Fiber-Optic Broadband Deployment News from United Kingdom


O2, which is the trade name of Telefonica Europe plc., revealed their plans to launch commercial trials of fiber optic broadband before the end of the year.

Telefónica UK Limited has 22.3 million mobile customers and more than 700,000 fixed broadband customers in the UK. Telefonica UK Limited is part of Telefonica S.A’s European business that uses O2 as its commercial brand name in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Slovakia, Germany, and Czech. O2 is often written as O2. Telefónica UK Limited is part of Telefónica Europe plc which is a business division of Telefónica S.A. and which uses O2 as its commercial brand in the UK, Ireland, Slovakia, Germany, and the Czech Republic, and has 56.9 million customers across these markets.

O2’s network provides voice and high-speed data services to more than 84 percentage of the UK population. The transmission speeds are up to 14 Mbps, which will be upgraded to 21 Mbps within a few months. O2 had deployed 4G/LTE trial network with maximum speeds of 100 Mbps to a mobile device.

We have been hearing much fiber-optic broadband news recently from the UK. British Telecom, BT had announced fiber-optic broadband based on FTTC technology in many areas in the UK. Recently the UK Government gave a subsidy to Fujitsu to build a nationwide fiber-optic network to provide FTTH services.

Unlike many European countries, UK could not find its place in the chart published by the FTTH council to rank the economies that have more than one percent of households connected with FTTH, FTTB, or Fiber optic LAN technology. Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, Latvia, Slovenia, Denmark, France, Slovakia, Portugal, Netherlands, Estonia, Turkey, Russia, Bulgaria, and Finland got their ranking in the list of countries with more than 1% fiber-optic broadband penetration.

The policies followed by the UK have not been favorable for faster deployment or migration to fiber-optic broadband. While many of the European economies could really move faster towards FTTH, it seems, UK is still not convinced with full-scale FTTH.

O2 is currently considering its infrastructure and place for the trial for fiber optic broadband. The pricing and package details will be announced later. O2 will give priority to its existing customers when they deploy fiber optic broadband. A registration program for the fiber optic broadband will be launched before the launch date.

O2’s entry into the fiber optic broadband market will give a new dimension to the competition. BT and Virgin Media are currently offering high-speed broadband connections in the UK. Virgin Media is offering 100 Mbps to around 4 million houses in the UK. Fujitsu’s fiber-optic deployments projects are yet to be started. Fujitsu’s fiber-optic network building will bring a new era of fiber optic services in the UK as it will be an open-access network through which any service provider can offer their services to the subscribers.

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