Nokia fuels Lightspeed’s push to bring 10 Gbps fiber to 1M U.K. homes

fiber trenching
Lightspeed Broadband launched in February 2021, with former BT executive Steve Haines at the helm as CEO. (deepblue4you/Getty Images)

Newly formed U.K. operator Lightspeed Broadband tapped Nokia to supply 10 Gbps passive optical networking (PON) technology for an ambitious project which aims to pass 1 million locations with fiber by 2025.

Under the agreement, Nokia will provide XGS-PON equipment for customer homes and the operator’s points of presence, as well as aggregation switching and IP edge solutions; its Altiplano network management platform; and Wi-Fi 6 beacons.

Jeremy Steventon-Barnes, Lightspeed Broadband CTO, said in a statement it chose Nokia after a “rigorous selection process,” adding its kit will allow the operator to “offer 10 Gbps services with best-in-class whole-home Wi-Fi 6 today, and upgrade to even faster speeds in the future.”

Lightspeed Broadband launched in February 2021, with former BT executive Steve Haines at the helm as CEO. Steventon-Barnes previously held executive roles at BT, Adtran and Casa Systems.

The company raised £55 million (approximately $75.9 million) from investors for an initial build targeting 100,000 homes in the Eastern part of the country by the end of 2022. At launch, it said it had the ability to grow that investment to up to £300 million to hit its goal of reaching 1 million locations by 2025.

Work is already underway in an initial wave of 10 towns, with the operator last week announcing 10 more towns for a second wave of construction set to begin later this year.

RELATED: BT’s Openreach raises fiber goal to 25M premises by 2026

Last year, Nokia scored a deal to supply GPON and XGS-PON fiber access technologies capable of delivering 10 Gbps to BT’s Openreach, another U.K. broadband player. Openreach is currently in the midst of a massive construction project which aims to push fiber to 25 million homes by 2026. As of May, the operator said it had already connected 4.5 million locations and expected to continue at a pace of approximately 4 million homes per year.

Besides Nokia, Openreach is also working with Adtran and Commscope.