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Openreach selects Huawei and Nokia to support its ‘Fibre First’ programme

Press release   •   Jul 10, 2018 01:00 BST

Openreach has chosen two of the world’s leading communications technology companies, Huawei and Nokia, to help deliver its national rollout of Fibre-To-The-Premises (FTTP) technology – which will reach three million British homes and businesses across the UK by the end of 2020.

The companies have been awarded contracts to provide new electronics that support Openreach’s exchange based equipment – known as the headend. The kit acts as a digital gateway, managing and translating high-speed data signals between customers’ premises and the wider network.

Huawei has already started to deploy the new kit across the Openreach fibre network, whilst Nokia is expected to start installing equipment from July next year.

Peter Bell, CTO & NGA Operations Director, Openreach said: “We’ll be going flat out to make FTTP available to three million homes by the end of 2020, and we want to reach 10 million by the mid-2020s, so using cutting-edge technology will be integral to achieving that. Britons consume more than double the amount of data they did just three years ago and whilst we’re already a leading digital economy, Openreach continues to invest in network upgrades to make sure we can repeat that success and keep well ahead of demand.”

Jeffrey Zhou, president of Huawei Access network, said: “As a long-term strategic partner of Openreach, we look forward to continuing our work with the fibre and network delivery team. We welcome the opportunity to help build a better, faster and intelligent network that helps Openreach customers stay connected. Huawei is committed to building a better connected UK.”

Federico Guillén, President of Nokia Fixed Networks, added: “We’re excited about this new five-year collaboration with Openreach and are confident that our innovation, strength and operational expertise will benefit all broadband subscribers in the UK.”

Both deployments will play a critical role in supporting Openreach’s ‘Fibre First’ programme to reach three million premises by the end of 2020, using ‘Fibre-to-the-Premises’ technology where fibre optic cables are laid from the exchange right to people’s front doors. Openreach wants to extend this rollout still further to around 10 million premises by the mid-2020s, and ultimately the majority of homes and businesses across Britain if it has the right conditions to invest.


Notes to editors

About the headend

The headend is located in the Openreach telephone exchange and acts as a digital gateway, managing and translating high-speed data signals between customers’ premises and the wider network.

Data from the customers premise is contained within virtual pipes that are individually identified by a unique tag. The tag is like an address that allows the headend equipment to work out where to send the data so it successfully reaches the Communication Provider’s network.

The kit supplied by Huawei and Nokia will be installed in the part of an exchange known as a Handover Point.

Both pieces of equipment are physically installed into one of our standard headend racks within the Openreach Handover Point.

Product Links

You can find out more about the Nokia ISAM FX-16 here

You can find out more about the Huawei MA5800-X17 here

Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) roll-out

Openreach is building future-proof Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) technology to three million homes and businesses by the end of 2020 through its new ‘Fibre First’ programme.

Full-fibre means fibre optic cable runs all the way from the exchange to your house. Gives speeds of up to 1GB (can stream 200 HD movies at same time) and a more reliable network.

Openreach has already made ultrafast broadband available to more than one and a half million premises across the UK, and has ambitions to go even further.

The business wants to extend this rollout to around 10 million premises by the mid-2020s, and ultimately the majority of homes and businesses across Britain if there are the right conditions to invest.

Openreach will continue to focus on delivering FTTP to rural areas, in partnership with the Government, to make sure some of the hardest to reach communities in the UK get access to future-proofed, FTTP networks.

The company’s ‘Fibre First’ programme – where fibre optic cables are laid from the exchange right to people’s front doors is gathering pace with engineers building the network to a further 8,000 more homes and businesses coming within reach of the new network every week.

Ultrafast fibre networks provide enough additional capacity to support future data hungry services and applications, such as ultra HD TV, Virtual Reality gaming and smart sensors and devices which can control anything from thermostats and security cameras, to door locks, lawn sprinklers, window blinds and washing machines.

You can also view our ‘Rolling out Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) video here

For further information

Enquiries about this story can be made to the Openreach PR team on: 020 7809 7950 or email

All news releases can be accessed on our web site.

About Openreach

Openreach is Britain’s digital network business.

We’re 30,400 people who connect homes, mobile phone masts, schools, shops, banks, hospitals, libraries, broadcasters, governments and businesses - large and small - to the world.

Our mission is to build the best possible network, with the highest quality service, making sure that everyone in Britain can be connected.

We work on behalf of more than 600 communications providers like SKY, TalkTalk, Vodafone, and BT, and our fibre broadband network is the biggest in the UK, passing more than 27 million premises. We’re also the platform for Britain’s thriving digital economy, which is the largest in the G20.

We’re working hard to give people the speeds they need to run and enjoy their daily lives. Over the last decade, we’ve invested more than £11 billion into our network and we now manage more than 160 million kilometers of cable stretching from Scotland to Cornwall, from Wales to the east coast. And we’re continuing to take that network further - making superfast broadband speeds available to thousands more homes and businesses every week.

Openreach is a wholly owned and independently governed division of the BT Group, and it is a highly regulated business, with more than 90 per cent of our revenues generated from services that are regulated by Ofcom.

Any company can access our products under exactly the same prices, terms and conditions.

For the year ended 31 March 2018, we reported revenues of £5.1bn.

For more information, visit