sometime in the mid 2020s. Opinion is divided about how ambitious these targets are, but they’re certainly better than nothing.

With Ericsson not involved in the fibre side of things and ZTE fighting for its life, the obvious vendor partners for Openreach in its fibre rollout are Nokia and Huawei. Sensibly it has decided to get both of them involved, with the ZTE situation serving as a brutal reminder of the dangers of putting all your eggs in one basket.

“We’ll be going flat out to make FTTP available to three million homes by the end of 2020, and we want to reach 10 million by the mid-2020s, so using cutting-edge technology will be integral to achieving that,” said Peter Bell, CTO & NGA Operations Director at Openreach. “Britons consume more than double the amount of data they did just three years ago and whilst we’re already a leading digital economy, Openreach continues to invest in network upgrades to make sure we can repeat that success and keep well ahead of demand.”

“We’re excited about this new five-year collaboration with Openreach and are confident that our innovation, strength and operational expertise will benefit all broadband subscribers in the UK,” said Frederic Guillén, President of Nokia Fixed Networks.

“As a long-term strategic partner of Openreach, we look forward to continuing our work with the fibre and network delivery team,” said Jeffrey Zhou, President of Huawei Access Network. “We welcome the opportunity to help build a better, faster and intelligent network that helps Openreach customers stay connected. Huawei is committed to building a better connected UK.”

Great quotes guys – really fleshed the whole thing out for us. Along with the embargoed press release Openreach attached lengthy datasheets for the Nokia 7360 ISAM FX and the Huawei MA5800, which presumably are the key bits of kit being used. We preferred the Nokia one because it was shorter.

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