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Vodafone−Altice JV gets the ball rolling on German fibre deployment

OXG Glasfaser, Vodafone Germany’s fibre joint venture with Altice, has started to lay its first fibre optic lines as the operator kicks off work to pass seven million premises over a six-year period.

All systems go
The JV, which launched in March of this year, is in the process of connecting 28,000 premises in Neuss, North Rhine-Westphalia, with expansion into Duisburg, Düsseldorf, Kassel, and Marburg planned “in the coming weeks” (Vodafonewatch, #214). Vodafone Germany added that 150 more cities and communities are expected to follow by the end of 2024.

OXG’s Chief Commercial Officer Stefan Rüter noted that the operator is initiating its expansion “without pre-marketing and without a completion quota to be achieved in advance”. The JV’s focus, he said, is “particularly” on the housing industry — “we are receiving very positive feedback from the cities and communities, the housing industry, and the owners”, he said.

Vodafone Germany said that OXG, the name of which is derived from ‘Open Access Fibre’, is based on an “open infrastructure and a non-discriminatory wholesale approach”, meaning that residents can select from a range of internet providers through the fibre network. This, it said, “increases the diversity of offers, promotes competition, and enables optimal utilisation of the networks”. Despite this, however, Vodafone Germany will initially take over the marketing of the fibre network and the “corresponding internet tariffs”.

Vodafone gets ready to rumble
With the expansion, Vodafone Germany hopes to compete with rival operators, having so far lagged behind on fibre progress compared to the likes of Telekom Deutschland and O2 Germany.

Telekom Deutschland’s full-fibre network passes more than 6.2 million premises, with a target to reach ten million by the end of 2024, and 25–30 million by 2030. Despite making relatively strong progress on rollout in the last year, Deutsche Telekom Chief Executive Timotheus Höttges has expressed a hunger to pick up the pace further. “I want to see three million [more premises passed] … by the end of this year”, he said.

O2 Germany, like Vodafone, is proceeding with its fibre build via a JV, named Unsere Grüne Glasfaser (UGG), which is co-owned by insurance giant Allianz. The JV aims to pass around two million premises with fibre covering a total of 50,000km in the next five to six years, with a predominant focus on rural and semi-rural areas. UGG claimed in February 2023 that it is “absolutely on course” to meet its roll out target. TelcoTitans

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