SSE Enterprise Telecoms – one of the UK’s leading connectivity suppliers, and part of SSE plc – has announced details of a major project to unbundle 177 BT exchanges, to meet the significant demand for high-capacity fibre connectivity amongst UK businesses.
The project, which will be rolled out over the next two years, is due to double SSE Enterprise Telecoms’ network reach by unlocking a further 180,000 business postcodes across the UK, as the company cements its commitment to the UK’s digital ambitions.
The roll-out is a significant investment in its own network by SSE Enterprise Telecoms, with customers, prospects, MNOs – such as Three UK – and service providers all set to benefit from the enhanced network footprint.
By unbundling the exchanges, SSE Enterprise Telecoms will effectively futureproof its offering with a network capable of delivering 100Gbps services. With this high capacity core network and backhaul provided by SSE Enterprise Telecoms businesses will be better-placed to utilise fibre-to-the-premise and broadband services not currently feasible in the UK, which is amongst the worst in Europe for broadband speeds.
The unbundling project places SSE Enterprise Telecoms as one of only a handful of dedicated UK connectivity providers seeking to assist the government’s aim of “encouraging the market towards ubiquitous ultrafast services” through its own investment.
“We have always placed great pride in our network and ensuring that it is in the best possible shape to serve our customers both now and in the future,” said Colin Sempill, Managing Director of SSE Enterprise Telecoms. “Legacy networks are coming under more strain as the demands placed on them potentially outweigh their capabilities. This rollout will guarantee 100Gbps services, putting the UK on the front foot to be a pioneering digital economy and making use of new technologies like 5G. Networks will underpin the connected society that many anticipate with 5G.”
Three UK has signed a deal with SSE Enterprise Telecoms to use the connectivity from the 177 unbundled exchanges, following the recent announcement that SSE Enterprise Telecoms is supporting its network expansion goals, including the anticipated rollout of 5G.
A key component for the launch of 5G services is high capacity fibre connectivity, which must provide reliable ultrafast backhaul to the core networks and masts. This will in turn need to increase ten-fold as the UK prepares for 5G. It will be substantially different than current 4G technology – potentially a thousand times faster – and will operate on significantly higher frequency with much larger bandwidths. SSE Enterprise Telecoms has been selected by Three UK to deliver the required high capacity fibre connectivity between Three UK’s core data centres and the BT exchanges as it prepares for a 5G network rollout and improving 4G services. Three UK’s use of the 177 exchanges is the first of several potential unbundling phases.
“We’re dedicated to investing in our network to deliver the services our consumers want,” said Bryn Jones, Chief Technology Officer at Three UK. “High capacity networks will be the foundation on which 5G is built. We’re partnering with SSE Enterprise Telecoms as their commitment to our requirements and the UK’s digital economy were clear from the outset.”
In unbundling the exchanges, SSE Enterprise Telecoms is expanding the reach available to UK businesses and service providers, while ensuring greater reliability of performance at a more competitive price point, as there will be less reliance on incumbents. Batches of the new exchanges will be released over a two-year period and will eventually be available to quote and order via SSE Enterprise Telecoms’ online price comparison engine, LIVEQUOTE.