Deutsche Telekom continued its march towards a goal to become the leading player in fibre across Germany, securing €0.9 billion from a fund run by Australian pension investors to form a joint venture focused on deploying connectivity in rural areas.

In a statement, the operator explained the ownership of newly established unit GlasfaserPlus will be equally split between itself and IFM Global Infrastructure Fund, a subsidiary of IFM Investors.

The entity, which is pending regulatory approvals, aims to add four million gigabit-capable fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) connections between 2022 and 2028, in addition to a previous target by Deutsche Telekom to connect ten million households by 2024.

GlasfaserPlus is also expected to take part in government subsidy tenders and to operate its network under an “open access” model, allowing the network to be used by the operator’s competitors “in a non-discriminatory manner”.

The JV is valued at €1.8 billion from the investor’s point of view, the operator noted.

Network expansion strides
Srini Gopalan, MD of Deutsche Telekom’s Germany business, stated in addition to the investments of the GlasfaserPlus JV, the company plans to invest more than €30 billion in fibre, “so that all households and businesses will benefit from a gigabit-capable fibre connection”.

The company also hailed progress made in fibre expansion, with 1.2 million connections expected to be built by the end of the year. After a goal to hit ten million households by 2024, it plans to deploy an average of 2.5 million connections per year until 2028.