Vodafone UK extended an agreement with CityFibre for access to its entire network as the latter continues its nationwide buildout, a move the operator claims would eventually make it the market’s largest provider of full fibre.
Announcing the upgraded deal, Vodafone set a target of being able to reach 8 million premises in the country with fibre-to-the-home by Spring 2022. This includes those connected by BT’s Openreach through a separate wholesale agreement.
Vodafone’s existing agreement with CityFibre covered a million locations across 12 cities when signed in November 2017. Its new deal extends this to the fibre company’s full footprint which is set to cover 285 cities, towns and villages by 2025.
Vodafone’s move sees it up competition to the newly merged Virgin Media O2 and incumbent provider BT, who both own their own fixed networks.
It also builds on a renewed attempt to push converged services unveiled by Vodafone UK earlier this year with its Together plan, which will be able to provide full fibre in a greater number of locations as a result of the new wholesale agreement.
PP Foresight analyst Paolo Pescatore said the development raised questions about Virgin Media O2’s position as a wholesale provider, while it also “propels Vodafone to be in pole position as an aggregator of connectivity as well as services providing users with more choice.”Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back