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SSE Enterprise Telecoms makes further investment in UK business connectivity, 5G

UK telco unbundles further 259 BT exchanges by the end of 2021 to significantly grow network, bringing total unbundled exchanges to 550

With innovation between service providers and enterprises, and between enterprises, SSE Enterprise Telecoms has undertaken what it calls a significant network expansion programme, set to bring high capacity 100Gbps and 10Gbps services to businesses across the UK and facilitate 5G roll-outs.

The company says the new, enhanced infrastructure will see the company nearly double its number of unbundled BT Exchanges in just over a year, enabling its customers to bring high-capacity fibre services to approximately 80% of UK business premises.

Upon completion, SSE will have a high-capacity fibre network spanning over 30,000 km leaving the company, it claimed, in a prime position to facilitate the UK’s high-capacity digital-first ambitions including the high-speed, performance and reach required for 5G networks. This will be key to enabling new technologies including the industrial internet of things (IIoT) and autonomous vehicles, as well as opening the door to new business technologies such as instant video streaming and immersive virtual reality and augmented reality.

Services will be available through SSE Enterprise Telecoms’ customer portal, LIVEQUOTE, which provides quoting, ordering and price comparison capabilities, via its own network and those of leading thirds parties, for business connectivity from 10Mbps to 100Gbps across the UK.

Classed as a critical national infrastructure project, SSE Enterprise Telecoms also noted that it has maintained its delivery schedule throughout the Covid-19 lockdown, and that its delivery schedule has been maintained despite many enforced changes to processes and planning, such as restrictions on engineering visits and social distancing.

As part of the accelerated expansion programme, SSE is also delivering connectivity to Three UK, with 198 exchanges already deployed, and another 259 which will be available soon. As well as working closely with Three UK, SSE Enterprise Telecoms have also worked with O2 on fibre deployments in the capital. Three UK is set to utilise the expanded exchange footprint to enhance its existing 4G and create new 5G networks.

Commenting on the expansion and what it could likely bring to enterprises, David Molony, principal analyst at research firm Omdia, said: “This expansion from SSE Enterprise Telecoms is a prime example of the kind of network needed for high capacity 5G infrastructure and goes some way to fuel the UK’s digital ambitions. This project also carries particular importance as the rest of the network industry consolidates and shares assets and potentially narrows the options for enterprise.”

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Going forward, over the next couple of years SSE’s ambition is to provide high-capacity services from at least 750 unbundled BT Exchanges, offering a range of connectivity solutions across the UK. It added that its vision to support UK innovation was anchored in 5G and edge computing, supporting key digital strategic goals in the UK.

“Our business is continuing to deliver significant network expansion, bringing high-capacity connectivity to business premises across the UK, as well as helping to facilitate 5G roll-outs and future-proof the UK’s digital ambitions,” added SSE Enterprise Telecoms chief executive officer Colin Sempill.

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