Telefonica Deutschland will roll out up to 2.2 million rural fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) connections in the next six years via its partnership with Unsere Gruene Glasfaser (UGG). UGG – a 50-50 joint venture between Telefonica Group and the private equity arm of German insurer Allianz – is investing around EUR5 billion (USD6.0 billion) in the deployment of a 50,000km fibre-optic network, enabling Telefonica and other providers to market fibre services to consumers in sparsely populated and underserved regions. UGG focuses on smaller communities with a maximum of 10,000 households that have so far not had access to high speed fibre-optic internet.
UGG will start the rollout in early March in the municipality of Maring-Noviand in the Rhineland-Palatinate district of Bernkastel-Wittlich, benefiting around 775 households with around 1,500 inhabitants. The next step will see expansion to the Baden-Wuerttemberg towns of Malterdingen, Aach and Volkertshausen, as well as in Hermeskeil in Rhineland-Palatinate.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in October last year Telefonica reached an agreement with the private equity arm of Allianz for the creation of a joint venture to deploy fibre-optic networks in Germany. The companies each hold a 50% stake in the open-access wholesale operator which will sell FTTH connection products to Telefonica Deutschland, which will be marketed as broadband services to O2 end customers. As an independent FTTH open platform, UGG will also offer wholesale access to all telecoms service providers so they can in turn offer these services to their end customers. Telefonica Group’s participation is held through its infrastructure unit Telefonica Infra (40%) and Telefonica Deutschland (10%), while Allianz Capital Partners will invest 50% in the JV on behalf of Allianz insurance companies and the Allianz European Infrastructure Fund.