Deutsche Telekom partners with EWE on €2 billion fibre JV, upgrades copper network

Deutsche Telekom has partnered with utility and telecoms company EWE on a new joint venture which aims to connect over one million German households to fibre.

The two companies will invest up to €2 billion in rolling out FTTB and FTTH technologies in the states of Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia and Bremen.

The infrastructure will be sold by Deutsche Telekom and EWE and offered wholesale to competitors, with the two companies each holding a 50 percent stake in the joint venture. The partnership will focus only on private customers, with the operators continuing their separate operations in the business market.

The roll-out will begin in mid-2018 and continue over a 10 year timeframe, pending approval by German competition regulators.

Tim Höttges (right), Deutsche Telekom CEO, said the project would also depend on a reduction in regulation on fibre, a move mooted by the country’s telecoms regulator earlier this week.

Höttges said: "The cooperation will make the fibre-optic expansion considerably more cost-effective, and it will help us make an important contribution to the region's infrastructure competition.”

Michael Heidkamp (left), EWE Director of Sales and Marketing, said: "By working with a strong partner, we will be able to bring state-of-the-art fast internet access to even more people in our region.

"This joint venture will enable us to make faster progress toward a complete-coverage fibre-optic network, and thereby to set new standards in state-of-the-art broadband infrastructure."

The deal extends an existing agreement between the two companies signed in July which sees the two broadband providers sharing their VDSL networks in almost 400 locations in northwest Germany.

Deutsche Telekom also announced on Tuesday (12 December) that it had connected an additional 39,000 households to its vectoring-based access technology.

The tech uses interference reduction to increase speeds available over existing copper infrastructure and offers download speeds of 100MBps and upload speeds of 40MBps.

It is now available in Meissen, Herten and Neutraubling, bringing the total number of cities offering the tech to 62 across Germany.

Deutsche Telekom is also trialling G.fast technology, another type of copper upgrade.

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