Lightspeed taps Nokia to bring 10Gbps broadband to East of England

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More than 2.5 million homes and businesses in the UK can now connect to a fibre broadband network delivered by an independent altnet.

Aiming to forge ahead in the East of England, provider Lightspeed Broadband has inked a technology deal with Nokia to roll out a 10G symmetric fibre broadband to homes and businesses.

Backed by an international investment consortium, Lightspeed launched in February 2021 with a funded plan and an ambition to reach one million homes and businesses by 2025 in an attempt to become a leading provider in the market.

Lightspeed will connect the first 100,000 customers by the end of 2022, starting in 10 market towns in South Lincolnshire and West Norfolk, including Spalding, Stamford, Boston and King’s Lynn, and expanding through Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.

In April, Lightspeed mobilised 100 engineers to kick-start the network roll-out across its first wave of 10 build locations in South Lincolnshire and West Norfolk. 

Since that time, the build has been progressing to Boston, Bourne, Holbeach, King’s Lynn and South Wootton, Market Deeping, Skegness, Sleaford, Spalding and Stamford, with the Lightspeed team working with local councils and communities.

Existing infrastructure is being re-used where possible to speed up the process, minimise environmental impact and reduce disruption to residents. Lightspeed said that it is on track to connect its first customers to the gigabit network in these locations later this summer.

Lightspeed
Lightspeed is expanding network capabilities across the East of England

Following what Lightspeed said was a rigorous selection process, the company chose Nokia for its “industry-leading and future-proofed” solution, which means that the altnet can currently offer 10Gb/s services with whole-home Wi-Fi 6 and then upgrade as required.

Specifically, the agreement will see Nokia provide Lightspeed with its XGS-PON kit for customer homes and the operator’s points of presence, and aggregation switching and IP edge solutions. It also includes Nokia’s whole-home Wi-Fi 6 Beacons and Nokia’s Altiplano management platform.

The latter comprises a suite of network management as well as software-defined network (SDN) control functions to visualise, optimise and enhance broadband networks. Altiplano automates network lifecycle management activities and provides operators a single pane of glass to manage access network domains. It is based on open modular architecture with open application programming interfaces (APIs) to ease integration with OSS/BSS, IT and cloud platforms.

Commenting on the deal, Lightspeed Broadband CEO Steve Haines said: “We are delighted to be a key account for Nokia, which we feel reflects our strategic relationship and growth potential. Nokia has demonstrated the flexibility and agility we need to support our ambitious deployment plans.”

Phil Siveter, CEO of UK and Ireland at Nokia, added: “High speed broadband is crucial to the UK’s economic growth. We’re delighted to be supporting Lightspeed’s entire deployment, from the customer’s Wi-Fi router to the Broadband Network Gateways that connect Lightspeed to the global internet.”


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